A fine Mayan Stone Vulture Hacha, ca. 500 - 800 CE
PS2101Regular price $12,000 USD
Mesoamerican ballplayers wore protective gear called hachas, palmas, and yokes to protect their hips and abdomens from the impact of the game’s solid rubber ball. In painting and sculpture, the yoke is shown worn around the player’s hips, the palma or hacha attached at the front. Those used during active play were most likely made of wood or some other light material; stone versions such as this one were worn, if at all, during ballgame-related rituals, or placed on display. Given the distinctive design of each hacha, both those worn and those carved in stone may have served to identify teams or individuals.
The name hacha refers to the axe-like form of many examples(hacha is Spanish for axe), including the one seen here. The form of these pieces is unique, with the back slightly wider than the front where the sides converge to a sharp point. Facial features and other details are carved in low relief, each side a mirror image of the other. Here, the artist depicted a detailed rendering of the subject. Each head feather is carefully rendered individually, with increased depth of relief from front to back, mimicking how vulture feathers overlap in nature. The rounded form of the cheeks, the long curved open beak with the drilled nostril, and large recessed eye suggest the alertness of the bird as it spies and focusses on its prey.
Dimensions: Height: 11 1/4 inches (28.5 cm), Width: 8 inches (20.32 cm)
Condition: Excellent surface patina with minor loss to the lower base corner, and other small indicative signs of use that do not detract, otherwise the piece is intact and in excellent condition overall and mounted on a custom-built museum quality stand.
Provenance: Private Florida physician's collection, acquired from George Martinez, December 2003, who acquired it in the 1950s. With a copy of the provenance letter from George Martinez.
A Published Biblical Canaanite golden Locust, ca. 11th century BCE
MJ1903Regular price $75,000 USD
Price on Request
From the time of the Prophet Samuel, this remarkable gold locust has a naturalistic body with folded wings and indentations detailing the face, neck, and back. Two long gold wires attached to the stomach to form four small legs, and a thicker piece of incised wire attached on either side as the long back legs.
Published: Ilton, Paul "The Bible was my Treasure Map" (1958). Mr. Ilton dedicates a chapter in his book about this piece. Allegedly discovered in a Canaanite temple in Beth-Shen, (pg. 63), he believed it to be "proof of the celebrated locust worship by pagan Philistine and Canaanite priests," (pg. 61). He refers to a ritual in which golden insects were offered, perhaps with the intention to hold back plagues, which is described in the Book of Samuel, chapter 6 verses 4 and 5; Then they said, "What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him?" They said, "Five golden tumors, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines; for one plague was on you all, and on your lords. Therefore you shall make images of your tumors, and images of your mice that mar the land; and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.
Exhibited: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY . "From the Land of the Bible" traveling exhibition, , 1953.
Dimensions: 32 mm (1 1/4 inches)
Condition: Intact and in very fine condition overall. A rare and important object.
Provenance: Paul Ilton private collection, acquired prior to 1958.
An Egyptian Bronze Sistrum, 26th Dynasty, Saite Period, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
EB2002Regular price $27,500 USD
A sistrum, or sesesh, is an ancient Egyptian sacred percussion instrument held by ancient Egyptian priestesses that were shaken to accompany the chanting during temple rituals, festive processions, religious ceremonies, and when coming into the presence of a deity. It is thought to have imitated the sound of papyrus stalks being shaken, echoing an ancient rite connected with the myth in which the god Horus was raised in secret in a papyrus marsh.
The overall shape of this sistrum resembles the ankh symbol meaning life. The cylindrical handle terminates in the form of the "Bat emblem" which was associated with the goddess Hathor, patroness of music. Here, she wears a wig with curly ends, bovine ears, and is adorned with a large wesekh collar. Sound disks in the form of cymbal-like pieces of bronze, move on three metal bars fitted into holes in the high arch which themselves move, to rattle against one another. In this example, one sound disk still remains. Hathor's shoulders are surmounted by projecting cobras wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. At the base of the arch is a seated cat, possibly representing solar associations or the pacifying aspect of the goddess soothed by the sound of the sistrum.
Condition: Some of the sounds disks now missing, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 11 inches (28 cm)
Provenance: Ex. Belgian collection formed in the 1970s, thereafter private Virginia collection, acquired from the NY trade.
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 Phoenician Carved Tridacna Shell with Bird's Head, ca. 630 - 580 BCE
MJ2103Regular price $18,000 USD
This shell, carved from Tridacna squamosa, a type of giant saltwater clam that flourished in the warm waters of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, was used to carve a distinctive type of cosmetic container for a short period between the late seventh and the early sixth century BCE The elongated form has a deeply fluted exterior and a concave interior, the umbo (the protrusion at the top of the shell) is simply but powerfully carved in the form of a bird's head, featuring large drilled eyes on either side of a triangular beak. Below the head, the natural fluted folds of the shell give the impression of the bird's widespread wings. The sides suggest further carving was done, perhaps feet or wing feathers but it is very worn and now hard to make out. The exterior has been smoothed and polished to bring out the natural beauty of the shell, thus resulting in a luxury item of impressive power and beauty.
Background: Produced in workshops along the Syrio-Phoenician coast, these cosmetic shells were distributed as far as Susa to the east and mainland Greece to the west when flourishing trade with these cultures supplied the keen demand for foreign luxury goods. Production of these containers had a relatively short lifespan — beginning with the Assyrian withdrawal from the coast and ending with the Babylonian conquest. Only about a hundred containers of this type survive with most examples found in sanctuaries of female deities, but examples are also known from female tombs on Rhodes.
Cataloged into groups by archaeologist Rolf Stucky in the 1970s, engraved tridacna shells feature a wide range of motifs, including sphinxes, griffins, birds, and a variety of plants. While umbos also featured different effigies, most excavated examples are of siren’s heads; birds are much rarer and have been categorized into a special subset (Stucky 1974). Within this subset, no two excavated examples are exactly alike, making this extraordinary piece very unique.
Reference: Stucky, Rolf A. 1974. "The Engraved Tridacna Shells." Dedalo 19. Sao Paulo, Brazil: Museo de arqueologia e etnologia universidade de Sao Paulo.
Brandl, B. 2001, 'Two Engraved Tridacna Shells from Tel Miqne-Ekron', Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 323, pp. 49-62.
Filimonos-Tsopotou, M. and Marketou, T. 2014, 'Les fouilles grecques', in Coulié, A. and Filimonos-Tsopotou, M., Rhodes, une île grecque aux portes de l’Orient, Paris, 63-75.
Furtwängler, A. 2011, ‘Tridacna – warum nicht auch mal griechisch?’ in O. Pilz and M. Vonderstein (eds), KERAUNIA, Beiträge zu Mythos, Kult und Heiligtum in der Antike, Berlin, 33–47.
Gardner, E.A. 1888, Naukratis. Part II (Sixth Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund), London.
Dimensions: Length: 6 1/4 inches (15.9 cm), Width: 4 inches (10.16 cm). Presented on a museum-quality custom mount.
Condition: Scattered areas of mineral deposits and surface encrustation and deep tan patina, with some minor edge roughness, otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Ex. Ian Beckmans, Netherlands and Germany, acquired before 1980, thereafter in a private NYC collection.
A Greek Terracotta Warrior on Horse, Canosa, circa 4th-3rd Century BCE
GT1902Regular price $18,000 USD
The rider wearing a Thracian helmet with cheek pieces, short pleated tunic attached at the shoulder with straps and buskins, and secured at the waist with a belt, his right arm raised to hold a now-missing weapon, the left by his side. He sits astride a separately modeled horse, with elaborate disc decorated bridle, the forelegs raised with upright rippling mane and attached flowing tail, creating a wonderful sense of movement.
Condition: Complete with extensive white slip, pink, and blue pigment remaining, overall in very good condition.
Dimensions: Height: 10 7/8 in (27.5 cm), Length: 11 1/4 inches (28.5 cm)
Provenance: Ex collection of Patrick Olivier Picourt, Aris, acquired in the 1980s; Mme. S., Paris.
An Egyptian Bronze Horus Falcon on a Sarcophagus, 26th Dynasty, ca. 646-525 BCE
EB1411Regular price $12,500 USD
Depicting the god Horus as a falcon, this well cast, and richly detailed falcon wears the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, fronted by the royal uraeus. The head has lidded oval eyes and a hooked beak. Thick, heavy ridges of the legs and rough skin of the talons contrast with the delicacy of the engraved feathering on the closed wings, uniting the power and majesty of the falcon. The falcon is centrally positioned on a rectangular sarcophagus, the narrow box tapering to a cavetto cornice, that originally housed either representative bones or the body of a small falcon.
Background: The soaring flight and predatory character of the falcon linked the mighty raptor to the god of the living king, Horus, early in the pharaonic tradition. The living king of Egypt was identified as an earthly Horus, and from the late Predynastic Period (c. 3100 BCE), the king bore a special royal “Horus name.” The falcon, as the sacred animal of Horus, came to symbolize divine kingship, as the king was the earthly representation of Horus. The common appearance of the Double Crown and uraeus on bronze figurines of falcons reinforces this royal connection. The falcon was also associated with the sky, with its eyes representing the sun and the moon and its large wings outspread to protect the earth below. Later, the falcon became associated with the sun god Re, bearing a sun disc on its head (known as Re-Harakhty). Other gods also had falcons as their sacred animals, such as Montu the god of war, who is distinguished by a double-plume headdress.
As with so many animals associated with the divine realm, during the later periods the falcon became the focus of mummification, burial, and votive offerings. The numerous bronze falcon statuettes are characterized by their upright, yet resting, stance with wings folded at the side. They range in size from small ornaments to large, freestanding figures with many of the larger examples hollow-cast with an inner compartment in which an actual bird could be deposited. Hundreds of thousands of mummified falcons were buried in extensive catacombs at sacred sites throughout Egypt. The Greco-Roman period temples at Philae and Edfu represent the final flourishing of the cult.
Hanfmann, G and Rowland, B. Jr., "Ancient Art at the Fogg Museum", Archaeology, Vol. 7, No. 3, 130-37.
Hart, George A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. (1986) Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, United Kingdom, p. 94.
Redford, Donald B. The Ancient Gods Speak. (2002) Oxford University Press, New York, NY. p.166.
Parallels: D. Pacha, Collection d'Antiquités Égyptiennes de Tigrane Pacha d'Abro, Paris, 1911, no. 28, pl. XVII.
Museum of Archaeology at Staten Island, Divine Images and Other Fabulous Creatures, Staten Island, 1978, no. 10.
R. Merhav, et al., A Glimpse Into the Past: The Joseph Ternbach Collection, Jerusalem, 1981, no. 121.
Condition: With a patina of rich dark brown with green, black, and red, the sarcophagus has lost the sealing plate at the back and there is also a small amount of loss to the right wall and base, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall. Mounted on a black museum-quality custom base (not shown in photos).
Dimensions: Height: 12.7 cm (5 inches), Length: 13.33 cm (5.25 inches)
Provenance: Private collection of Elsa and Dr. Pierre H. Bloch-Diener, Bern Switzerland, acquired between 1965 and 1983, private collection of Dr. R. Bigler acquired in 1987, the private collection of Jeffrey Simpson, Acton MA, acquired after 1994 from the NY trade.
A pair Chinese Equestrian Musicians, Northern Wei Period, ca. 386-534 CE
AT002-PBRegular price $12,000 USD
Condition: Age appropriate wear including flaking to the pigment; each equestrian figure with breaks to the legs of the horse, professionally rejoined, with good remaining polychrome.
Dimensions: Height: 7.5 ins (19 cm) Width: 9 ins (22.8cm)
Provenance: Private Washington D.C. collection, since 1970s, 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 Roman Marble Winged Lion-Griffin, ca. 1st - 2nd century CE
RS2001Regular price $9,500 USD
With its head held erect in ever-watchful alertness, hooked beak gaping wide as if screaming a warning, this griffin is the perfect visual embodiment of its fearful mythological subject. These hybrid monsters with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle were inspired in classical Greco-Roman times by the descriptions of beaked quadruped dinosaur fossils in gold deposits of Central Asia. Symbol of divine power and authority, this majestic creature comes to life, rising from its great hind legs, the powerful musculature of its body rippling with enormous strength; its front paws curled, almost relaxed, hiding deadly talons. The eagle head held aloft, cocked to the left for the bright, keen eye to better observe the viewer, the great sickle-shaped wings with their ornate pattern of incised feathers, are raised, almost touching and ready to fly. There is a handsome crest on the long neck and a pronounced rounded forelock at the top of the head.
Although carved in the round in white marble, the left side is unfinished and undoubtedly not intended for view, for it lacks the superb detailing and soft high sheen finish of the right. Despite this lack of definition, this complete composition signifies wealth and luxury, portraying a complex interplay of fierceness and resilient strength.
Dimensions: Height: 4 1/2 inches (11.43 cm), Length: 6 inches (15.2 cm)
Condition: Incomplete, with scattered areas of surface encrustation, losses to rear legs, front right paw, and tip of the left wing. Custom mounted on museum quality stand.
Provenance: Private Israeli collection assembled in the 1980s, thereafter with Sasson Gallery, Israel, 2000s, thereafter a private NYC collection.
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 Bloodstone Intaglio of a Warrior, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 1st century CE
RJ1502aRegular price $7,500 USD
The speckled dark green stone engraved with a warrior riding a galloping horse, wearing a helmet and holding a spear, set in a delicate 18 karat gold filigree setting.
Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is a variety of green jasper speckled with red spots that were thought to have several magical properties throughout antiquity. The ancient Romans believed it brought the wearer renown and favor, endurance, the ability to control the weather, banish evil and negativity, would slow bleeding wounds (a reason Roman soldiers commonly wore bloodstone talismans), and protect against the bite of venomous animals, and according to Pliny the Elder, even allowed magicians to become invisible.
Dimensions: Pendant length without bail: 7/8 inch (2.2 cm). Strung on a 24-inch chain of 14K gold.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired from the trade, previously in a private UK collection.
An Egyptian Amethyst Hippopotamus Head Amulet, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2017 - 1730 BCE
EA2035Regular price $7,500 USD
Masterfully carved from bright amethyst, the hippopotamus head featuring a large snout, incised mouth, bulging eyes, and protruding ears at the back of the head, characteristically flat-backed and pierced through the side for attachment.
Hippopotamus amulets were worn to protect their wearers from the notoriously bad-tempered animals. Common inhabitants of the Nile, hippos were aggressive and very large, posing serious danger for those on the river. While protection was imperative, the hippopotamus was also linked with regeneration; it lived in the renewing waters of the Nile and was believed to roar noisily at dawn and dusk, thus linking itself with the sun's passage and the symbolism of death and rebirth.
Ref: Carol Andrews, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London: British Museum Press (1994) p. 64.
For a similar example, see: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, accession number 10.130.2310
Dimensions: Length: 6 mm (0.24 inches)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Ronald Parct collection, New York, acquired Sotheby Parke Bernet, 3/20/1968, lot #52 (part). Sold with a copy of the original invoice.
A Sumerian Limestone Bull Cup, Late Uruk/Jemdet Nasr Period, ca. 3100-2900 BCE
MV1401Regular price $6,500 USD
Conical in form on a flat base, the sides boldly carved in raised relief with three bulls in a procession to the right, each with its head turned out, with large oval eyes, short downturned horns, an undulating border above the base.
This fragmentary bowl is decorated with a procession of bulls moving to the right, although only one complete animal survives. Typical of the Late Uruk and Jemdet Nasr periods, the body of the animal is carved in low relief while its head, turned to face the viewer, is fully three-dimensional. Such an extraordinary sculpture was developed at the end of the fourth millennium B.C., when cities emerged across Mesopotamia. Vessels of this type have been frequently found in palaces or religious structures, which suggests that they had a special function in such settings. After cylinder seals, they are the most important source of pictorial information for the period. The pictures are drawn from the natural realm, often portraying an ordered world of domesticated animals.
Background: Uruk was dedicated to two great gods, An (or Anu) the sky god and Inanna, the goddess of love and procreation, better known under her Semitic name of Ishtar, whose vast temple complex E-Anna (the house of heaven) dominated the city. Stone vessels of this type - highly prized luxury goods made of imported stone and carved with great skill - dating to the late Uruk period were often found in temples or palaces. Bull cups are thought to have been made for ceremonial use in temples (the sacred herd motif of processing bulls is known from cups and cylinder seals of this period) and may be associated with fertility cults; Inanna's husband Dumuzi-Tammuz was closely associated with vegetation, flocks and cattle and the cult of the sacred marriage between them, with its associated rites designed to ensure productivity and fertility, originated at Uruk.
For a similar stone bowl decorated with bulls see, J. Aruz (ed.), Art of the First Cities, exhibition catalogue, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2003, p. 42, no. 12, for a stone bowl with bulls in relief in the Vorderasiatische Museum, Berlin, no. VA 10113; "The considerable work involved in creating stone vessels and the fact that the stone was imported gave them great value. While fragile ceramic vessels had to be continually replaced and therefore likely to reflect changes in taste ... stone vessels tended to be produced in a limited range of shapes and to be used for generations."
Published: Concordia University, catalogue number: FOT-46.
Condition: Heavy loss to the upper rim of the cup, but one complete bull remains. Beautifully carved, in excellent condition.
Dimensions: Height: 7.98cm (3 1/8 inches) from the top of the bull head. Width: 2.54cm (1 inch) from the base of the cup.
Provenance: The Diniacopoulos Family Collection, prior to 1951. Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos arrived in Montreal from Alexandria in 1951, bringing with them the largest private collection of antiquities known in Canada. These objects represent an array of cultures: prehistoric Mediterranean, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Luvian, Syro-Palestinian, and Hittite. The family owned an art gallery on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, Ars Classica, and continued to buy and sell artifacts until the death of Vincent in 1967. Towards the end of her life, Olga Diniacopoulos asked Concordia University to assist with the management of the antiquities collection. Some of the artifacts were acquired by Canadian institutions: statues from Thebes and a few Greek red-figure vases were acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Art Conservation program at Queen’s University acquired fragments of painted Greek pottery intended as teaching tools. The remainder of the collection was dispersed in the late 1990s through Sotheby’s (New York) and Fragments of Time (Boston). Thereafter, private collection of S. Bono, Chicago.
A Greek silver Drachm of Larissa (ca. 356-342 BCE) set as a Necklace
GJ1803Regular price $6,000 USD
Set in an 18 karat gold pendant with ruby cabochon and hung on a braided gold chain, an ancient Greek coin from Larissa, capital of Thessaly. The obverse depicts the head of the nymph Larissa, wearing a necklace, facing, turned slightly to the left, wearing ampyx (band), pendant earring, and simple necklace in front. The reverse ΛΑΡΙΣ / ΑΙΩΝ and a grazing horse to the right. Herrmann pl. V, 5 var. Lorber, 2008 34 var.
Larissa, sometimes written Larisa on ancient coins and inscriptions, is near the site of the Homeric Argissa. It is also thought to be where the famous Greek physician Hippocrates and the famous philosopher Gorgias of Leontini died. The town adopted its own coinage in the late 5th century BC, choosing local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named; probably the choice was inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses.
Dimensions: Pendant diameter: 1 1/8 inches (2.86 cm), Necklace Length: 9 1/2 inches 24.13 cm), Weight: 20.6 g
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. A fantastic statement piece!
Provenance: Ex. private collection of S.H., Washington state, acquired from California dealer in the 1990's.
A Luristan Bronze Horse Bit, ca. 1st millenium BCE
MB1902Regular price $5,500 USD
A bronze horse-bit comprising a square-section bar with loop terminals. The cheek pieces, at each end of the mouthpiece, are cast in the form of striding horses, with long manes and tails, and having two loops at the top for attachment.
for related example see: Houshang Mahboubian, Art of Ancient Iran (London, 1997), cat. no. 68, p. 99. and Legrain, L. Luristan Bronzes in the University Museum, pl. XX,
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. Inner surfaces have two goad spikes and upper ridge attachment loops. Overall blue-green surface patina with some encrustation.
Dimensions: Height: 7 inches (17.78 cm), Width: 6 3/4 inches (17.1 cm)
Provenance: The Nourollah Elghanayan (1915 - 2009) Collection of Ancient Art, assembled 1950-1970's.
A rare Urartian Bronze Horse Harness Frontlet, early 1st millennium BCE
MB1504Regular price $5,000 USD
With vertical ridge in the center, the lower section with chased frieze comprising lions hunting ibex, bordered by a bud-chain line and band of incised zigzags with punched dots above, attachment holes along the lower edge and at the side, rolled suspension loop along the top edge.
Background: The kingdom of Urartu, originally a confederation of numerous tribes from Eastern Anatolia, was one of the most powerful states in the Ancient Near East during the first half of the first millennium BC, constituting one of the fiercest rivals of the Assyrian Empire. It was in the 9th century BC under Shalmaneser III (858-824) that the Urartian state developed a centralized system with several interconnected palace-fortresses placed on high rock outcrops.
Background: Horse armor was widely used in the ancient Mediterranean world and its use is well documented in the Near East and Cyprus.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall, with museum quality custom mount.
Dimensions: Length: 9 inches (22.9 cm)
Provenance: Dr. Wladimir Rosenbaum, born in Minsk in 1894 and died in Ascona, Switzerland in 1984. Dr. Rosenbaum founded Galerie Casa Serodine in 1938 and closed the gallery in 1983. The building for Casa Serodine in Ascona is now a museum. Thereafter private CT collection acquired from Dr. Rosenbaum prior to 1975.
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.
A superb Near Eastern Snake Head Amulet, Achaemenid Period, ca. 550 - 330 BCE
MJ909Regular price $4,000 USD
Carved in the form of a snake head with defined browbone and nose, drilled eyes and curved mouth, the speckled stone reminiscent of snakeskin. Pierced for suspension.
Dimensions: Length: 0.43 inch (1.09 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. On museum quality custom mount.
Provenance: Private Texas collection, acquired in the 1950's and then by descent.