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.
An impressive Andesite Human Trophy Head, Costa Rica, ca. 1000 - 1500 CE
PS2105Regular price $3,250 USD
Disembodied human heads are ubiquitous in the Pre-Columbian iconography of Costa Rica and neighboring areas of Panama. Accounts make it clear that indigenous peoples practiced taking and displaying human heads as trophies. In this volcanic stone example, the closed eyes and slack mouth suggest death, while the close-fitting cap of geometric design may be of fiber as the form suggests twisted cords or a rattan-like material. It was thought that taking trophy heads was the direct result of warfare undertaken by warriors over conflicts about territory, material resources and/or leadership.
However, there was another signiﬁcant dimension to warfare—the magical and the supernatural, whereby decapitation may have been viewed as a necessary evil for combating the adverse effects of sorcery (Hoopes 2007). Usekars (wizards) were powerful religious practitioners who defended their communities against sorcery and were themselves capable of casting harmful spells. As late as the nineteenth century, the Bribri usekars of eastern Costa Rica organized revenge-motivated raiding parties to kill and decapitate other sorcerers. However decapitation occurred, the prevalence of severed heads in ancient Costa Rican art indeed indicates particular beliefs regarding the potency of the head, diminishing the vitality of the individual's larger family, and increasing that of the head-taker.
cf: Hoopes, John W. “Sorcery and the Taking of Trophy Heads in Ancient Costa Rica.” INTERDISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO ARCHAEOLOGY, pp. 444–480., doi:10.1007/978-0-387-48303-0_17.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. The marble display base is included with this object.
Dimensions: Length: 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm)
Provenance: 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 Published Roman Millefiori Glass Bead, Roman Imperial Period, 1st Century BCE/CE
RJ2158Regular price $1,750 USD
Background: Translated to "A thousand flowers" in Italian, millefiori refers to most common floral design patterns. Millefiori beads (a mosaic glass), were made in ancient times and had numerous sections of patterned canes placed in close proximity parallel to one another and heated to fuse together. The pad of millefiori glass was then rolled upon itself and shaped to form a bead. When Italians reinvented millefiori glass, they usually applied cane pieces to a separate base, often the bead's core, and fused the parts together; this is one way ancient beads may be distinguished.
Published: I. Grimm-Stadelmann (ed.), Aesthetic Glimpses, Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art, The Resandro Collection, Munich, 2012, p. 239, no. R-789 (part).
Condition: Complete, professionally rejoined from two pieces, in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 7/8 inch (2.22 cm)
Provenance: Christie's, London, 12/5/2017, sale 14231, lot # 110 (part), ex. The Alfred Wolkenberg Collection of Ancient Glass, Christie's, London, 9 July 1991, lot 130, ex. Resandro collection, acquired from the above sale.
An Egyptian Faience Offering Cup with Cartouche for Amenhotep III, ca. 1386 to 1349 BCE
EF2101Regular price $5,000 USD
of distinctive blue glazed faience, the cylindrical form tapering to a slightly flared foot and rounded rim, the exterior with royal rectangular panel inscribed in faded black hieroglyphic text in two columns including a cartouche containing the throne name for Amenhotep III, that reads: "Lord of the Two Lands, Neb-maat-Ra, Beloved of Sokar".
Amenhotep III, also known as Amenhotep the Magnificent, was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Many of the most impressive structures of ancient Egypt were built under his reign and, through military campaigns, he not only strengthened the borders of his land but expanded them. He ruled Egypt with his chief queen Tiye for 38 years until his death and was succeeded by Amenhotep IV, later known as the reforming king Akhenaten.
Condition: Scattered surface deposits, the cup is intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/8 inches (5.5 cm)
Provenance: Ex. Sumer Gallery, (Henry Anavian Family Collection) NYC., acquired 1970s-1980s and then by descent.
A Narino Hammered Gold Pectoral, ca. 500 - 1000 CE
PJ2101Regular price $8,500 USD
Condition: A minor 3/8-inch linear perforation in the lower center and a few crease lines, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall. Custom framed using museum-quality conservation materials, this object can be displayed using either an easel or on a wall.
Dimensions: Width: 5 1/8 inches (13 cm), Weight: 24 grams
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired between 1950s-1980s, collection number recorded as: FM 841, 46.
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.
A rare Egyptian Blue Glazed Faience Statue of a Cat, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
EF2103Regular price $12,000 USD
This elegantly rendered and well-preserved seated cat is made of blue glazed faience, a material frequently employed for small amulets, scarabs, and scaraboids. Almost certainly, it represents a temple cat, sacred to the goddess Bastet, the creature goddess of Bubastis, home of the Twenty-second Dynasty. Amulets such as this could be worn not only in life, to bestow the goddess's protection, but also in death; a similar example was discovered within the wrappings of the High Priest of Ptah, Prince Sheshonq, son of Osorkon II, at Memphis in 1942. On an integral base with a ribbed suspension ring.
Condition: Tips of ears restored, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall. A rare and wonderful piece.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm)
Provenance: Ex-French collection, NY private collection, Christie's, London, 11 Jun 1997 Lot 56.
Published: Royal Athena, Art of the Ancients, XXIII 2012, No. 218.
An Egyptian Faience Ushabti for Tjai-En-Hebu, Dynasty 26, Reign of Amasis, ca. 570 – 526 BCE
EU2123Regular price $30,000 USD
A large and exceptional faience shabti of pale blue/green glaze shown standing on a trapezoidal base, wearing a tripartite wig and plaited divine beard curled at tip, the particularly fine facial details are in high-quality relief, and the mouth wears a gentle smile. The hands, crossed over the chest, hold a pick, a hoe, and the cord to a seed bag that is suspended over left shoulder, and there is a raised dorsal pillar at the back. Around the legs and over the feet are ten horizontal bands of crisp, incised text containing the extended version of the shabti spell, naming the owner and commences: - “ The illuminated one, the Osiris, the “Overseer of the Royal Ships” , Tjai-en Hebu, born to Ta-nefert-iyti, he speaks: O these ushabtis …." (Janes)
Tjai-ne-hebu's tomb was discovered just south of the pyramid of Unas at Saqqara in 1900 by A. Barsanti and G. Maspero. Because of his important position as 'Overseer of the Royal Ships' and also 'Overseer of the Scribes of the Magistrates,' and judging by the richness of his burial, Tjai-ne-hebu was a man of considerable wealth. In his tomb there was a large basalt anthropoid sarcophagus (Cairo JE 35136) which contained Tjai-ne-hebu's mummy, adorned with a gold face mask (JE 34525), toe and finger covers (JE 34527), and numerous fine amulets and pieces of jewellery. Also found were four alabaster canopic jars (JE 34330) as well as a number of other funerary objects. A total of 401 ushabtis were found placed on wooden shelves on either side of the entrance to the burial chamber, 263 on the right and 178 on the left. (Janes).
Other ushabtis for Tjai-ne-hebu can be found in museums such as Cairo (20 recorded under a single entry JE 34332), National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, (1922:16), British Museum, London (EA 34278-34281,35388-35391, 41554-41558, 63454 & 69570), Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyons (1969-514), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (10.130.1047a-d & 26.6.1-2),17 Ontario (951.44), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1965.175), Louvre, Paris (AF 1908), and Museo Egizio, Turin (1654).
BAAF 2009 Catalog (Brussels) Charles Ede LTD Tjai-en-hebu
Egyptian Antiquities Charles Ede Ltd 2009 No 25 Tjai-en-hebu, son of Pa-Neferet (incorrect name – see Janes)
Christie's, New York, 8 Jun 2001, Lot 102
Amherst collection, Sotheby’s 1921
For related examples see:
G. Janes, Shabtis A Private View (Paris, 2002), pp. 210 - 212 no. 106a.
Jacques F. Aubert – Liliane Aubert, Statuettes égyptiennes, Chaouabtis, ouchebtis (Paris, 1974) p. 296 fig 139.
J-L Chappaz, Les figurines funéraires égyptiennes du Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, (Geneva 1984), p. 88 no. 73b.
Ushebtis Egypcios (45) Museo Gregoriano Egizio, Vatican, Pic No. 80
Ushebtis Egypcios (45) National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, Pic No. 84
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. A truly spectacular example.
Dimensions: Height: 7 1/4 inches (18.5 cm)
Provenance: Tomb discovered in 1900 near the pyramid of Unas (Saqqara) by A. Barsanti/G. Maspero. (Janes). Amherst Collection, sold by Sotheby's in June 1921, inventory #1058, Christie's, New York, 8 Jun 2001, Lot 102. An old inscription on the base reads: Teha-nehibu, a Superintendant of Royal Cargos, a similar figure is in British Museum no 34 279. See guide I of II Egyptian Rooms, page 128 where it is illustrated and mentioned as being of special interest" Last line unreadable but possibly a name and date.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Ra-ia, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1293 – 1185 BCE
EU2118Regular price $7,500 USD
From the time of Ramesses II, of deep blue glazed faience, shown mummiform, with the features in applied black. Slim and handsomely proportioned, the well-modeled features include a truly charming face with large accented eyes and eyebrows. Wearing a tripartite wig, a broad usekh collar, and holding agricultural implements in each hand, the back undecorated. A vertical column of text on front naming “Ra-Ia” as the owner reads: “ The Osiris, Ra-ia, True of voice.”
Raia, Chief of Singers in the temple of Ptah. Wife: Mutemwia (Songstress of Amun). Raia was a contemporary of Paser and Tjuneroy. His tomb is close to that of Paser. [Bart (128)].
Dimensions: Height: 14.7 cm (5.8 inches)
Condition: Intact and excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Cannes Encheres Paris Auction, 4 Jul 2004, Lot 241, private Virginia collection acquired from the Canadian trade, post Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University Ushabti Research Project, Atlanta, GA, 2014. French Passport no. 139391.
A large Egyptian Faience Wedjet Eye, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664 525 BCE
EA2115Regular price $3,750 USD
This large striking amulet of bright blue faience depicts a highly detailed wedjat eye. Convex in form, careful attention has been paid to the rendering of the cosmetic lines, especially the cross-hatch extension. The back of the amulet is flat and undecorated and is pierced horizontally for attachment.
Wadjet eye amulets were among the most popular amulets of ancient Egypt. The Wadjet eye represents the healed eye of the god Horus and embodies healing power as well as regeneration and protection in general. It was thought to help the dead pass safely into the afterlife, and wedjat eye amulets were commonly placed within mummy wrappings to help the deceased. In one myth, Horus uses the power of his healed eye (repaired by the god of wisdom, Thoth) to revive his deceased father, the lord of the netherworld, Osiris, and therefore came to symbolize the general process of "making whole" and healing.
Andrews, Carol, 1994. Amulets of Ancient Egypt. Austin: University of Texas. 43-4.
Bianchi, R., 1998. “Symbols and Meanings.” In Gifts of the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Faience, edited by Florence Dunn Friedman. Cleveland: Thames and Hudson. 22-31.
Petrie, William Flinders, 1914. Amulets: Illustrated by the Egyptian Collection In University College, London. London: Constable & Company, Ltd. 32-4.
Pinch, Geraldine, 1994. Magic in Ancient Egypt. Texas: University of Texas. 104-119.
Condition: Very minor chip to proper left upper corner, otherwise excellent condition.
Dimensions: Height: 1 1/2 Inches (3.5 cm)
Provenance: Private Virginia collection, acquired Royal Athena Gallery, NYC, August 2014, JME private collection, NY, acquired Bonhams, London, Dec 1993.
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 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 fine Islamic Gold Filigree Pendant, ca. 14th - 15th century CE
MJ2109Regular price $5,950 USD
Superb D-shaped filigree pendant set with a central garnet cabochon, surrounded with overall fine filigree and granulated vine and floral decoration and granulation border to the front face, a tubular filigree suspension tube is applied to the top, together with two side suspension rings on either side. Strung as a necklace on a 14K gold woven chain.
Dimensions: Pendant length: 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm), Chain length: 16 inches (40.63 cm), stamped 585, Necklace weight: 11.4 grams.
Condition: The pendant is intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Ex. Sumer Gallery, (Henry Anavian) NYC, acquired 1970s - 1980s and then by descent to family.
A Published Egyptian Glass Heart Amulet, New Kingdom, 18th - 19th Dynasty, ca. 1350 - 1250 BCE
EA2061Regular price $2,750 USD
Core-formed the body in dark blue, with turquoise marvered threads, pierced for attachment.
Published: Christie's, London, Ancient Egyptian Glass and Faience from the 'Per-neb' Collection, Part III, 8 December 1993, lot 234.
Dimensions: Height: 1.3 cm (0.5 inches)
Condition: Body still with bright, shiny surface, some pitting to the body and loss to the rim otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Private collection, Switzerland, acquired between the 1920s to early 1940s, thereafter Jacobs collection, Switzerland.
A large Roman Silver Eye Agate Ring, ca. 3rd century CE
RJ2120Regular price $2,950 USD
For related example see; A. B. Chadour, "Rings; The Alice and Louis Koch Collection, Forty Centuries seen by Four Generations," Volume I, (Leeds 1994), item 345 for type.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. A very fine and impressive example.
Dimensions: US ring size: 7, JP=15, UK=O
Provenance: Murray Collection, Chiswick, London UK, assembled in the 1990s, thereafter private Canadian collection, acquired in 2019.
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 Greek Terracotta Protome of a Goddess, Classical Period, ca. 5th century BCE
GT2004Regular price $9,500 USD
Protomoi are common, not in graves, but in votive deposits and sanctuaries. Their Archaic presence at a site does not prove an exclusive devotion to a preferred divinity but is rather evidence of trade patterns. As is the case with this example, protomoi was usually supplied with suspension holes for hanging, either inside shrines or perhaps on trees in sanctuaries.
Published: J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2006, no. 76.
Condition: Complete with professional rejoining and minor cosmetic overpainting, the protome is in very good condition overall with excellent remaining polychrome. With museum-quality custom mount. A truly lovely piece.
Dimensions: Height: 7 7/8 inches (20 cm)
Provenance: Ex private French collection; American private collection, acquired from Royal-Athena in November 2006.