Boissonnas collection, Switzerland (inventory no. 69); Sold at Fischer Auctions, Lucerne, 11-13 September 2008, lot 320; Private collection (R.B.) UK (acquired at Fischer auction).
At the time of the Fischer auction the dagger had a bronze tag (subsequently lost) bearing Boissonnas collection inventory number.
For a similar example from Bohemia see Vere Gordon Childe, 'The Bronze Age', Cambridge University Press, 1930, fig.45. Also 3 Italian examples in Oscar Montelius, 'Die älteren Kulturerioden im Orient und Europa I. Die Methode', Stockholm, 1903.
Length: 23.8 cm
A tangless dagger with triangular blade, semicircular shoulder and solid lenticular hilt terminating in a pommel of truncated conical form with a central boss. The lower part of the handle composed of a down-curved arch featuring seven pseudo rivet heads enveloping the butt of the blade on both sides, the semicircular space left on the butt decorated with parallel lines. The blade with midrib and decorated with engraved geometric designs.
Possibly French, this fine dagger rests well in the hand. Such quality is associated with the appearance in Phase 2 of the Early Bronze Age of a new elite for whom a weapon of this nature would be a status symbol.
6th - 7th century AD
The four short arms flaring at the ends and with rounded terminals tipped with small projections, the top extended to hold a suspension loop. Five cells of niello decorate the surface, a lozenge shaped at the centre, circular top and bottom and tear shaped to fit at the sides.
Length: 5.9 cm (excluding suspension ring)
Neolithic. c.2000-1800 BC
Collection of Dr George Wyckoff Cummings (1865-1942), Hackettstown, New Jersey; Private collection USA, acquired circa 1980
A finely knapped dagger of grey brown flint, the leaf-shaped blade sharply pointed, the short butt or grip an extension of the blade. Collector's number on one side.
Length: 17.8 cm
6th century BC
UK collection, acquired 1970s to 1990s
Height: 10 cm
The figure stands with his feet together, wearing a pleated kilt ending above his knees. At his waist he holds a sword in his right hand and from his left hand projects a small circular shield with central boss. Large eyes and a wide mouth animate his rounded triangular face which is crowned with a smooth cap-like coiffure.
c. 6th century AD
A more ornate brass example in the collection of the British Museum is included in the exhibition catalogue 'Byzantium 330-1453 ' (eds. Robin Cormack & Maria Vassilaki), cat. no. 218.
This bronze lamp has a circular wick-hole with a serrated rim which flares back to the body of the lamp in a petal-like design. The lamp has no central filler hole for the incense, which is uncommon for lamps of this type, but rather its smooth ovoid body curves up to the decorative handle of a six-sided flower design, through which the oil would have been poured. Two balls of brass adorn the otherwise simple flower shape, one joins it to the body of the lamp and the other is symmetrically opposite. The lamp stands on a short stand which widens out at the base.
7th century AD
UK collection, acquired 1991
Diameter: 3.5 cm
An applied disc brooch with flat bronze back plate with circular band of bronze fastened on the edge to form a rim, a disc of thin gold sheet with repoussé decoration applied to the front. The decoration in the form of regular interlaced pattern interspersed with dots. Remains of the iron pin corroded in situ on the back. The gap between the two elements would probably have been packed with a perishable material now lost.
This type of applied disc brooch more regularly date to the 5th or 6th century AD, the regular nature of the interlacing on this example may suggest a slightly later date in the early 7th century. It is rare for these brooches to survive intact as the elements are easily separated.
Neolithic. c. 4th millennium BC
Reputedly from the collection of Dr George Wyckoff Cummings (1865-1942), Hackettstown, New Jersey; Private collection, USA acquired circa 1980
For a similar example see 'Antiquities from Europe and the Near East in the Collection of the Lord McAlpine of West Green' (Oxford, 1987), p. 74, no.4.173. Other examples in the collection of the Danish National Museum are illustrated in the museum's guide, 'Prehistoric Denmark', 1970, p.14-15.
Length: 15 cm
A boat-form battle axe carved from an attractive mottled hard stone. Lozenge-shaped outline with convex sides, with large curved 'Nackenkamm' butt, the cutting edge angled possibly through wear.
Merovingian, 6th century AD
Private collection Germany, acquired 1980s
For a very similar example though with no surviving gilding see Richard Hattatt, 'Brooches of Antiquity' (Oxford, 1987) pp. 324-3, no. 1320, also illustrated in Richard Hattatt 'Ancient Brooches and other Artefacts' (Oxford, 1989) p.381.
The flat brooch depicts the bird in side view. A large circular eye above a sharply hooked beak. Gilding remains on the wing, neck and beak of the eagle, with traces also visible in the detailing of the tail feathers. The stylised feathers carved on the ridge of the back inlaid with niello.
The pin is now missing but the hinge and catch- plate survive.
Length: 3.1 cm
Ostrogothic, 6th century AD
Examples of cicada brooches can be seen in Debra Noel Adams, Emma C. Bunker, Trudy Kawami, Robert Morkot, Dalia Tawil, 'When Orpheus Sang' (Paris, 2004) pp. 246-247, nos. 267-268
The narrow triangular body, flanked by a pair of sharply pointed wings, terminates in a rectangular head marked with a series of diagonal grooves representing the eyes; two parallel lines delineate the thorax. The pin now missing, but part of the spring and catch still remaining.
Length: 7.6 cm
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