The ancient Assyrian empire at its height extended from its core region in northern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) to include an area from Babylonia to the Mediterranean Sea and parts of Egypt, Iran, and Anatolia. The great Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (ruled 883–859 B.C.) undertook a vast building program at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), where he erected a magnificent walled capital. Imposing sculptures of divine guardians (lamassu) protected and supported the important palace doorways at Nimrud, including a human-headed winged bull and a human-headed winged lion. The horned caps the figures wear attest to their divinity, while their belts signify power. The sculptor gave these figures five legs so they appear to be standing firmly when viewed from the front but striding forward when seen from the side. Our striking bookends are based on these resplendent Assyrian guardian sculptures. Includes 2 bookends. Cast resin. Hand patinated. Each measures 9 1/2”H x 4”W x 8 1/4”D.