One of the most popular ongoing exhibitions at the stately Morgan Library & Museum, is the Pierpont Morgan Library’s collection of ancient Near Eastern seals, which is among the most prestigious in the U.S. Pierpont Morgan collected nearly three thousand cuneiform tablets, the bulk of which are now part of the Yale Babylonian Collection while some remain in the Morgan collection along with other artifacts. Between 1885 and 1908, the American collector William Hayes Ward assembled, probably on Pierpont Morgan’s behalf, a collection of 1,157 seals, which forms the core of the Morgan Library’s holdings.
Among the most diminutive objects produced by sculptors, these seals are roughly only an inch in height and carved in great detail on semiprecious stones. The seals collection cover over three thousand years in significant styles from Mesopotamia from the end of the fifth millennium to the fourth century B.C. as well as other countries. The Morgan’s collection of Middle Assyrian seals is widely acknowledged as one of the finest in the world. The Morgan Library & Museum is located at 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street.