An Egyptian Limestone Dummy Canopic Jar of Hapi, ca. 712–664 BCE
ES2105Regular price $25,000 USD
A set of four canopic jars was an important element of the burial in most periods of Ancient Egyptian history. Canopic jars were containers in which the separately mummified organs would be placed. The best known versions of these jars have lids in the shape of the heads of protective deities called the four Sons of Horus. Hapi, the baboon, protected the lungs and was associated with the goddess Nephthys. Duamutef, the jackal, protected the stomach and was associated with Neith. Imsety, with a human face, guarded the Liver and was associated with Isis, and Qubehsenuef, represented as a falcon, presided over the intestines and was associated with Selkis.
This finely carved dummy jar has no interior cavity and the "lid" is not removable. It dates to a period during which the internal organs were mummified and then placed back into the mummy, but canopic jars continued to be included as part of the burial equipment in order to ensure the protection of the four Sons of Horus.
Dimensions: Height: 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private Florida collection, acquired from Albert Tawdros, Luxor, Egypt in 1977. Original Tawdros card accompanies this object.
A Roman Gold Ring with Garnet Intaglio, Roman Imperial Period
RJ2122Regular price $5,000 USD
The dark garnet intaglio engraved with a figure, most probably Mercury, holding a caduceus and wearing a tapered helmet, set in a heavy ring of 22K+ gold, the wide round bezel and shank creating a very attractive backdrop for the curved intaglio.
Spier, Jeffrey 'Ancient Gems and Finger Rings', J. Paul Getty Museum, 200 pages (1993), p. 126, no. 335
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: US ring size 3
Provenance: Madame Frances Artuner Collection, Belgium, formed during the 1960s thence by descent to her daughter in the US
A Large Roman Glass Crumb Bead, Late Roman Imperial Period, ca. 3rd - 5th century CE
RJ2112Regular price $550 USD
Black glass barrel-shaped bead, with small - medium sized crumbs in red, yellow, white, and blue.
For a related example see: Spaer, M., Barag, D., Ornan, T., & Neuhaus, T. (2001). Ancient glass in the Israel Museum: Beads and other small objects. Jerusalem: Israel Museum, p. 129 #226-228
Condition: Losses to the surface, particularly to one side, otherwise intact and in good condition overall.
Dimensions: Width: 3/4 inch (2 cm)
Provenance: Private collection of an English lady, by descent.
An Anatolian Black Steatite Stamp Seal, Late Chalcolithic Period, ca. 4000 - 3000 BCE
MA2108Regular price $1,500 USD
Stamp seals were used in antiquity as marks of ownership and badges of status. This very finely carved seal shows a deeply incised horned quadruped facing to the right, surrounded by incised lines in the field. The form is circular with a bowled profile and has been pierced for attachment.
During the Neolithic period (ca. 7000 B.C.), stamp seals are known from northern Iraq, northern Syria, and southeastern Anatolia. These pendants were carved with designs that probably combined a glyptic and an amuletic role and are of simple, mostly geometric forms. This seal demonstrates the development in the Ubaid period of seals depicting animals.
For related examples: Denham, Simon, Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic Glyphs and Stamp Seals In the British Museum. London: The British Museum Press, 2018. #141 - 148.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: Width: 1.18 inches (2.9 cm)
Provenance: Private NY collection, acquired from the USA trade in 2009
A Nayarit Hardstone Horned Toad Pendant, ca. 300 BCE - 200 CE
PA2102Regular price $2,000 USD
superbly detailed amulet of a long-horned toad, carved from lustrous white limestone with incised detail to face and arms, and raised scales on the back. Frogs and toads were associated with rain and the sustenance that it brought about. The ancients of Mesoamerica interpreted their croaking as a sign of coming rainstorms. As "rainmakers" or rain heralds, these animals were symbols of fertility and rich abundance. Moreover, the life cycle of a toad from egg to fish to a four-legged animal was a dramatic metamorphosis that the ancients interpreted as a reenactment of the transformations undergone by shamans under the influence of hallucinogenic substances during ritualistic ceremonies. Pierced for suspension on the tail, and under the throat, Dr Heflin catalog details in black pigment on the underside.
Condition: Some surface wear that does not detract, overall intact with excellent patina.
Dimensions: Length: 6 cm (2.36 inches)
Provenance: Ex. Dr Allen Heflin Collection, assembled in the 1950's - 1960's, thereafter Lorenzo Gordon Fritz Collection. Dr. Heflin's collection number '12787/421/Nayarit' written in black ink on the base.
Dr. Heflin worked in Mexico as an archaeologist from 1946 - 1970.
A Roman Intaglio Seal, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 2nd - 3rd century CE
RA1803Regular price $400 USD
Carnelian seal with bust of a god in left profile, possibly Pan
Condition: Intact and in very condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 0.9 cm (0.35 inches)
Provenance: Ex. R.T. private collection, Munich, acquired 1958
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.
An Egyptian Faience Cat Amulet, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
EA2107Regular price $395 USD
this miniature amulet of deep green faience is a necklace element that originally would have been part of a broad collar necklace. It shows an upright seated cat with alert ears on a small base with a suspension loop at the back of the head.
This amulet is a depiction of Bastet, an Egyptian goddess, daughter of the sun-god Re. In ancient Egypt she was initially depicted in the form of a lioness, but was eventually modified into a cat. In this form she was worshipped as a goddess of fecundity. Faience cat amulets first appear in the late Old Kingdom, and were intended to endow the wearer with fertility.
Reference: Carol Andrews, Amulets of Ancient Egypt. British Museum Press, Bath, 1994. Page 32 – 33
Condition: Intact and excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 1.5 cm (0.59 inches)
Provenance: Ex Dr Joseph Touma, Virginia, acquired from Christie's in 1993.
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 Near Eastern Carnelian Lion Amulet, Proto-Elamite period, ca. 3100 - 2700 BCE
MA2004Regular price $7,500 USD
This charming image takes full advantage of the color variations from fine two-toned carnelian. The beast is rendered in relief, its turned head with round cheeks flanking a wedge-shaped nose, is sculpted fully in the round. The white head contrasts beautifully with the recumbent orange body. Such relief sculpture is unusual for Central Asia: the only other published examples are a fragment of a steatite plaque from Margiana with a low-relief image of a recumbent bull and a few small fragments of floral and figural decoration for a "mosaic" found at Dashli Tepe.
For a related example see: Pittman, Holly. (1984). Art of the Bronze Age: southeastern Iran, western Central Asia, and the Indus Valley. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 51 #23
Dimensions: Length: 3 cm (1.18 inches), Width: 2.6 cm (1.02 inches)
Condition: Intact and in very good condition. A rare and truly charming example.
Provenance: Alex Malloy collection, acquired in the 1980s.
An Egyptian bronze Oxyrhynchus Fish, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
EB2102Regular price $8,500 USD
The oxyrhynchus was also associated with the goddess Hathor and was frequently portrayed wearing her characteristic crown, as in this instance. During the Late period, there was a proliferation of small bronze images of deities presented as votive offerings in temples. The image often included a representation of the donor, as here, as additional proof of devotion. This fish was particularly sacred in the town of the same name, Oxyrhynchus (modern el-Behnasa), as well as at el-Omari, the site of a necropolis for mummified fish. It is possible that this figure was dedicated to such a cult center.
Condition: Partial loss of the horned sun disk headdress, small loss to the lower reattached back fin but otherwise intact, with excellent incised details to the body and dorsal fin. A fine example.
Dimensions: Length: 6.3 inches (16 cm)
Provenance: Private French collection of Dr. FH, acquired in the 1970s.
An Egyptian ANRA Scaraboid, Hyksos Period, ca. 1759 - 1539 BCE
EA2031Regular price $650 USD
Condition: Wear to the upper surface of the scaraboid, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall with very nicely carved glyphs.
Dimensions: Length: 1.9 cm (3/4 inch)
Provenance: John N. Winnie, Jr. collection, Georgia, acquired in the 1980s-90s, thereafter private CT collection, thereafter private NYC collection.
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 large Egyptian Faience Winged Scarab, Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332 - 30 BCE
EF2105Regular price $9,500 USD
This fine winged scarab amulet, made of bright blue glazed faience, comprises three elements individually molded and detailed. Representing those of a falcon, the horizontal wings are rendered with long, primary, and secondary detailed feathering, the former highlighted in black pigment. Made separately, they are pierced for attachment to either side of a central, naturistically carved scarab with incised lines to the lower area of the body. The scarab is molded with a flat underside, and pierced by holes around the edge so that it could be stitched onto the mummy wrappings over the chest or incorporated into the bead net which enveloped contemporary mummies.
The winged scarab was highly symbolic to the ancient Egyptians as it represented rebirth and was associated with the sun god, Ra. It was thought that the sun was pushed across the sky by a giant scarab, the god Khepri, an image that came from observations of the scarab hatching from dung and using its back legs to emerge. They seemed to hatch from the ball of dung in an act of self-creation, reaffirming their association with life and renewal1. These objects were a mystic symbol throughout ancient Egyptian history. The earliest scarab amulets appeared in the First Intermediate Period (c. 2124 BC) and were still in use in Greek and Roman times (c. 332 BC– 364 AD).
References: Andrews, Carol, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, chapter 4: Scarabs for the living and funerary scarabs, (University of Texas Press, 1994) pp 50-59.
Chappaz, J. L., Chamay, J., Reflets du Divin, Muse d’Art et d’Histoire Geneve (Geneva, 2001) p. 97 no. 83 c.
Dimensions: Width: 4 1/4 inches (10.8 cm)
Condition: Intact and in very good condition. Custom mounted, the string binding the three pieces together was probably done in the early 20th century. A very fine example.
Provenance: JME collection, New York, acquired Bonhams, London, Dec 1993, thereafter private Virginia collection, acquired from the NYC trade in 2014.
A good Narino Terracotta Ocarina, ca. 500 - 1000 CE
PT2103Regular price $650 USD
an early flute of stylized shell form, the body, with highly burnished cream-slip finish is decorated with two facing jaguars in red/brown polychrome.
Once dismissed as mere toys or playthings, modern x-ray technology revealed hidden chambers that allowed for the creation of up to 17 different notes in some cases as well as musically advanced scales. Far from being toys, the ocarinas of antiquity are marvels of design and musical knowledge. It is now believed ocarinas were played in sacred ceremonies to induce healing, trance, and invoke different deities and are still used today by many of the surviving indigenous cultures.
Condition: Some minor loss of polychrome that does not detract but is otherwise intact and in very good condition overall. A lovely example.
Dimensions: Length: 5 3/4 inches (14.5 cm)
Provenance: Private Delaware collection.