The actual silverwork, which seems to be based on the rhyta vessels hammered and chased, for the most part, by skilled ancient artisans in gold and silver, reflects a very high quality of workmanship. There are some significant departures from this ancient style that indicate its more recent creation. These differences include the overall shape, size, and details of ornamentation, and shape of features such as the nose. The size of this silver object belies its use as a vessel, however, and suggests that although possibly purely an ornamental object, meant to be admired on a shelf, it might have been used as an architectural ornament or in some other manner, perhaps fitting over a pole or column. The interior of the piece does not, however, show many signs of wear or abrasion.This silver lion head is formal as well as more static and decorative than the ancient examples – it is a pleasing specimen of the feline, which conveys both the beauty of the beast, its value as a rhythmically patterned, almost abstractly ornamental object, and its essential animal nature – as handed down to us for centuries.
– Diana K. McDonald, PhD