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Byzantine Gold, Garnet, Emerald, and Pearl Earrings, ca. 1100-1300 CE
RJ2119Regular price $15,000 USD
Jewelry and other luxury items worn and used by members of Byzantine society encoded complex messages about the wearer’s social status, wealth, piety, and political and religious connections. Gold, silver, pearls, and precious gemstones were not only considered beautiful but also signaled a wearer’s understanding of esoteric decorative motifs, as well as access to valuable materials and the elite artists that crafted them. It was believed such jewelry provided contact with the numinous powers of the holy world of the saints, while simultaneously serving as public expressions of faithful piety as well as protecting their wearers against spiritual and physical evils.Condition: Set with modern 18K gold posts for wearing, these earrings are intact and in very good condition overall. Just fabulous!
Dimensions: Length: 3 inches (7.5 cm)
Provenance: ex. professional ancient art and jewelry expert, previously with a London gallery; initially from a private British collection formed in the 1980s.
A Costa Rican Jade Pendant Mask, ca. 300 - 500 CE, restrung on ruby necklace
PJ2157Regular price $1,950 USD
Jade was especially appreciated by Mesoamerican and Lower Central American people because of its green color. This stone was associated with water, and vegetation, especially young, maturing corn. For this reason, it was also related to life and death. Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Costa Rican elites particularly appreciated jade carvings and artifacts and commissioned elegant pieces from skillful artisans. Jade was traded and exchanged among elite members as a luxury item all over the pre-Hispanic American world and is often found in elite burial contexts, as personal adornments. It was replaced by gold very late in time in Mesoamerica, and around 500 AD in Costa Rica and Lower Central America.
Condition: Incomplete, with loss to the top right and chin area, that surprisingly does not detract, otherwise intact and well carved. A truly attractive and appealing necklace.
Dimensions: Height: 1 1/2 Inches (3.5 cm)
Provenance: Pendant: Mirtha Virginia de Perea (1929 - 2019) private collection of Costa Rican art. Mrs. de Perea spent her entire 48-year career with the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC, achieving the rank of Cultural Minister-Counselor and Consul after having started as a secretary. She was a devoted patron of the arts, promoting numerous local artists and sponsoring many cultural events throughout her career. She also amassed an impressive collection of Latin American art. After retiring in 1999, she became a US citizen and continued her support of the arts through her membership in the Women’s Committee of the Washington National Opera and other local groups.
A rare Egyptian green Glazed Terracotta Plaque, New Kingdom, ca. 1550 - 1069 BCE
EA2070Regular price $750 USD
Condition: Minor loss to suspension loop otherwise intact and in very good condition overall, with good remaining traces of original green glaze.
Dimensions: Height: 1 1/4 inches (3 cm)
Provenance: Hansen private collection, Wisconsin, acquired from Susette Khayat, Ancient Art Objects New York, between 1955-58.
A Roman Bronze Head of a Bull, ca. 1st - 2nd century CE
RB2112Regular price $3,500 USD
Representations of bulls are perhaps one of the most popular types of animal figurines within the Roman world. Apart from the common threat of bull imagery in the ancient realm, with its fertility symbolism, bull representations may have been considered appropriate because the animal itself was the quintessential animal of sacrifice. Another possibility is that the bulls were considered appropriate for specific cults, for instance, those of Dionysus or Jupiter.
Published: Christie's, NY, Antiquities Auction, 5th December 2001, lot #633
Condition: Tips to the horns missing that do not detract, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall. A very nice example, offered on a museum-quality custom mount.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm)
Provenance: Property of a European Gentleman, thereafter a Maryland private collection, acquired from the NY trade in 2003.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Semset, 30th Dynasty, ca. 343 - 300 BCE
EU2129Regular price $3,950 USD
Mummiform, fine quality, faience with light blue glaze (mostly stained to brown or green). Details in relief, with a striated tripartite wig, long plaited divine beard, facial details in quality relief, hands crossed over the chest carrying a pick and hoe, seed sack on a cord suspended over the left shoulder, with a dorsal pillar and trapezoidal base, a single column of vertical incised hieroglyphic text on the front that reads: "The illuminated, the Osiris, Semset, born to Renpet- neferet, justified”
Aubert, J., Aubert, L., Statuettes funeraires egyptiennes du department des Monnaies, Medalles et Antiques ( France, 2005) pp. 142 - 143 no. 61, Inv. Nr. 822
Decker, S. Uschebti – agyptische Dienerfiguren einer deutschen Privatsammlung, (Kempen, 2005) pp. 124 – 125.
Dimensions: Height: 12 cm (4.7 inches)
Condition: Staining, chip at proper right of feet, otherwise in fine condition and with very good detailing; particularly attractive variegated blue and green glaze.
Provenance: Dr. Peter Gray private collection, Liphook, Hampshire, 1950s, thereafter Macalpine private collection, London, 1974-1980. Art Loss Certificate No: S00048958.
An early Egyptian Copper Mirror, First Intermediate Period, ca. 2181 - 2055 BCE
EB1804Regular price $1,750 USD
The thin elliptical mirror disc, once burnished to a gleaming reflective surface, connects to a short tang that would have been inserted into a handle. The modern wooden handle seen here is modeled after those used in ancient times.
Reflecting the image of a person, the mirror disc was associated with vitality, generation, and regeneration. Further, the elliptical form and light-giving quality reflect that of the sun disk, and to a lesser extent the lunar as well.
Cf. Petrie Objects of Daily Use (Oxford, 1927), p. 32 & pl. xxviii, no. 35 for an identical example from an Old Kingdom tomb at Qau.
Dimensions: 16 cm (6.3 inches) x 16.5 cm (6.5 inches)
Condition: With a few minor losses to the edges, a minor dent in the upper surface, and small areas of corrosion, overall intact and in good condition. The wood handle is a museum-quality custom mount.
Provenance: Orange County private collection, California, acquired in the 1970s.
A rare Jade Female Celt Pendant, Cosa Rica, Early Classic Period, ca. 5th - 12th century CE
PJ2122Regular price $2,950 USD
These features, together with the posture suggest a shaman or healer in the middle of a ritual performance or magical transformation, especially given that both women and men could be healers in ancient Costa Rican society. a pale blue figural celt with incised hands, knobbed cheeks, drilled eyes, and incised headband Drilled through the neck for suspension, this pendant was likely worn as the centerpiece of a necklace with additional beads of jade, greenstone, bone and/or wood.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall with no chips, cracks or breaks. A very fine example.
Dimensions: Height: 6 inches (15.24 cm)
Provenance: Mirtha Virginia de Perea (1929 - 2019) private collection of Costa Rican art. Original collection sticker (4) on back. Mrs. de Perea spent her entire 48-year career with the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC, achieving the rank of Cultural Minister-Counselor and Consul after having started as a secretary. She was a devoted patron of the arts, promoting numerous local artists and sponsoring many cultural events throughout her career. She also amassed an impressive collection of Latin American art. After retiring in 1999, she became a US citizen and continued her support of the arts through her membership in the Women’s Committee of the Washington National Opera and other local groups.
Rare Bronze Horse Head from the Biblical Land of Sheba, ca. 2nd century BCE - 1st century CE
MB2101Regular price $3,950 USD
from the biblical land of Sheba, a rare cast bronze South Arabian horse protome or dagger handle. The distinctive head with engraved mane and inlaid eyes beneath heavy ribbed brows, the braided harness with blinders behind the eyes, two holes for attachment at the base of the neck.
Originating on the Arabian Peninsula, the fine Arabian horse is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest, with archaeological depictions dating back 4,200 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bones. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.
Legend has it that the Queen of Sheba presented King Solomon with a mare named Safanad, meaning “the pure”. Safanad is believed to be the founding mother of all Arabian horses, the oldest of all horse breeds. According to myth, Safanad was created from the four winds. The animal was endowed with spirit from the North, strength from the South, speed from the East, and intelligence from the West.
Published: Sotheby's, New York, June 12, 2001, lot 298
Condition: Scattered areas of deep green surface patina on a red-bronze oxide ground. Missing one ear but otherwise in very good condition. Custom mounted. A rare and exciting example for any horse lover.
Dimensions: Height: 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm)
Provenance: Deaccessioned from the Santa Barbara Museum, CA, 2001 thereafter a private Florida collection.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Nahkt-Amun, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1293 - 1185 BCE
EU2127Regular price $12,000 USD
Blue glazed faience shabti with features highlighted in black, with a long tripartite wig, large painted eyes, and wearing the dress of daily life, comprising a long kilt, a sheer blouse with elaborately pleated sleeves, and a triangular apron. The hands lie flat on the front, framing a vertical column of text naming the owner as Nahkt-Amun.
In the New Kingdom (1570-1070 BCE), during the reign of Tuthmosis IV (1419-1386 BCE) of the 18th Dynasty, the role of shabtis changed. They were then regarded as deputies for the deceased. Agricultural implements were now included as part of their iconography, either painted directly onto the figure or incorporated in the modeling. By the early 19th Dynasty a new type of figure was introduced alongside the other shabtis. These show the deceased wearing the dress of daily life with the characteristic short-sleeved tunic, kilt, and triangular apron. The number of shabtis placed in burials gradually increased during the New Kingdom and reached perhaps as many as 10 by the early 19th Dynasty with the number increasing still further thereafter. Wooden shabti boxes or pottery shabti jars were introduced as a means of storing the figures in the tomb and were often beautifully painted.
Dimensions: Height: 5.5 inches. (14 cm)
Condition: Small nearly invisible break/repair at ankles, surface loss to the back of the left shoulder, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Published: Damien Libert Paris Auction, February 16, 2012 lot #66.
Provenance: Private French collection of Mr. Brun, assembled before 1970, accompanied by signed provenance letter from Damien Libert, Art Loss Certificate No: S00057914, and a copy of the French export license.
An Egyptian Faience Amulet of a Recumbent Lion, Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332 - 30 BCE
EA2118Regular price $4,500 USD
With exceptional detail, a very fine pale turquoise glazed faience amulet in the form of a recumbent lion, on an integrated base, the front paws outstretched, the tail curling around the right haunch, a loop for attachment at the top.
Throughout Egyptian history, the lion played an important role in religious beliefs and was represented in Egyptian art since the earliest periods. As the lion was regarded as the mightily changing aspect of the sun, the funerary bier was quite often in the guise of a lion bed; a place of resting and rejuvenation for the returning sun. The lion is also depicted on the astronomical ceiling of the tomb of Seti 1, as a guardian within the place of eternity, and was one of the apotropaic gods. In Persian times, the lion was venerated as the god Mahes assimilated to Nefertem. The hoop on the spine for suspension recalls a protective spell against snakes when it is sewn on red linen. Overall, this lion amulet guaranteed its owner not only the animal's strength and courage but also its regenerative powers.
Dimensions: Height: 4 cm (1.57 inches)
Condition: Very minor chip to the left ear, very small loss to the right corner of base restored, neither of which detract, overall intact and in excellent condition.
Provenance: Ex. Charles Gillot Collection (1853 - 1903), France, thereafter a private Virginia collection, acquired in 2015.
Published: Christie's Paris, March 4-5 2008, lot 123; and Christie's London, October 7, 2010, lot 323.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Waibresaneith, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
EU2105Regular price $15,000 USD
Aside from the overall fine quality, perhaps the most striking feature of this large faience shabti is the unusual striated tripartite wig inlaid with a soft blue glaze paste. Shown mummiform, it is made from high-quality faience with light blue/green glaze as is befitting for an important nobleman. The facial details are in high relief, there is a plaited divine beard, and the hands, that cross over the chest, carry a pick and hoe for work in the afterlife. The right hand also holds a cord that suspends over the left shoulder to support a seed bag on his back. As is typical for Late Period shabtis, there is a wide dorsal pillar, and the figure stands on a trapezoidal base. Seven horizontal bands of incised hieroglyphic from Chapter VI of the Book of the Dead text wrap around legs naming the owner as Wa-w(a)-wer, whose good name was Wah-ib-re-sa-neith.
Wah-ib-re-sa-neith held many titles including Administrator of the Estates, Prince and Mayor, Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt, etc. His mother is Ta-hi, Sistrum player of Neith, Lady of Sais; grandparents were Hor-em-Khebit and Iset-Irdis. [Janes]. “ The illuminate one, the Osiris, the ‘Administrator of the Estates’, Wa-w(a)-wer, his good name, Wah-ib-re-sa-neith (son of), ...” [Janes].
1. Janes, pp. 156 - 157 no. 82 Wa-w(a)-wer DYN 26 Janes
2. Loffet, pp. 210 - 213 no. 68 Ouaou-our DYN 26 - 27
3. Decker, pp. 86 -87 Wa-ib-re-sa-neith - Wa-w(a)-wir DYN 26 Reign of Psammetich II – Ahmose II
Dimensions: Height: 7 1/4 inches (18.4 cm)
Condition: Intact and excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Ex Boston Private Collection, thereafter Virginia private collection, acquired from the New York trade in 2007. Probably from Sais (Janes).
An Egyptian Superb Azure Blue Glazed Wadj Amulet, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21, ca. 1069 - 945 BCE
EA2117Regular price $2,500 USD
Known in Egyptian as a wadj, this papyrus-column amulet is made from faience with a superb bright blue/green glaze, and has a pierced suspension ring at the top. Green fresh plant life represented youthfulness, new life and rebirth to the Egyptians, and the presence of this particular amulet on the body was to ensure that the deceased remained forever young, and was not injured. Both Chapters 159 and 160 concern a papyrus column of feldspar to be placed at the throat of the deceased: 'If it is sound, I am healthy; if it is undamaged, I am uninjured; if it is not struck, I am unwounded . .. my limbs shall not become dried out.'
A papyrus scepter was often carried by goddesses and the plant was the emblem of Lower Egypt and its patroness Wadjyt; hence its amuletic form not only guaranteed the wearer rejuvenation, it also linked them with the divine and in particular one of the great protective goddesses.
Condition: Professionally rejoined from two pieces, the amulet is complete and in very good condition overall. Superb bright blue glaze.
Dimensions: Height: 2 3/4 inches (6.9 cm)
Provenance: Private Virginia collection, acquired from Royal Athena Gallery, NYC, 2014, JME collection, NY, acquired Bonhams, London, Dec 1993, previously a private English collection, acquired in the 1930s.
A Maya Turquoise Lord-King Pendant, Classical Period, ca. 550 - 950 CE
PA2101Regular price $2,950 USD
Carved in low relief from veined turquoise, the pendant depicting the portrait head of a lord-king wearing a large elaborate headdress above a scowling face with glaring eyes, a wide, nose, pursed lips, and full cheeks, wearing a pair of ear spools, the back uncarved, a hole drilled bilaterally through the headdress for suspension.
Greenstone pendants of all types were worn vertically in some fashion, whether as a pectoral or in a diadem. This example was most likely worn as a necklace due to the horizontal drill hole that would have allowed it to be strung and hung around the neck as well as the uncarved back of the pendant.
Ref: Stone-Miller, Rebecca, Seeing with New Eyes, Atlanta: Emory University (2002), p. 30.
Doyle, James. “Ancient Maya Sculpture.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall
Provenance: Ex. collection of Ian Arundel, Los Angeles CA, assembled between 1960 - 1970, thereafter in the collection of R. Jerry Bock, Hawaii.
An Egyptian Faience Lotus Terminal, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1295 BCE
EJ1809Regular price $7,500 USD
A broad collar terminal in the form of a lotus, comprising of yellow, green, red, white, and blue glazed faience. Pierced for attachment.
Dimensions: Length: 5.2 cm ( 2 inches), Width: 4.8 (1.9 inches)
Condition: Broken right corner professionally rejoined, otherwise complete.
Provenance: Private collection of former French diplomat Noel Giron (1884–1941). Giron, (or Aime-Giron, as he called himself after his famous father, the poet and the editor of Le Figaro) was a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre, where he studied Egyptian, Demotic, and Coptic under Eugene Revillout. Giron also studied religious studies, history, classical philology, and modern oriental languages at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne. Giron originally planned to attend the Institut francais d'archeologie orientale and pursue an academic career, but he abandoned that plan and became a career diplomat in the French foreign ministry instead. He nevertheless maintained his scholarly interest in texts, especially inscriptions in languages as diverse as Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Nabatean, Persian, Phoenician, and Greek. Although scholarship was but an avocation for him, he published several scholarly works. He published Legendes Coptes in 1907, and although the bibliographic record of his publications does not show it, he remained interested in the indigenous language of Egypt for the rest of his life.
A Viking Green Glass Bead, ca. 9th - 11th century CE
RJ2142Regular price $550 USD
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Bead length: 3/4 inch (1.9 cm). The 18K gold modern chain is adjustable up to 18" (45.5 cm)
Provenance: Ex. Cyrus Collection, acquired from Edward Safani, (1912-1998), NYC.
A rare Mixtec Serpent Head Jade Bead, ca. 13th - 15th century CE
PJ2110Regular price $7,500 USD
Exquisitely carved from a single piece of jade into the cylindrical form of a serpent head, the long forked tongue, curved fangs, raised snout, hinged jaw, and wide staring eyes rendered in relief, all incised around the open "mouth" or suspension hole drilled through the length of the bead.
Similar effigy beads representing standing or squatting men were believed to have been worn or strung in the hair of mummy bundles as protective devices, and also may have doubled as important trade items (Stone-Miller 48).
Jade was one of the most highly prized materials throughout ancient Pre-Columbia. Jade beads first appeared in Olmec tombs around 1000 BCE in a distinctive blue-green tone. Apple-green jade began appearing in Mayan and Teotihuacan offerings in the first millennium CE, probably sourced from the Guatemalan highlands. Jade seemed to have diminished in the Post-Classic Period (ca. 900 - 1500 CE) and as a result, Mixtec and Aztec offerings were often of less brilliantly colored stone or were reworked from earlier Olmec and Mayan pieces (Dubin 246).
Ref: Dubin, Lois Sherr. The Worldwide History of Beads, London: Thames and Hudson (1987), pp. 246-50.
Stone-Miller, Rebecca, Seeing with New Eyes: Highlights of the Michael C. Carlos Museum Collection of Art of the Ancient Americas (2002), p. 48.
Dimensions: Length: 1 3/8 inches (3.5 cm), Width: 3/4 inch (1.9 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private Florida collection. Previously in the collection of Keith Finello, who had one of the finest private collections of Pre Columbian jade in North America.
A Roman millefiori Glass Bead, Egypt, Roman Period, ca. 1st Century CE
RJ2141Regular price $395 USD
Unlike most beads in which the decoration is applied over a solid color core bead, this millefiori glass bead is entirely made from a slab of millefiori cane slices fused together, wound around a rod, and formed into a ball. This technique results in considerable distortion of the original pattern. Each cane “flower” comprises alternating green and white petals around a center of yellow, and red. A lovely example!
Dimensions: Length: 3/8 inch (13 mm)
Condition: Surface wear to the body with both terminals showing signs of stringing. Intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Greenwich, Connecticut private collection, acquired from Black Rock Galleries, reference number # 130236 (part).
An Egyptian Faience Ball Bead Pendant, ca. 2141 - 2122 BCE
EJ2107Regular price $650 USD
This is an example of Middle Kingdom faience at its best! Although hand-made, it is almost perfectly round and the smooth glazed surface flirts between blue and green. Both these colors the ancient Egyptians particularly associated with magical representations of new life, rejuvenation, and rebirth. After 4000 years, this lovely bead has been strung once more for wearing as a pendant necklace with a modern, adjustable 14K solid gold chain. This adjustable chain allows you to wear the pendant at its longest length of 22-inches or shorten it to your preference depending on the outfit.
For related ball bead examples see, British Museum accession number: EA3084
Dimensions: Bead Length: 1 cm (0.39 inches). Strung on an adjustable 22-inch 14k gold chain.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Lenman/Stohlman collection assembled by the Washington D.C. socialite Miss Isobel H. Lenman (1845 - 1931), in the early 1900s on loan to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., between 1916 and 1921
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.