A Roman Limestone Head of a Horse, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 1st - 2nd century CE
RS1905Regular price $2,950 USD
Possibly from a sarcophagus, finely carved in raised relief with well-defined characteristics, featuring a wavy mane, piercing eyes, flared nostrils, and a parted mouth, wearing a bridle.
Dimensions: Height: 1 3/4 inches (4.44 cm), Length: 2 7/8 inches (7.3 cm)
Condition: Loss to the right ear, and minor weathering to the surface but overall intact and in very good condition.
Provenance: Ex. Davies Gallery, London, prior to 1975, thereafter an NYC private collection.
A Roman Marble sarcophagus fragment, ca. 190 – 210 CE
RS1901Regular price $9,500 USD
A sarcophagus (meaning “flesh-eater” in Greek) is a coffin for inhumation burials, widely used throughout the Roman empire starting in the second century CE. The most luxurious were of marble, but they were also made of other stone, lead, and wood. Prior to the second century, burial in sarcophagi was not a common Roman practice; during the Republican and early imperial periods, the Romans practiced cremation and placed remaining bones and ashes in urns or ossuaries. Sarcophagi had been used for centuries by the Etruscans and the Greeks; both cultures had an impact on the development of Roman sarcophagi when the Romans eventually adopted inhumation as their primary funerary practice. The trend spread all over the empire, creating a large demand for sarcophagi during the second and third centuries. Three major regional types dominated the trade: Metropolitan Roman, Attic, and Asiatic.
Pliny the Elder (1st century CE) tells us that Rome’s first shield portraits were set up in temples by victorious generals and depicted their ancestors. Over time this portrait type made its way into the private sphere, both in the entry halls of wealthy homes and in the decoration of family tombs. In a funerary context, the heroic associations of shield portraits made them a popular way to honor the deceased on sarcophagi and tomb monuments.
Reference: Awan, Heather T. “Roman Sarcophagi.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000
Condition: Fragmentary as shown, in very good condition overall. Custom mounted.
Dimensions: Height: 5 1/2 inches (14 cm)
Provenance: J.L. private collection, Texas, acquired from Ariadne Gallery, NYC in 1992.
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 Roman Reclining River God Vase Handle, ca 2nd century CE
RB1904Regular price $4,950 USD
Published: Royal Athena, Art of the Ancient World, vol. VIII, 1995, no. 50.
Condition: The handle is intact and in excellent condition overall with very good blue-green surface patina. Professionally mounted on custom wood base.
Dimensions: Length: 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm)
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired in London, July 1990
A Roman Terracotta Appliqué of Silenus, ca. 1st century BCE/CE
RT2003Regular price $1,950 USD
Mold-made in the form of Silenus, with lidded eyes, goat ears, a diadem over the bald head, thin high-arching brows merging with the bridge of the button nose, the long down-turned mustache flowing around the open mouth and overlapping the plaited beard. With two holes at the crown of the head and one at the beard for attachment.
Condition: With losses to the glaze, intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 6.7 cm (2.6 inches), Width: 4.5 cm (1.7 inches)
Provenance: RDA private collection, acquired from the NY trade as part of a collection assembled in the 1970s and 1980s. With an old collection label attached to the back, dated 1889.
A Roman Terracotta Appliqué, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 1st - 2nd century CE
RT1802Regular price $500 USD
Depicting a male face with small eyes, a large nose, small closed mouth, and long curling hair.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/4 inches (5.7 cm), Width: 2 3/8 inches (6 cm)
Condition: Fragmentary around the edges, but overall intact. Museum quality custom mount.
Provenance: Alex Malloy private collection, acquired before the 1980's.
A Sican/Chimu Idol of a Seated Lord, ca. 9th –11th century CE
PS2112Regular price $3,500 USD
The Lambayeque Valley was home to the Sicán (or Lambayeque) ceramic style. Developing toward the end of the first millennium CE, it continued until the end of the fourteenth century when the region was conquered by the expanding Chimú kingdom.
The most characteristic motif in Sicán art is the frontal face of the so-called Sicán Lord. It is widely seen on ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and mural painting. With this rare portrayal, an impressive Lord is solid cast in lead metal and seated on his throne. He has the characteristic large wide eyes, prominent pointed nose, and wide mouth. His ears are triangular projections with large circular ear ornaments below. He wears an elaborate plumed royal headdress, and at the front, extends a kero with both hands.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall with excellent dark patina.
Dimensions: Height: 2.5 inches (6.35 cm), Width: 1 inch (2.5 cm)
Provenance: From the private collection of R Jerry Bock, Hawaii, assembled in the 1990s, thereafter private Canadian collection, acquired from the trade in 2010.
An Egyptian Blue-Glazed Faience Shabti, ex museum, 19th – 20th Dynasty, ca. 1293 – 1070 BCE
EU2114Regular price $2,500 USD
A small blue glazed faience worker shabti with details in black pigment shown mummiform and wearing, a long tripartite wig; the crossed hands holding whips and there is a seed basket on the flat back and a water pot on both shoulders. An illegible inscription naming the owner is incised within a vertical column down the front. The last three photos show him with his overseer shabti EU2114 (not included) from the same tomb group.
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA (16.392)
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
California State University at San Bernardino
Parallel: Cairo museum, nos: 10307 - 10313
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/4 inches (5.5 cm)
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Emil Brugsch, Bulag Museum 1894, Drexel Institute, Philadelphia, PA, 1916 (accession number: 16.392), deaccessioned from the Drexel collection in 1958, acquired by L. Blumbra (?), Dr. Benson Harer collection, acquired from Superior Stamp & Coin 25 Jul 1975, private Virginia collection, acquired from Dr. Harer in 2014.
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 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 Terracotta Statuette of Bes in Apis Headdress, Roman Period, ca. 30 BCE/CE
ET1902Regular price $1,500 USD
A fragmentary terracotta figure of Bes, in front view depicted as a dwarf with grimacing human face, protruding tongue and wide eyes, round, lionine ears and animal hair or mane. He is wearing a crown, consisting of a cavetto cornice and five feathers or plumes, the ribs and veining of which are indicated. Bes is brandishing a sword in his raised right hand to ward off any danger.
Condition: Fragmentary as shown from the waist down, a break professionally rejoined, otherwise in good condition overall with good remaining white slip. Presented in a frame.
Dimensions: Height: 7 inches (17.8 cm)
Provenance: Dr. Ulrich Muller, Zurich, acquired between 1968-1978, thereafter the Harer Family Trust Collection, acquired from Sands of Time Ancient Art in 2006.
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.