What is it? This moving animal in a black something?
A bird? What bird?
Here are original pictures of this #lovely #beautiful object. Mark the head and feathers.
It's a shell chiseled by some artisan into a bird. The provenance of this object is unknown (better: unknown to me). According to the 2012 catalogue from David Ghezelbash (page 43-46) is it a tridacne shell sculpted in the shape of an owl. Phoenician, around 8th century B.C. Belonging to an old private English collection. On sale, in 2012, at a cost of 220 thousand euros.
Who made it for whom? Grandparent for (grand)child because he/ she loves birds and dreams about flying? A magician for his tribe?
Why? Out of love for a (grand)child? For a ritual? A thank you for a God(s) or divinity (ex-voto)? A beg for the ability to fly? I guess we will never know.
P.S. According to feedback from a birdman the "bird" is an Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus). Source image: @alamy.