* A Hellenistic Gold Grape Cluster Pendant, ca. 3rd - 1st century BCE
GJ2104Regular price $1,750 USD
Of high karat gold, the thin gold hoop with a cluster of four grapes, each decorated with three granules at its base, set as a pendant with a modern bail and 18K chain.
Dimensions: Pendant length: 3/4 inch (2 cm), on a modern 16-inch chain of 18K gold.
Condition: Probably originally from an earring, the pendant is intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired in the 1960s and then by descent.
A Bactrian Carnelian & Agate Bead Necklace, ca. 2nd millennium BCE
MJ1707Regular price $2,000 USD
A carnelian and shell bead necklace with small shell beads alternating with pairs of small carnelian beads, centered by a triangular banded agate pendant.
Dimensions: Length: 15 1/2 inches (39 cm)
Condition: With minor wear to the beads, a chip at one corner of the agate pendant that does not detract, in good condition overall.
Provenance: Ex. Private collection of Leonard Woolley's daughter, acquired Astarte Gallery, London, 1996. Ex. Christie's sale 1735, December 7, 2006, lot 216.
A beautiful Ruby Necklace with Late (ca. 8th - 9th century CE) Byzantine Gold Beads
MJ2115Regular price $1,950 USD
For related gold bead examples see: Dubin, L. "The History of Beads" p.68 #62.
Condition: Intact and excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 18 inches (45.7 cm)
Provenance: Gold beads: ex. Sumer Gallery, (Henry Anavian) NYC., acquired 1970s-1980s, by descent to family.
A Biblical "Beehive" Unguent Jar and Lid, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd-1st Century BCE
MV1406Regular price $3,000 USD
This type so-called "beehive" vessel, of banded alabaster is conical in form, the banded alabaster body tapers to a flat base and features two small perforated lug handles at the shoulder. The accompanying lid also exhibits a perforated lug finial at the center. Vessels of this distinctive shape were used to hold perfumed oils, aromatic gum resins, incense (frankincense or myrrh) or semi solid unguents (aromatic ointments) such as the "Balm of Gilead," described in the Bible as a particularly valuable commodity. Such jars were one of the most desirable and highly prized commodities of Ancient Arabia.
Dimensions: Height: 4 inches (10 cm)
Condition: Encrusted base and deposits on the interior of the jar. Some very minor ancient rim and lid edge roughness, otherwise intact and in overall excellent condition.
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired from Fortuna Fine Arts, NYC., 1980-1990s.
A Boeotian Terracotta Female "Pappades" Figurine, Archaic Period, ca. 570 - 550 BCE
GT008-PBRegular price $5,500 USD
Hand-modelled, the flat body splaying at the hem, with short, curving, upturned arms, a tapering recess in the upper surface, wearing a flaring polos with a large projecting volute, with dark brown painted geometric details, including a circular necklace.
The color of the clay and the painted patterns (still rooted in the Geometric period) are similar to those found on 6th century BC Boeotian vases, thus placing this figurine among the sculptural production of Archaic Boeotia. It belongs to the family of pappades: flat, polos-wearing figures with mouse heads or bird beaks. These figures are most often decorated with a central volute (in imitation of Boeotian libation vessels) produced in Boeotia between 625 and 550 BC. This figurine was created at the height of this period, (ca. 570 - 550 BCE) based on its similarity to figurines excavated at Rhitsona and in the Akraiphia necropolis (Boeotia, Greece).
Dimensions: Height: 8 1/4 inches (21 cm)
Condition: Complete, rejoined below arms with minor cosmetic retouching to the nose and top of the volute. Excellent remaining polychrome and a lovely example.
Provenance: Ex. Rhenish collection, acquired in the 1970s, thereafter private Virginia collection, acquired from Royal Athena, July 2015.
A Boeotian Terracotta Jointed Figurine, Archaic Period, ca. 5th Century BCE
GT1607Regular price $5,000 USD
This truly charming figurine belongs to a group that appeared in mainland Greece in the late sixth century B.C. It represents a girl wearing a short chiton, commonly called a chitoniskos; on her head is a kalathos, a boxlike headdress; her hair falls to the shoulders. The figurine is mold-made with only the front sculpted; the back is simply left flat. The articulated arms and legs are handmade and may originally have been attached to the body with metal pins. A hole on top of the head shows this figurine was intended to be suspended, enabling the articulated limbs to move freely. The movement of the limbs certainly lent vitality to the figurine, while adding a magical aspect.
Background: Although commonly referred to as a "doll,'' these figurines were brought to temples and sanctuaries as offerings to the gods and deposited in graves either as cherished possessions of the deceased, as gifts, or as protective devices. Occasionally they are shown holding crotala (castanets) in their hands, and the kalathos headdress helps identify them as ritual dancers. It is well known that song and dance were common features of Greek worship. In fact, several ancient authors refer to a specific dance, called kalathiskos, that was performed by young girls wearing short chitons and kalathoi.
cf: Muratov, Maya B. “Greek Terracotta Figurines with Articulated Limbs.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/gtal/hd_gtal.htm (October 2004)
Dimensions: Height: 6.3 inches (16 cm)
Condition: Loss to both hands and top of legs conserved, 19th century fragile stringing to arms and legs replaced with conservation material, good remains of original white slip so overall in very good condition. Presented on a museum quality custom mount. A truly charming example!
Provenance: Private Dundee, IL collector, with partial early 20th century identification label on back, thence by descent.
A Boeotian Terracotta Pappades Statuette, Archaic Period, ca. 6th century BCE
GT1608Regular price $4,950 USD
A handmade terracotta "Pappades" statuette of a goddess, of flattened form standing with arms extended and wearing a long embroidered dress and high polos with central circular ornament indicating her status as a goddess.
Such Boeotian plank figurines were dubbed 'Pappades' or 'priests' (Greek Παπάδες), by the Boeotian villagers, who were the first to find them in their fields. Many examples were excavated in Tanagra and Rhitsona in the 19th century. The interpretation of this type of figurine is difficult. Their frequent presence in graves permits the hypothesis that they were linked with the worship of the chthonic deities Demeter and Kore, goddesses related to fecundity and the harvest. Another theory is they represent in clay the "daidala", - wooden effigies dressed as brides - which, according to ancient literary sources were used in rituals on Mt Kithairon in Boeotia, to honour Hera, the wife of Zeus and patron goddess of marriage.
Dimensions: Height: 25.5 cm (10 inches)
Condition: Despite a crack in the front of the headdress, intact and in good condition overall.
Provenance: Major Harold De Vahl Rubin (1899-1964), grazier, art-collector and philanthropist, was born in Melbourne, Australia beginning his education at Broome, Western Australia, where his father owned a pearling fleet. After the family moved to London, he attended University College School, Hampstead (1908-15), and Eton College (1916). Commissioned in the 5th Battalion, Coldstream Guards, in February 1917, he served with the 38th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), and was promoted lieutenant in January 1918. He returned to civilian life in 1919. Left a fortune by his father (who had died in 1919), he set up as a pearl merchant in London in the mid-1920s. During the 1930s he expanded the family's pastoral holdings in Queensland and Western Australia, and began to collect paintings. In October 1941, he was again commissioned in the British Army and demobilized in 1945 with the honorary rank of major, working as an art dealer at 20 Brook Street, London.
Rubin returned to Australia in 1950 to run his extensive grazing interests which included Queensland Pastoral Estates and properties on the De Grey River in Western Australia. He lived at Toorak House, a mansion built by Sir James Dickson at Hamilton, Brisbane, but regularly visited his 17,000-acre (6880 ha) property Pikedale, near Stanthorpe, and kept a flat at the Astor in Macquarie Street, Sydney.
In 1959 Rubin facilitated the Queensland Art Gallery's acquisition of seven important European paintings from his private collection, comprising works by Picasso, Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and Vlaminck which were valued in all at £126,504. The most significant was Picasso's 'La Belle Hollandaise' (1905), painted in the years between the artist's 'blue' and 'rose' periods. Rubin was prescient in recognizing what he called its 'exquisite tenderness'. The painting is frequently requested for inclusion in major international exhibitions of Picasso's art.
Rubin was a man of eccentric habits, but he initiated many of the bizarre stories about himself, making it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. His city residences were filled with paintings, stacked face to face, as well as with live and stuffed exotic and domestic birds—'parrots, lorikeets, budgies, canaries, finches and sparrows'. He bought entire exhibitions of work by young painters; Robert Hughes, who became an art critic, benefited from his largesse.
He died of cancer on 7 March 1964, his wife and their son survived him, as did the son of each of his first and third marriages; the son of his fourth marriage predeceased him. The bulk of his art collection, which had once numbered four hundred works, including sixty paintings by (Sir) William Dobell, was sold by auction between 1971 and 1973: The Harold de Vahl Rubin Collection Part 1, Christie's Australia, Sydney, 4 October 1972, and the Harold de Vahl Rubin Collection Part II, Christie's Australia, Sydney, 2 October 1973.
A Bronze Age Holyland Amphora, ca. 1700 BCE
MP2002Regular price $950 USD
Covered in orange slip, with a conical body tapering to a point, a flaring neck, wide round mouth, and two loop handles applied to the shoulders.
Dimensions: Height: 8 1/4 inches (21 cm)
Condition: Repaired from several pieces, with some scattered mineral deposits throughout.
Provenance: Robert Feuer private collection, Long Island, NY., acquired in the 1980s.
A bronze Axehead, Koban Culture, ca. 9th - 8th century BCE
MX1509Regular price $1,500 USD
Koban culture is a late Bronze Age and Iron Age culture of the northern and central Caucasus. It is preceded by the Colchian culture of the western Caucasus and the Kharachoi culture further east. It is named after the village of Koban, Northern Ossetia, wherein 1869 battle-axes, daggers, decorative items and other objects were discovered in a kurgan. Later, further sites were uncovered in the central Caucasus. This rare example features an elliptical shaft-hole and crescentic blade and hammer at right angle.
Cf: On the way to the Golden Fleece. Archaeological Findings from Georgia, exhibition catalog, Munich Staatliche Museum, 1995, p. 284, no. 230, pl. 107f.
Dimensions: Length: 5-3/4 inches (14.5 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. With museum-quality custom stand.
Provenance: Ex-Andrew Green collection, Ex-David Kennedy collection, acquired at London Art Market in late 1980's.
A Byzantine Bird Applique, ca 6th - 7th century CE
RM304Regular price $300 USD
the well stylized body without design; the beak is finely rendered and the tail feathers are indicated by several small notches on the tip; the area between the body and tail is adorned with one small, semi-circular ridge; the base of the bird is slightly concave.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 1.1 cm (1/2 in), Length: 2 cm (3/4 in).
Provenance: Private Dutch collection acquired early 1970s
A Byzantine Bronze Jewelry Weight, ca. 6th - 8th century CE
RB1414Regular price $650 USD
polygonal, with fifty-one small flat sides decorated with concentric circles, the flat top and bottom each with a drilled center.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: 1 inch (2.54 cm)
Weight: 2 oz
Provenance: Paul Ilton private collection. During his lifetime, Paul Ilton was internationally known as an archaeologist, lecturer, teacher, film consultant and author, personally excavating the pieces within his collecting during his 25 years in the Holy Land. He recorded his findings in a book “The Bible was my Treasure Map” published in 1958 following his death.
A Byzantine Bronze Ring, ca. 5th century CE
RJ2108Regular price $350 USD
The flat oval bezel incised with a stylized cross pattern, with small diagonal dashes decorating the negative space.
Dimensions: US ring size 6 1/4
Condition: Intact and in very condition overall with good green-brown patination.
Provenance: Alex Malloy collection, acquired in the 1970s - 80s.
A Byzantine Glass Cosmetic Container with Applicator, ca. 4th century CE
RG1417Regular price $2,500 USD
of hexagonal form, elaborately decorated, one side with large central cross and original bronze applicator fused to the bottle
Condition: small loss to the shoulder otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 275 inches (7 cm); Width: 1.5 inches (3.81 cm)
Provenance: Private Texas collection, acquired in the 1960's and then by descent. Exhibited: Workhouse Art Center, Virginia, Glass National 2016, October, 2016- January 2017.
A Byzantine Gold and Glass Gnostic Magical Token, ca. 4th century CE
RG2005Regular price $1,950 USD
Abraxas gems, gnostic gems or magical gems were small intaglios worn as pendants, rings, or kept in small bags made of fabric or leather to protect against disaster, danger, and disease. Of oval form with the remains of gold leaf below, the intaglio surface etched with a deity clad in a Roman chest plate (cuirass). He holds an Egyptian flail in his right hand and a small round shield in his left, within a rope pattern border.
Background: Abraxas is a deity in the Gnostic faith. In Gnostic cosmology, the 7 letters spelling its name represent each of the 7 classic planets—Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. It was engraved on certain antique gemstones, called Abraxas stones, as the initial spelling on stones was ‘Abrasax’ (Αβρασαξ) and were used as amulets or charms. Opinions abound on Abraxas, who in recent centuries has been claimed to be both an Egyptian god and a demon. The Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung wrote a short Gnostic treatise in 1916 called The Seven Sermons to the Dead, which called Abraxas a God higher than the Christian God and Devil, that combines all opposites into one Being.
Dimensions: Length: 2 cm (0.78 inches)
Condition: Heavy surface wear and chips to the intaglio edge otherwise intact with good iridescence.
Provenance: Paul Ilton private collection, acquired prior to 1958.
A Byzantine Gold Token, ca. 4th - 6th Century CE
RJ2102Regular price $525 USD
Condition: With small losses to the edge, overall intact.
Dimensions: Width: 3/4 inch (1.9 cm)
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired in the 1980s.
A Byzantine Seal Blank, ca. 10th - 11th Century CE
RB902Regular price $150 USD
In order to produce a lead seal, one first had to obtain a blank lead disk with a channel running through it such as this example. Such disks, either completely flat or with a raised central channel, were produced by casting. Slate molds for their production have been found in the excavations at Corinth; each shows a deep groove meant to receive a wire which, when removed from the casting, would leave the necessary channel. Of course, proper alignment of the two halves of the mold was important, and in order to ensure it, molds have small depressions – and corresponding mounds – near their edges. But occasionally the fit was not perfect and there are seals with an overlap or projection of metal halfway between their two surfaces. The diameter of blanks varied considerably from under one centimeter to almost eight centimeters for especially large seals; the most common formats range between 1.5 and 4.5 cm. One may imagine that in larger cities – particularly Constantinople – lead blanks of all sizes were available, but in more remote localities it is clear that only some sizes were cast, for seals of provincial officials survive that were consistently struck on undersized blanks. (Oikonomides, Nicolas “Byzantine Lead Seals” Dumbarton Oaks 1985, page 5, #4a-c.).
Condition: Intact in good condition overall.
PLEASE NOTE: THE WHITE COATING ON EARLY LEAD SEALS IS LEAD OXIDE AND VERY TOXIC IF INGESTED. LEAD SEALS MUST BE HANDLED WITH CARE AND SHOULD NEVER BE HANDLED BY CHILDREN UNLESS UNDER SUPERVISION.
Dimensions: Width: 1 cm (1/2 inch)
Provenance: Private California collection, ex Malter galleries.
A Byzantine Silver Portrait Ring, ca. 6th century CE
RJ2145Regular price $3,950 USD
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall, a very wearable ring.
Dimensions: US ring size 8 (UK=Q, DE=18, CH=17 3/4, JP=16)
Provenance: David S. Lavender (Antiques), London UK, as part of a collection assembled prior to early 2000s, thereafter private Canadian collection.
A Campanian Calene Ware Guttos, ca. 350 - 300 BCE
GP2103Regular price $950 USD
Condition: Complete, with a few very minor rim flakes and a small chip to the foot rim that does not detract, the spout has been reattached with minor cosmetic restoration over the break line.
Dimensions: Height: 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm)
Provenance: Private Florida collection, acquired from Charles Ede, London, 11/6/2001.