A Roman Gold Grape Earring, ca 1st century CE
RJ1313Regular price $1,500 USD
mold-make central front panel with large granules arranged to form a grape, a twisted loop wire at the back.
Romans often used a grape motif in their art, especially jewelry. Significant to Roman everyday life, grapes are the main ingredients of wine. The Roman belief that wine was a daily necessity made the drink democratic and ubiquitous. Wine was available to slaves, peasants, women and aristocrats alike. To ensure the steady supply of wine to Roman soldiers and colonists, viticulture and wine production spread to every part of the empire. Early Roman culture was sharply influenced by the ancient Greeks. Thus, wine had religious, medicinal and social roles that set it apart from other Roman cuisine. As Rome entered its golden age of winemaking and the era of expansion, an egalitarian approach to wine started to emerge. Wine was increasingly viewed as a necessity of everyday life rather than simply a luxury enjoyed by the elite. Though such gold jewelry may not have been enjoyed by lower classes, the grape motif celebrates Rome as the great Republic that it was, making the earrings not simply a symbol of excess and elitism.
Condition: Some expected denting to the granules but otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall. A very charming example.
Dimensions: Length 1.9 cm (3/4 inch)
Provenance: Forming part of the James Stephan Snr. collection, assembled in the 1950's to early 1960's and then by descent. Dr. Stephan was a US intelligence officer who also held a degree in archaeology. He was posted in the Anatolian region of Turkey with the US government during this time, and acquired his collection from dealers and villagers throughout the region.
A Holy Land Gold Brooch, ca late 4th century BCE
MJ1305Regular price $1,650 USD
of high karat sheet gold, the raised central boss with a large granule, the base framed by a band of twisted filigree wire, the star border framed with roped filigree wire and tipped with granules, two hoops for attachment on the back.
Condition: Fine and quite fragile with small structural losses to the center and edges, some granule loss, still a lovely example overall.
Dimensions: Diameter: 3.6cm (1 1/2 in)
Provenance: Paul Ilton private collection, acquired prior to 1958
A fine Thracian Armlet, ca 4th Century BCE
GJ201Regular price $1,500 USD
Silver armlet of sheet; a hammered circular metal strip contracting in width at each end with small hook terminals that fasten together.
Armlets such as this example were worn by the Thracians not only as decorative ornaments, but also as used as currency, votive offerings, and worn as insignia of rank. A wide spectrum of Thracian armlets were produced, this piece being one of the more modest examples. The most extravagant armlets were made of gold with several loops and fine engraving.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition, with some patina accumulation throughout surface.
Dimensions: Diameter at widest: 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), length of piece 12 inches (30.5 centimeters)
Provenance: Private NY collection, acquired from the trade in the 1970's
A fine Greek Gold Pendant, Hellenistic Period, ca 3rd century BCE
GJ905Regular price $4,950 USD
In the form of a disk with a raised central boss adorned with filigree and granulation, framed by bands of twisted and plain wire filigree and granulation, joined to a crescent, the tips both terminating in a three-petal rosette above inverted pyramids of granulation, the suspension loop fronted by a two-tiered rosette centered by a granule.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall. Very fine workmanship.
Dimensions: height: 11/16 in. (1.7 cm.)
Provenance: Vermon Pick private collection, acquired in the 1950's and then by descent.
A Roman Intaglio of an Equestrian Warrior, ca 1st century CE
RJ1303Regular price $12,000 USD
This beautiful intaglio is carved in a piece of bright blue and green striped mosaic glass, formed by laminating individual pieces in separate colors under great heat which causes them to fuse together. On its surface, a horse and mounted warrior have been carved in great detail; the bearded warrior is fully armed - wearing a large crested helmet, breast plate, a great shield on his back, he holds the reigns of his horse in his left hand. This superb intaglio was set as a ring in 1989 and is itself a striking example of wearable art. Cast in rich 22K gold, the oval bezel joins a seperately made hoop inlaid with braided wire filigree of platinum and gold, of a style typical of Roman rings during the late Byzantine period. The interior of the shank is inscribed: c1989 Ariadne 22KT, Tim Koheki 1-29.
Mosaic glass objects were manufactured using a laborious and time-consuming technique. Multicolored canes of mosaic glass were created, then stretched to shrink the patterns and either cut across into small, circular pieces or lengthwise into strips. These were placed together to form a flat circle, heated until they fused, and the resulting disk was then sagged over or into a mold to give the object its shape. Almost all cast objects required polishing on their edges and interiors to smooth the imperfections caused by the manufacturing process; the exteriors usually did not require further polishing because the heat of the annealing furnace would create a shiny, "fire polished" surface.
For related examples of such intaglios see: Marshall, FH ; Catalogue of the Finger Rings Greek, Etruscan & Roman in the Department of Antiquities, British Museum (London, 1907) pl.12, no.396 and Spier, Jeffrey "Ancient Gems and Finger Rings, Catalogue of the Collections, The J. Paul Getty Museum" (California, 1992) p. 145-152.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. A very fine and rare example.
Dimensions: US ring size 5 1/2
Provenance: Acquired Ariadne Gallery, New York after 1989, thereafter in a private FL collection.
All photos copyright Kornbluth Photography, Maryland
A rare middle Assyrian Bull Pendant, ca. 16th - 10th century BCE
MJ002Regular price $20,000 USD
possibly from Ashur, a superbly carved and detailed bull-calf of mottled red-brown agate with high karat gold wire and turned around the body.
For a very similar example and discussion see: Maxwell-Hyslop, K.R. "Western Asiatic Jewellery" (1971) page 177 ill. 111
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition. Museum quality, a rare and exceptional example.
Dimensions: Length: 1.5cm (5/8") Height: 1.5 cm (5/8 inch)
Provenance: Vernon Pick private collection, acquired in the late 1950s.
A rare Thracian Roundel, ca 1st century CE
MJ808Regular price $950 USD
of high karat yellow gold, the thin gold sheet hammered into a flower design and repoussed with details, with two loop handles for attachment at the back.
Condition: Small structural losses to the centre and edges, split in one area and somewhat crushed.
Dimensions: Diameter: 3.1 cm (1 3/16 in)
Provenance: Paul Ilton private collection, acquired prior to 1958.
An Egyptian stucco and gold earring, Ptolemaic Period, ca 332 - 30 BCE
EJ201Regular price $2,000 USD
Probably from a cartonnage mask, this piece with base in the shape of a deeply convex oval, the gold plating in 4 rows of 2 alternating designs; one resembling a row of solid beads separated by small granulated spacers, the other with a more decorative geometrical pattern of granulation and small beads.
Condition: The piece has been professionally rejoined, it is complete and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 2 inches (5 cm)
Provenance: Emile Brugsch, assistant curator of the Bulaq Museum, 1894.
A Roman carnelian ring stone Intaglio of Nike, ca 2nd century CE
RJ004Regular price $1,950 USD
With a well-incised depiction of Victoria, goddess of Victory (equivalent to the Greek goddess Nike) shown standing in left profile, holding a wreath and palm branch. Set in an 18K late Georgian antique gold ring.
Carnelian was known in the 4th-5th millennia BCE and was used in the decorative arts of Bronze Age civilizations, including Cretan, Assyrian, Egyptian, Phoenician, and Greek. Because hot wax does not stick to carnelian, the stone always had popularity as a material for seals of all kinds. The finest Roman jewelry was Hellenistic in influence, and often produced by Greek craftsmen working in Alexandria, Antioch, or Rome itself.
Condition: Scratches and a small break to the ring bezel but overall intact and in very good condition, a very charming example of type.
Dimensions: US ring size 5 1/2
Provenance: Private mid-west collection.