European

  - Romano-British gilt-bronze boar attachment

Romano-British gilt-bronze boar attachment

1st century AD

Provenance:
Private collection Germany, acquired prior to 1990

Literature:
Published: Rupert Wace Ancient Art, 2017, no. 38.

A less-detailed bronze boar attachment was found in Eastcheap, London (Museum of London, inv. no. A2403); another in the British Museum shows similar modelling of the animal's face (acc. no. 1814,0704.290). For discussion of the type, see J. Foster, 'Bronze Boar Figurines in Iron Age and Roman Britain', BAR Brit. Ser. 39, Oxford, 1977, pp. 21 and 32-33, nos. 16-18, fig. 11, pls. 10-11.

Description:
In the form of the head and foreparts of a boar, a solid ridge of bristles running along the spine, the front legs with cloven hooves, the head with ears erect, incised almond-shaped eyes and opened mouth with two large tusks to either side, a round hole passing through the snout behind the tusks fitted with a wire ring.

Small attachments such as this were probably fitted to the rims of drinking vessels made of metal or wood and are typically found at Roman sites.

Height: 4 cm

  - Bronze brooch in form of a sandal-sole

Bronze brooch in form of a sandal-sole

Romano-British. c. 2nd century AD

Provenance:
Collection of John Hayward, UK

Literature:

Description:
An uncommon type of sandal-sole brooch of symmetrical form with pointed toe. Inlaid with blue enamel, 5 dots of yellow enamel inserted to represent hobnails. The hinged pin now lost. With hanging loop at the heel.

Length: 4 cm

  - Danish flint dagger

Danish flint dagger

Neolithic. c. 2000-1800 BC

Provenance:
Private collection Denmark

Literature:
For similar examples see 'Antiquities from Europe and the Near East in the Collection of the Lord McAlpine of West Green' (Oxford, 1987) nos. 4.216-4.2167, p. 80. For an example in Norwich, see Steven Hooper, (Ed), 'Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. III, Precolumbian, Asian, Egyptian and European Antiquities' (Yale, 1997) pp. 413-414.

Description:
The broad leaf-shaped blade, the tip blunted in antiquity, the grip of lentoid section with a slightly flaring fishtail butt. The mottled grey flint unpolished.

The transition from a Neolithic to a Bronze Age culture was not a sudden and instantaneous pan-European process. In Scandinavia and other areas where ore was limited the passage was slower, and long after bronze had appeared in other areas the use of flint continued with forms often based on metal prototypes as in this example.

Length: 22.5 cm

  - Byzantine glass mosaic panel

Byzantine glass mosaic panel

6th century AD

Provenance:
G. Sangiorgi Collection (1886-1960), Rome, acquired late 19th-early 20th century and thence by descent; Sold Christie's, New York, 3 June 1999, lot 225; Property of a Private Foundation

Giorgio Sangiorgi (1886-1960) was a collector and antiquities dealer with a gallery at Palazzo Borghese at 117, via Ripetta in Rome. Born in Messina, Sangiorgi assembled most of his collection in the late nineteenth century. An exhibition of his ancient textiles was held at the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome in 1911, and his ancient glass collection was published in 1914. Many of his pieces were subsequently acquired by private collectors and museums.

Literature:

Description:
Formed of large triangular red glass tesserae, transitioning from deep purple at the bottom of the panel to terracotta-red at the top, interspersed with small triangular blue glass tesserae alternately framed with either white or gold glass tesserae.

Condition:
Old break across top right corner (running diagonally from eighth red tesserae from left) repaired using original tesserae taken from the top of panel to form a complete rectangle. Diagonal crack across bottom right corner (from eighth purple-red tesserae from left). Set into plaster.

Dimensions: 16.5 x 12.5 cm

  - Pair of Byzantine silver spoons

Pair of Byzantine silver spoons

Early Byzantine. c. 550-650 AD

Provenance:
Sold Christie's, London, 2 December 1991, lot 184; Sold Christie’s, London, 28 April 2004, lot 277; Property of a Private Foundation

Literature:
The spoons are near identical to those recovered from the Lampsacus Treasure now in the British Museum (see, for example, acc. no. 1848,0601.7). A near identical pair from the collection of Comtesse de Behague were also sold at Sotheby's Monaco, 5 December 1987, lot 128.

Description:
Each with a pear-shaped bowl engraved on the back with a symmetrical palm-frond design attached with a vertical disc to the slender baluster-moulded handle, each of which is hexagonal in section nearest the bowl and then round, terminating in a small ball finial.

These spoons with their distinctive drop between bowl and handle belong to the largest and penultimate type of Roman cochlearia, many of which have a leaf design on the underside of the bowl. A number of early Byzantine silver hoards containing sets of similar spoons have been recovered in Greece and Turkey, including the Kerynia Treasure, found in Cyprus, which included thirty-six silver spoons, and the Lampsacus Treasure, discovered at Lapseki in Turkey, which contains thirteen spoons.

Length: 26 cm

  - Byzantine gold and garnet ring

Byzantine gold and garnet ring

4th-6th century AD

Provenance:
Sold Gorny & Mosch, Auction 150, 11 July 2006, lot 188; Property of a Private Foundation

Literature:
For discussion of the type and parallels, see J. Spier, Byzantium and the West: Jewelry in the First Millennium, London, 2012, pp. 62-65.

Description:
The flat gold band decorated with six cabuchon garnets, each within a circular gold cell.

The fashion for setting gems in cells like this begins in the third century AD and becomes increasingly popular until the sixth or seventh century. Several examples of this type are known, set either with garnets or with emeralds.

Diameter of band: 2 cm. Ring size: N

  - Prehistoric flint hammer stone

Prehistoric flint hammer stone

3500 - 800 BC

Provenance:
Collection of Professor Sir Lucas White King (1856-1925), Dublin and London; Richardson Collection, UK
Bearing original collection label stating: 'Neolithic Hammer or Quern Stone. Ex County Down Ireland, from Prof Sir Lucas White King's Collection'

Literature:
A similar example was found in Norfolk and recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Description:
A regularly shaped spherical hammerstone, the surface covered with fine percussion scars.

Diameter: 7 cm

  - Gallo-Roman bronze owl plate brooch

Gallo-Roman bronze owl plate brooch

2nd-3rd century AD

Provenance:
From the collection of Alan Harrison, found in North East Lincolnshire.

Literature:

Description:
A cast bronze plate brooch in the form of an owl in profile with head facing, forward. The eyes circled with orange enamel (missing from one eye), the wing forming a cell for red enamel inlay. Striations to the tail, body and wing indicating feathers. Part of the pin and catchplate survive on the reverse.

Dimensions: 2.6 x 2.8 cm

  - Silver fibula in the form of a boar

Silver fibula in the form of a boar

Ibero-Celtic. 4th-3rd century BC

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
The fibula is cast as a stylised boar, recognisable by its snout and prick ears, both of which are decorated with hanging rings. The central body is ribbed and the rounded hindquarters are also cast with loops from which rings are suspended. The underside of the body is flat with a post at the back to hold the spring and an open U-shaped catchplate below the head which receives the pin.

Length: 4 cm

  - Pair of silver-gilt fibulae with animal head terminals

Pair of silver-gilt fibulae with animal head terminals

Ibero-Celtic. 1st century BC

Provenance:
UK collection

Literature:

Description:
The bow of each fibula is worked with conjoined animal heads with open mouths at either end; these are linked by a rectangular bar decorated on the sides and top with recessed panels surrounded by ribbing. The flattened rod of the foot terminates in another animal head with large ears and a ruff around its neck; this curves forward and rests upon one of the boar heads. The bars of the sprung pins are finished with biconical knopped terminals.

These beautifully-worked fibulae evolved from Middle La Tène types, some of which had symmetrical bows terminating in similar animal heads with open mouths. These were made in the period after 100 BC. The addition of the canine head suggests that these represent a short-hand version of a hunting scene, expressed more fully in the famous group of figural fibulae depicting a mounted horseman with a deer and boar, or simply groups of animals. The treatment of rectangular bars between the animal heads on our fibulae can be paralleled on examples from this group such as that found in a silver hoard at Monsanto de Beira, Portugal.

Length: 3.3 cm

  - Romano-British 'dragonesque' fibula

Romano-British 'dragonesque' fibula

1st century AD

Provenance:
Private collection, York, UK

Literature:
For a discussion on dragonesque brooches, see Catherine Johns, 'The Jewellery of Roman Britain, Celtic and Classical Traditions' (London, 1996) pp. 151-153, 'Dragonesque brooches are an indigenous Romano-British creation, and as such are significant indicators of the cultural interaction of Roman and native.'

Description:
The S shaped brooch terminates in two abstracted heads at either end, each with a large circular eye set within another circle. The broad central area is decorated with eight variously shaped cells to take enamel of which only two of the four central square cells still retain their translucent enamel.

Height: 3.8 cm