Rupert Wace Ancient Art

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Classical

  - Roman gold ring with gryllus head of Silenus

Roman gold ring with gryllus head of Silenus

c. 2nd century AD

Provenance:
Private collection France, acquired in the 1960s; Sold Christie's, New York, Ancient Jewelery, 9 December 2010, lot 384

Literature:
A similar intaglio in green jasper can be seen in M. Maaskant-Kleibrink, 'Catalogue of the Engraved Gems in the Royal Coin Cabinet', The Hague, 1978, no. 1094.

Description:
Ring size: D. Intaglio measures 12 mm x 9 mm

The hollow gold ring, with plain elliptical hoop expanding at the shoulders. The flat bezel set with a red jasper intaglio of a gryllus of a Silenus head in profile. The head is formed of an eagle for his hair, his beard a cockerel, and a ram's head for an ear.

  - Roman bronze steelyard weight of a young man

Roman bronze steelyard weight of a young man

Mid 1st century AD

Provenance:
Collection of Marcel Dumoulin, Belgium acquired in the 1960s - 1970s

Literature:

Description:
Height: 8.2 cm

Finely cast in the form of a draped and laureate male bust wearing a wreath of ivy leaves in his wavy hair, which is Polykleitan in style, falling into a distinctively parted fringe at the centre of the forehead, the ribbons of the wreath trailing across his shoulders, the eyes and brows articulated, the lips slightly parted, with an integral suspension loop at the crown of his head.

Bronze weights such as this were used as counterbalances on sets of steelyard scales, and were often cast in the form of male and female busts. These frequently depict either deities or emperors as a way of imparting authority to the weight; the ivy wreath here suggests this youth may have been a follower of Dionysus.

Condition:
Green-brown patina over all. Tip of nose worn, section of right ribbon missing, section of curls at back of head lost. Mounted.

  - Roman bronze figure of Aphrodite

Roman bronze figure of Aphrodite

c. 2nd century AD

Provenance:
Collection of Louis de Clercq (1836-1901) Oignies, France; Private collection Switzerland, acquired 1960s and thence by descent

Literature:
Published: A de Ridder, 'Collection de Clercq, Les Bronzes, Tome III' (Paris, 1905), no. 135.

Description:
Height: 31 cm

The goddess stands with her weight on her right leg, her open hands held out before her. She wears a pair of armlets; a twisted necklace with evenly spaced pendants hanging from it and a central counterweight at the back; large, circular earrings and a high crescentic diadem. Her wavy hair, parted in the centre, two short tresses hanging down her neck and a small bun at the back of her head. Original inlay survives to the eyes.

This type of Aphrodite figure reveals the influence of the Eastern mystery religions on Greek and Roman beliefs and practice, in this case the Cult of Isis. It is a particularly strong image of the goddess with emphasis on her maternal characteristics, a form which was particularly popular in Egypt and Syria.

Some damage to the tips of the fingers of the left hand and right index finger.

  - Apulian terracotta fish plate

Apulian terracotta fish plate

Magna-Graecia. c. 4th century BC

Provenance:
Private collection USA, acquired 1980s and thence by descent

Literature:

Description:
Diameter: 26.5 cm
Height: 6.5 cm

Decorated with three fish, two striped bream and a torpedo ray, moving from right to left, and with a reserved circle. The scene framed by a circle of dots around the edge. Standing on a separately made low foot, the deep, downturned rim decorated with a repeating wave pattern. The floor sloping gently to a central depression surrounded by a circle of waves.

This piece comes with a thermoluminescence test report from Oxford Authentication confirming its antiquity.

  - Hellenistic terracotta head of Eros

Hellenistic terracotta head of Eros

3rd-1st Century BC

Provenance:
Private collection UK, acquired c. 1890 and thence by descent to Dr Ford, Balsham, Cambridgeshire (grandson of former owner); Collection of James Chesterman (1926-2014), acquired in 1995 from Dr Ford

Literature:

Description:
Height: 4 cm

Finely-carved and depicted as a young child with rounded, mischievous face, full cheeks and pouting lips, the god's short tousled locks topped with a plait running from the centre of the forehead to the nape of the neck. Traces of pigment on lips and hairline.

Condition:
Broken at neck from complete figure.

  - Roman terracotta head of a woman

Roman terracotta head of a woman

c. 1st-2nd century AD

Provenance:
Private collection UK, acquired c. 1890 and thence by descent to Dr Ford, Balsham, Cambridgeshire (grandson of former owner); Collection of James Chesterman (1926-2014), acquired in 1995 from Dr Ford

Literature:

Description:
Height: 5.3 cm

Probably from the Eastern empire, inclined slightly to her left with large features and full cheeks, her wavy hair centrally-parted and pulled back over her ears, the hair on the back of her head drawn into a series of plaits and coiled round in a bun. She wears a large rosette jewel on the top of her head, and large globular earrings. Traces of red polychromy on hair and jewel.

Condition:
Broken at neck from complete figure.

  - Roman glass bottle

Roman glass bottle

c. 1st - 2nd century AD

Provenance:
Private collection, California, USA acquired 1950s-1960s

Literature:

Description:
The small bottle of pale green glass with extensive iridescence. Globular body on small flat base, the short concave neck with everted rim.

Height: 8 cm

  - Hellenistic Agate vessel

Hellenistic Agate vessel

c. 1st century BC

Provenance:
Private collection Germany, acquired c. 1980

Literature:

Description:
The small, finely worked bowl is carved from crystalline stone. The thin variegated patterned walls are translucent, allowing the blue-grey, white and tan colours to glow.

Height: 2.5 cm. Diameter: 6 cm

  - Roman bronze balsamarium with dolphins

Roman bronze balsamarium with dolphins

1st century AD

Provenance:
Private collection Switzerland, acquired in the 1960s, and thence by descent

Literature:

Description:
Bronze balsamarium in the form of an urn. On a small foot base, the body tapering out to the sharp edge of the horizontal flat shoulders. Two handles in the form of dolphins rise from the shoulders to a circular ridge half way up the neck of the vessel, a looped chain attached to each one, a further chain attached to the stopper lid for suspension.

Height: 14 cm

  - Corinthian marble capital

Corinthian marble capital

Byzantine. 5th-6th AD

Provenance:
American collection

Literature:

Description:
The concave sides of the abacus (the flat top to the capital which would support the architrave) carved with laurel leaf border, each side with a central rosette of acanthus-like leaves. Double volutes at each corner, an acanthus leaf curling out at the centre of each side, others following the curve of the block below each pair of volutes. A border of repeating acanthus leaves round the base.

The last of the three principal classical orders of architecture, Corinthian is characterised by the elaborate capitals decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls.

Length: 45.7 cm, Width: 45.7 cm, Height: 27.9 cm

  - Roman glass jug

Roman glass jug

Eastern Mediterranean. 4th century AD

Provenance:
Private collection France

Literature:

Description:
The body and torus foot of translucent pale yellow glass with an attractive silver irridescence. The piriform body with pronounced shoulder to cylindrical neck flaring at the mouth. A turquoise blue trail applied around the rim. One vertical applied handle of turquoise glass with fine red stripe attached at rim and shoulder.

Height: 12.2 cm

  - Small Greek black glazed olpe

Small Greek black glazed olpe

Attic. 400-350 BC

Provenance:
Private collection UK, acquired prior to 1970

Literature:

Description:
Of simple form, the body and neck formed by a continuous curve from small ring base to out-turned rim. The round mouthed jug with single thick strap handle. A Greek inscription on the unglazed base identifies the owner as Kallias, son of Douros (Doron?).

Height: 11.8 cm