For the ancients, an intaglio seal might have a variety of meanings or functions. Engraved with the crest of an individual or a clan, such a seal might act as an insignia of rank, a legal signature, or a mark of property. Adorned with religious symbols or magic images, an intaglio might assume some spiritual importance necessary to maintain the balance of the universe. It might be a talisman of good luck, one whose imagery assured bountiful success or protection from evil. Carved in the Upper Euphrates Valley, this unusual seal depicts a pair of antlered stags, animals that were of great religious importance for several cultures of the region. Etched with bold lines, they project the essence of the beast: proud, graceful, regal. As we hold such a talisman in our hands today, we share our pleasure with those who first held it long ago.