Beginning with two Bronze age civilizations, the Minoans on Crete and the Mycenaeans on mainland Greece. Includes Cypriot art, mainland Greek art and the Eastern and Southern Italian Greek colonies that, although strongly influenced by Greek prototypes, has a style all its own.
A Greek Marble Helmeted head of Athena, Classical Period, Late 4th century BCE
GS2101Regular price $15,000 USD
"On her head [Athena] set her helmet of gold, with four plumes, and coming to a peak both in front and behind - decked with the emblems of a hundred cities; then she stepped into her flaming chariot and grasped the spear, so stout and sturdy and strong, with which she quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased her." Homer, Iliad II.5.663
Carved from fine white marble, this impressive marble head was originally from a figure of the highly revered goddess Athena. Goddess of wisdom, warfare, and the protector of Athens, Athena was the favorite child of Zeus. She emerged from his head fully formed and armor-clad, so magnificent that even the sun god Helios stopped the course of his chariot through the sky in awe. An excellent example of the Greek artistic canon from the end of the Classical period and the beginning of Hellenism, the goddess is portrayed wearing a Corinthian helmet pushed to the back of her head in the customary fashion. Originally the sculpture was painted, so the helmet eye openings were probably once added in paint. She has a perfectly oval face that portrays her serene and majestic countenance with full lips, straight nose, and soft almond-shaped eyes, her long hair flowing in wavy curls over the temples, was once gathered in a plait at the back.
Cf. B. S. Ridgway, Greek Sculpture in the Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, 1994, pp. 53-56, no. 15, "The original of this type was probably made in the late fifth or early fourth century B.C. and belongs to a class of helmeted statues of the goddess that are derivative of the Pheidian Athena Parthenos, dedicated within the Parthenon in 438 B.C.".
Also, cf. M. B. Comstock and C. C. Vermeule, Sculpture in Stone; The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1976, p. 97, no. 150; and H. Hoffmann, Ten Centuries That Shaped The West, Houston, 1970, pp. 44-45, no. 14 for similar.
Condition: Overall excellent ancient surface patina. Ancient loss to the top helmet crest, tip of nose and tip of chin, small area at the back rejoined but otherwise intact. Mounted on a conservation block base. A truly lovely example.
Dimensions: Height: 3 3/4 inches (9.5 cm)
Published: K. Hamma, ed., The Dechter Collection of Greek Vases, San Bernardino, 1989, p. 83, no. 2, (not illustrated). Exhibited: San Bernardino, California State University; and Art Galleries, California State University, Northridge, The Dechter Collection of Greek Vases, 5 May-2 June 1989 and 26 February-30 March 1990.
Provenance: The Hanita and Aaron Dechter Collection, Los Angeles, acquired before 1989.
A Greco/Roman Gold Pendant, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd - 1st century BCE
GJ2107Regular price $2,250 USD
High karat gold bullae such as this example would have been affordable only to members of the elite. Less expensive bullae were made of other materials, such as bronze and leather. Freeborn Roman male children wore bullae until they reached adulthood. In ancient Rome, a boy would receive a bulla eight days after his birth on the same day that he was given his name. This important festival marked the child’s acceptance into the family. It is possible that Roman boys wore their bullae only when they were outside their homes, at occasions when they would have been in contact with people beyond their kin group.
In addition to their bullae, Roman boys also wore the toga praetexta – a garment decorated with a broad purple stripe that was also worn by Roman magistrates. Together, the bulla and the toga praetexta visually declared a child’s status as a free Roman citizen. Cut from a single piece of sheet gold, the pendant has been folded at the suspension loop and the two convex discs pressed together. It has been strung on a modern solid gold chain.
Dimensions: Pendant length: 13 mm (0.5 inch). Strung on an adjustable 21-inch solid gold chain.
Condition: The pendant is intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Ex. collection: Mr and Mrs Broukal, UK; acquired before 1956, then by descent.
A large Greco-Roman Marble Architectural Fragment, Hellenistic Period, ca. 2nd - 1st century BCE
GS1601Regular price $1,500 USD
This lovely gray marble fragment is from a larger architectural sculpture. There is most of a flower (half of the bottom petal is missing) in the lower register, and a heart-shaped decoration in the upper register.
Dimensions: Height: 7 inches (17.78 cm), Width: 6 inches (15.24), Depth: 6 1/4 inches (15.87)
Condition: Fragmentary as described, but in good condition.
Provenance: The William R. Crawford collection of Ancient Glass and Antiquities, acquired from the European trade in the 1950's and then by descent. William R. Crawford, a retired American career diplomat and expert on the Middle East and Cyprus, was Director of Arab-Israeli Affairs at the State Department between 1959-1964, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Cyprus thereafter. In the 1970's, he was ambassador to Yemen and then to Cyprus and later became principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East and South Asian affairs. He donated part of his collection to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts prior to his death in 2002.
A small Greek Gold Diadem, Late Hellenistic Period, ca 1st century BCE
GJ2112Regular price $1,200 USD
A diadem (from the Greek 'diadema' from 'diadeo': to bind round, or fasten) was used as a symbol of royal dignity. Funerary diadems, such as this example, were known from Mycenaean times where sets of golden plates often covered the forehead of the illustrious person buried in the tomb.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall. Presented on a museum-quality custom mount.
Dimensions: Length: 5 1/2 inches (14 cm)
Provenance: Ex. Sumer Gallery, (Henry Anavian) NYC., acquired 1970s-1980s, by descent to family.
An Apulian Black-Gloss ware Mug, ca. early 4th century BCE
GP2104Regular price $1,200 USD
An early Apulian copy of the Attic "Pheidian" ware, the broad, squat form with a wide round foot, low rounded belly, low concave neck, flaring rim, a thin double-rolled handle attached to the rim and shoulder, the top ends splayed out along the rim edge, the body covered in vertical ribbing, the surface covered in a lustrous black gloss.
For a related example, see: Hayes, John W., Greek and Italian Black-Gloss Wares and Related Wares in the Royal Ontario Museum, 1984, no. 79.
Dimensions: Height: 7 cm (2 3/4 inches), Width: 10 cm (3.93 inches)
Condition: Minor chips to the gloss but otherwise intact and in excellent condition.
Provenance: Collection of Andre de Munter, Belgium, acquired in 1994. With a stamped certificate by F. Coene, clerk for the First Tribunal, Brussels, June 26, 2009.
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.
A Greco-Roman Ribbon-Band Glass Bead, Late Hellenistic Period, ca. 1st century BCE
GJ2109Regular price $795 USD
Condition: There is heavy surface wear to the surface resulting in pitting and uppermost layer loss in one area, loss to both terminal areas indicating signs of wear. The bead maintains traces of iridescence and bright contrasts colors. Despite the damage, overall it is still in good condition and a most striking example.
Dimensions: Length: 1.45 inches (2.9 cm)
Provenance: Greenwich, Connecticut private collection, acquired Black Rock Galleries, reference number # 130236 (part).
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.
An East Greek Wild Goat Fragmented Vessel, Orientalizing Period, ca. 6th century BCE
GP2101Regular price $15,000 USD
Painted pottery was produced in many regions of East Greece, such as North and South Ionia, Aioris, Samos, and Chios, and represents the most elaborate example of East Greek vase painting during the Orientalizing phase of the Archaic period. The decoration employs an outline technique with figures that are freer in posture and composition and more elegant. In this example, the fragmentary body is decorated in umber on buff in two registers separated by broad stripes of dark paint with a frieze of grazing wild goats with high curving horns, and infilling motifs including dotted rosettes and semicircles. The lower part of the vessel is steadily occupied by a band of rays interspersed with small stars.
For the Wild Goat Style, see, Cook, R.M. East Greek Pottery (1997), Boardman,J. Early Greek vase painting (1998) pp.141-176, Cook, R.M. "The wild goat and Fikellura styles: some speculations" OJA 11 (1992) pp.255-266. Schiering,W. Werkstätten orientalisierender Keramik auf Rhodos (1957), Kardara, Ch. Rodiaki Angeiographia (1963).
Condition: Fragmentary as shown with professional infill where required and excellent remaining decoration and polychrome.
Dimensions: Overall diameter: 10 inches (25.4 cm)
Provenance: Private collection of Curtis Brown acquired in the 1970s, thereafter a private Virginia collection.
A fine Greek Silver Ring Depicting Athena, 4th century BCE
GJ2108Regular price $4,950 USD
For a related example see: Marshall, FH, Catalogue of the Finger Rings Greek, Etruscan & Roman in the Department of Antiquities, British Museum (London, 1907) pl.XXVII, no.1050; and Spier, Jeffrey, "Ancient Gems and Finger Rings, Catalogue of the Collections, The J. Paul Getty Museum" (California, 1992) p. 145-152.
Condition: Minor age-appropriate signs of wear to the shank, the ring is intact and in very good condition overall. A lovely and wearable example
Dimensions: US ring size 7 1/2 Diameter: 17.89 cm JP=15, UK=O
Provenance: English private collection, acquired on the UK/European art market in the 1990s.
A Hellenistic Gold and Garnet Pendant, ca. 2nd century BCE
GJ907Regular price $2,950 USD
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 0.86 inches (2.2 cm). Now mounted on a modern 20-inch chain necklace of 14K gold.
Provenance: Vernon Pick (1903 - 1986) private collection assembled in Switzerland in the late 1950s and then by descent to Pick's nephew, J. Hanson, Minnesota.
A Canosan Terracotta Boar, ca. 4th century BCE
GT2101Regular price $950 USD
This charming boar figurine featuring an upturned snout, protruding ears, and a dorsal ridge portraying a mane, with only a hint of the lower body depicted above the rectangular base.
Pigs have a long history of involvement in Greek mythology and ritual. Associated with Demeter due to "the fast-growing body of the pig [which would] have been compared to corn growing and ripening" (Marija Gimbutas, The Goddess and Gods of Old Europe), pigs were often sacrificed at annual rituals such as the Eleusinian Mysteries and the festival of Thesmophoria to celebrate the goddess and the harvest. In later mythology, the role of the boar shifted to that of the antagonist; the Calydonian Boar and the Erymanthian Boar are two such examples who were depicted as mindless rampaging beasts in need of slaying.
Representations of boars mostly took the form of small terracotta figurines, used as sacrificial or votive objects in temples dedicated to Demeter, as funerary objects, and as children's toys. Workshops in Rhodes, Attica, and Boeotia were the major centers of production for these figurines.
Dimensions: Length: 9.5 cm (3.7 inches)
Condition: Intact and in very good condition, with traces of original polychrome remaining.
Provenance: Private English collection, Kent, UK, acquired in the 1990s.
A Greek Silver Fibula, Classical Period, ca. 5th - 4th century BCE
GJ2007Regular price $650 USD
An unusual example, with two double-arched bows, the head terminating in the pin spring, the foot in the pin clasp, a decorative raided roundel at either end of the bows.
Dimensions: Length: 1 5/8 inches (4.1 cm), Width: 1 1/8 inches (3 cm)
Condition: clasp for pin now missing, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Private German collection, acquired from the English trade in the 1990s.
* 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 pair of Greek Gold Drops, Hellenistic Period, ca 3rd - 1st century BCE
GJ2103Regular price $1,750 USD
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition, very light to wear and quite lovely.
Dimensions: Overall drop length: 7/8 inch (2.3 cm)
Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Broukal, UK private collection, acquired prior to 1956, thence by descent.
A Greek Gold Ball Bead Pendant, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd - 1st century BCE
GJ2101Regular price $2,250 USD
Condition: Signs of ancient use and intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 5/8 inch (17 mm) on 20-inch chain of 18K gold
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired in the 1960s and then by descent.
A Greek Gold and Garnet Pendant, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd - 1st century BCE
GJ2102Regular price $1,750 USD
Ancient Greek jewelry was distinct and beautiful, with designs that are still relevant today. This delicate pendant is a superb example of the exquisite workmanship found in Greek Hellenistic gold jewelry. Here a spherical garnet bead is capped by intricate filigree petals and beaded wire in high karat gold. A modern chain of 18K gold has been added to complete this wearable and gorgeous necklace.Condition: The pendant is intact and in very good condition overall.
Pendant size: 12 mm (1/2 inch). Strung as a necklace on an 18-inch modern gold chain.Provenance: The John J. Slocum private collection of ancient art. Mr. Slocum (1914-1997) collected most of his antiquities while serving as US cultural attaché to Egypt in the 1960s. Later, he served as Assistant to the Director of The Smithsonian, was appointed by President Reagan to the Presidential Cultural Property Advisory Committee, and was a Trustee Emeritus of the Archaeological Institute of America. He was a well-respected scholar/collector, whose medieval crusader coins were sold in a single-owner sale at Sotheby's, London in 1997.