Rupert Wace Ancient Art

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  - Byzantine silver marriage ring

Byzantine silver marriage ring

6th - 7th century AD

Provenance:
Private collection Germany, acquired 1950s; Private collection (M. G.) Southern Germany, acquired 2000

Literature:
For a similar example in gold, see a ring at Dumbarton Oaks, inv. no. 59.60. The couple here face front with a cross between and an inscription reading 'Grace of God' above and 'Harmony' below. Another ring also at Dumbarton Oaks (inv. no. 55.14.269) shows two profile busts much like the present example.

Description:
The thick circular hoop with flat circular bezel engraved with a pair of confronting busts within a dotted border, two crosses between, all inlaid with niello. To the left, a bearded and draped male in right profile shown wearing a diadem, to the right, a draped woman in left profile wearing a diadem and beaded necklace, the facial features completed with a series of dots and dashes, the hair and drapery incised.

Ring size: S

  - Iberian bronze finial of a warrior on horseback

Iberian bronze finial of a warrior on horseback

6th century BC

Provenance:
UK collection, acquired late 1970s-80s

Literature:
Cruder versions of horsemen are included in Lourdes Prados Torreira, 'Exvotos Ibericos de Bronce del Museo Arqueologico Nacional' (Madrid, 1992), p.334-5, the horse of figure no. 427 being of very similar form. Two further examples of votive horsemen, including one wearing a crested helmet, can be found in 'Master Bronzes from the Classical World', Exhibition catalogue at the Fogg Art Museum, USA, 1968, no.115, A and B.

Description:
The rider, with stylised facial features wears a crested Corinthian helmet, he holds the reins of his horse in his left hand and a long sheathed sword in his right, his legs are thrust back to touch the hind legs of his mount. The stylised horse has a long narrow muzzle, with a crested decoration spanning the forelock. The front legs are conjoined, the hind legs with long arched tail between them, both front and hind legs rest in the curve of a ‘V’-shape with pierced, looped tendrils at each end, the base of each attached to the disc top of the hollow finial.

This group may have decorated a piece of furniture or household item. An Etruscan candelabrum in the collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum shows how such a finial might have been placed (cf. Arielle Kozloff et al, 'The Gods Delight, The Human Figure in Classical Bronze' Exhibition catalogue, Cleveland, 1988, p.182). The form reveals the influence of Greek trade along the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

Height: 10.2 cm

  - French Medieval head of the Virgin Mary

French Medieval head of the Virgin Mary

14th century

Provenance:
Private collection, France, removed during restoration from a church in the Auvergne in the 19th century.

Literature:
The sombre expression, narrowed eyes, and upright, forward facing gaze find parallels in a French polychrome limestone Virgin and Child now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no. 17.120.1) and a painted alabaster in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona of comparable date.

Description:
A cast ogival-shaped dagger with three ribs defined by four grooves. The butt is rounded with two plug rivets and lateral notches for two more. The surface with attractive black river patination.

Length: 23.5 cm

  - 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

  - Late Roman clear glass cup

Late Roman clear glass cup

c. 4th - 5th century AD

Provenance:
Niemeijer-Huysse Collection, Netherlands, purchased from Schulman, Amsterdam, in 1977

Literature:

Description:
Formed of fine pale green transparent glass, the globular body decorated with a single line of trailing below a flaring rim. Set on a short flaring foot.

Height: 8.3 cm

  - Hellenistic bronze stool

Hellenistic bronze stool

c. 4th-3rd century BC

Provenance:
UK collection acquired 1970s to 1990s; Property of a Private Foundation, acquired from the above 2003

Literature:
A silver diphros of very similar design was found inside the 4th-century BC Macedonian tomb Agios Athanasios I at Stavroupolis, Thessaloniki (Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, inv. no. ΜΘ 7440); see D. Andrianou, 'The Furniture and Furnishings of Ancient Greek Houses and Tombs', Cambridge, 2009, pp. 28-29, no. 6 and p. 158, n. 20 for further discussion and parallels. We can also compare the stool shown on the 4th century BC stele of Polyxena in Athens (National Museum, inv. no. 723) where the tops of the turned legs clearly protrude above the seat, a feature seemingly intended to keep the cushion in place; see G. M. A. Richter, 'The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans', London, 1966, pp. 40-41.
For evidence of possible Near Eastern influence see H. Kyrieleis, 'Throne und Klinen: Studien zur Formgeschichte altorientalischer und griechischer Sitz- und Liegemobel vorhellenistischer Zeit' (Berlin, 1969), 40-41

Description:
Of rectangular form, with four cylindrical legs tapering to a circular profiled foot, each decorated with three turned bands, the tops of the legs protruding above the seat frame to form four circular bosses, a horizontal stretcher across the two short sides, also with a central turned band, each terminating at the leg in two curved attachment plates with chequered border, a rectangular space for the insertion of a woven seat.

Four-legged stools - or diphroi - of this type are known from numerous representations on Greek vases and reliefs and are also well-described in the ancient literature. A number of metal examples in silver and iron have been excavated from Hellenistic and Roman period tombs in Macedonia and Thrace, where they formed part of the funerary furniture buried with the dead; these diphroi were often used to support a vessel containing the ashes of the deceased or else for the placement of smaller offerings within the tomb.

The size of this example suggests it may have been used as a foot-stool, perhaps specifically for mounting and dismounting a horse. Domestic Greek stools were typically made of wood, sometimes with solid metal feet. Solid metal stools are unusual, suggesting ceremonial or perhaps royal use. It also points to Near Eastern influence.

Height: 35.9 cm Width: 29.5 cm Depth: 20.5 cm

  - Egyptian granite left hand and wrist

Egyptian granite left hand and wrist

New Kingdom.18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, 1391-1353 BC

Provenance:
with Galerie Ratton-Ladriere, Paris; Property of a Private Foundation

Literature:
For an example of the type of statue to which these hands may have belonged, see the granodiorite statue of Sekhmet in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (acc. no. 15.8.3), and a seated limestone statue of Amun-Ra in the Egyptian Museum, Turin (inv. no. 768).

Description:
From an over-lifesized statue, probably of a seated pharaoh or god, the hand, clasping an ankh-cross, would have rested on the figure's knee. The fragment broken at the wrist above a banded cuff, and below the hoop of the ankh.

Length: 33.7 cm

  - Egyptian woven basket containing three desiccated fruits of the Dom palm

Egyptian woven basket containing three desiccated fruits of the Dom palm

New Kingdom. 18th-20th Dynasty, 1540-1069 BC

Provenance:
Gatineau collection, France, acquired prior 1903; with Charles Ede, London, 2004; with Rupert Wace Ancient Art, London, 2008; Property of a Private Foundation

Literature:
Another basket of fruits found in a tomb-chapel in the Theban Necropolis commemorating Nebamun (c. 1350 BC), a middle-ranking official scribe and grain counter is now in the collection of the British Museum (acc. no. EA5395). See also S. Schoske, B. Kreissl, R. Germer, 'Anch, Blumen für das Leben: Pflanzen im alten Ägypten', Munich, 1992, p. 235, no. 167. On the use of dom-palm fruit in pharaonic Egypt, see M. A. Murray, 'Fruits, Vegetables, Pulses and Condiments' in P. T. Nicholson and I. Shaw, 'Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology', Cambridge, 2000, pp. 620-621.

Description:
The elliptical basket is constructed of coiled palm fibres woven together with a decorative striped pattern, and contains three desiccated dom palm fruits.

Baskets filled with the preserved fruit of the dom palm have been recovered from a number of different sites in Egypt, including eight discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun.

The Egyptians often used the fruit to spice their cakes, giving them a gingerbread flavour.

Length: 29.2 cm; width: 17.5 cm

  - Near Eastern serpentine duck weight

Near Eastern serpentine duck weight

Mesopotamian. 2000-1500 BC

Provenance:
Private collection Europe; Sold Sotheby's, New York, 11 December 2002, lot 259; Property of a Private Foundation

Literature:

Description:
The stylized bird, carved from an attractive green serpentine, is shown with a broad plump body and blunt, slightly tapered tail. The long neck turned back, hugging the body with the head resting flat.

Length: 17.8 cm

  - Anatolian pottery vessel

Anatolian pottery vessel

Hacilar Region, Middle Chalcolithic, c. 5000 BC

Provenance:
Collection of Elsa Bloch-Diener, Bern, acquired 1970s

Literature:
For the shape, compare a similar vessel sold Christie’s, New York, 11 December 2003, lot 95 (price realised $23,900). See also an example in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (accession number 64.286.5).

Description:
Of biconical form, with slightly pointed shoulders, straight cylindrical neck and circular rim. Painted on the neck and shoulders in burnished red with bold zigzagging stripes and triangles, the rounded base left bare.

Condition:
Two cracks from rim to mid belly secured and filled. Small area of restoration to rim.

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

Hacilar was a prehistoric settlement in Southwest Turkey, the earliest periods of occupation dating to the early 8th millennium BC. Excavation of this important site took place in the late 1950s under the direction of James Mellaart, the eminent British archaeologist responsible for the discovery of Çatalhöyük. His work at the site revealed similar decoration in the houses to that seen on these characteristic vessels; geometric patterns in red, often burnished, paint on a cream slip.

Height: 15 cm

  - A group of five Anatolian terracotta bulls

A group of five Anatolian terracotta bulls

3rd millennium BC

Provenance:
Private collection Switzerland, acquired 1980s-1990s

Literature:

Description:
Of simple, stylised form, with white slip over all. Each bull with heavy-set body, short splayed legs, and stumpy tail, the broad triangular head with blunt, downwards facing muzzle and thick outsplayed horns demarcated from the face with two incised lines, two round depressions for the eyes and a third for the mouth.

Terracotta figurines of bulls and humped zebu have been unearthed across Anatolia and into the Indus Valley, all with typically stylised, simplified form, squat legs and large horns. Their function is not known, though some are pierced through the neck or hump, suggesting they may have been fitted to model carts, perhaps serving as toys or else as votives.

With a thermoluminescence test report from Oxford Authentication confirming antiquity.

Largest measuring 10.8 cm x 17.2 cm

  - Hellenistic terracotta head of a female

Hellenistic terracotta head of a female

c. 3rd-2nd century BC

Provenance:
Private collection France

Literature:

Description:
Mould-made from a red-brown terracotta, the head with a tang for fitting into the body. The tang follows the line of the long neck and suggests a slightly static pose to the figure with the head facing the viewer. She wears a kerchief wrapped around her head with eye-slits in case the wearer wishes to draw it over her face. The face is fully revealed but the potential to modestly veil oneself is implied. An old collector's number is inscribed in black ink on the neck - '2376'.

The style and material suggest that this head comes from North-west Asia Minor, possibly Smyrna on the Aegean coast of Anatolia.

Height: 6.2 cm

  - South Arabian stele bearing a female bust

South Arabian stele bearing a female bust

1st century BC - 1st century AD

Provenance:
With Gimpel Fils prior to 1970s; Collection of Bruno Grunfeld, UK

Literature:
Similar examples are illustrated in the Gimpel Fils exhibition catalogue, 'Sculpture from South Arabia', 1970, nos. 23 and 45. A comparable example showing the same pose is in the collection of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (acquisition number 21.73). A stele with similar figure but with arms across the body was included in the British Museum exhibition 'Queen of Sheba, Treasures from Ancient Yemen’; catalogue by St John Simpson, London, 2002, p. 199, no. 281.

Description:
Dimensions: 24 x 19 cm

The half length figure rounded at the bottom emerges from a flat panel, a ledge protruding along the base which may originally have borne the donor's name. She raises her right hand with the palm open towards the viewer and in her left holds a bundle which may represent wheat. Deeply hollowed eyes below grooved eyebrows which would all have been inlaid, a small cleft in the chin. The figure represents a priestess portrayed to intercede with the sun goddess on behalf of the donor.

  - Near Eastern bronze plaque of the Master of Animals

Near Eastern bronze plaque of the Master of Animals

Luristan. c. 700 BC

Provenance:
Private collection, USA acquired 1990s

Literature:
A cheekpiece from a horse bit depicting a similar subject in the Nasli M Heeramaneck Collection of Ancient Near Eastern and Central Asian Art now on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Description:
Diameter: 6.5 cm

The circular bronze disc decorated in low relief with the Master of the Animals standing in the centre holding an ibex by a rear leg in each hand. The hero is depicted with a long pointed beard and large round eyes. He wears a long belted tunic and thick boots. A repousse beaded border around the edge of the plaque.

Some small losses around the outer border and a small hole above his right foot filled.

  - Amlash terracotta steatopygous female figure

Amlash terracotta steatopygous female figure

Early 1st millennium BC

Provenance:
European private collection, UK and Switzerland, formed in the 1970s and 1980s; Private collection, Switzerland, acquired 2003

Literature:
Comparable examples were included in the Barcelona exhibition of Mediterranean female images from Prehistoric times to the Roman Period, see the catalogue, 'Deesses Diosas Goddesses', 2000, nos. 80 and 81.

Description:
Height: 33 cm

The stylised figure standing with arms folded in beneath the diminutive breasts, the elongated body with grooved spine, exaggerated hips and protruding buttocks tapering to narrow legs. The bulbous head with double pierced ears and tall headdress.

Amlash refers to sites in the province of Gilan, Iran along the Caspian Sea. The culture is renowned for its distinctive ceramic figures and animals.

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

  - South Arabian alabaster head of a woman

South Arabian alabaster head of a woman

c. 1st Century BC - 1st century AD

Provenance:
From the Collection of the late Ralph Hinshelwood Daly OBE (1924-2006), acquired prior to 1967.
In 1955 Daly joined the Colonial Service and was posted to the Aden Protectorates that today form the Republic of Yemen. It was here that he met and married his wife Elizabeth Anne Daly (née Fenton Wells) and acquired the collection of alabaster sculptures. In 1967 the Aden Protectorates became independent from Britain, and Ralph, awarded an OBE for his work, retired from the Colonial Service and returned with Elizabeth to Europe, taking their collection of alabasters with them.

Literature:
For a similar example, nicknamed 'Miriam' by the workman at the time of discovery, see St. J. Simpson (ed.), 'Queen of Sheba, Treasures of Ancient Yemen', London, 2002, pp. 194-195, no. 270. This head retains the plaster hair.

Description:
Height: 29.6 cm (inc. base)

The head with long tapering neck and shield shaped face. Thin arching brows above almond-shaped eyes inlaid with white stone, the pupils originally of glass or lapis (mostly missing). Her long straight nose above a narrow mouth. Her roughly chiselled hair seemingly tucked behind small, protruding ears. This rough finish to the hair and top of the head may have allowed the figure to be finished with the addition of plaster or stucco. The alabaster base, if not original, is certainly ancient. The stepped form is more usually associated with altars but it may have been reused.

This form of head is associated with the kingdom of Qataban which, together with Ma’in, Saba, Himyar, and Hadhramaut, was one of the five kingdoms of southern Arabia. Pliny the Elder recorded that Timna, the capital of this ancient kingdom was a busy metropolis housing no less than 65 temple complexes. Its wealth was based on its monopoly of the ancient cinnamon and incense trade routes. The area was first excavated in the 1950s by the American archaeologist Wendell Phillips, (W. Phillips, 'Qataban and Sheba: Exploring the ancient kingdoms on the Biblical spice routes of Arabia', London, 1955).

  - European Early Bronze Age dagger

European Early Bronze Age dagger

1700-1600 BC

Provenance:
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.

Literature:
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.

Description:
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.

  - Iberian bronze statuette of a warrior

Iberian bronze statuette of a warrior

6th century BC

Provenance:
UK collection, acquired 1970s to 1990s

Literature:

Description:
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.

  - Anglo-Saxon gold and bronze disc brooch

Anglo-Saxon gold and bronze disc brooch

7th century AD

Provenance:
UK collection, acquired 1991

Literature:

Description:
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.

  - Nordic stone battle axe

Nordic stone battle axe

Neolithic. c. 4th millennium BC

Provenance:
Reputedly from the collection of Dr George Wyckoff Cummings (1865-1942), Hackettstown, New Jersey; Private collection, USA acquired circa 1980

Literature:
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.

Description:
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.

  - 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.

  - Egyptian bronze oxyrinchus

Egyptian bronze oxyrinchus

Late Dynastic Period. 25th-31st Dynasty, 715-332 BC

Provenance:
Private collection France, acquired in the 1970s

Literature:

Description:
The fish, with its distinctive long, down-turned snout, is crowned with uraei, cow's horns and sun disc with double suspension loop behind. It wears a broad beaded collar around its gills and has hollow eyes recessed for inlay (now missing). It is perched on a sled, supported by its tail, rear fin and a striated prop below its belly.

Length: 11.6 cm

  - Egyptian alabaster cosmetic vessel with lid

Egyptian alabaster cosmetic vessel with lid

Middle Kingdom. 11th-12th Dynasty, 2040-1801 BC

Provenance:
Knoop collection, USA, probably acquired 1950s.
Bill and Jeanne Knoop married in 1946 and started collecting in 1948. They were avid and eclectic collectors, their passions and focus changing over the years, encompassing at various times Pilgrim furniture, early lighting, inlaid boxes, treen, ivory miniatures, needleworks, nautical and whaling artifacts from New England. Their earliest collection, however, was of Egyptian artefacts, an area of interest which was sparked by a visit in the late 1940s to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Jeanne subsequently took advice from curators regarding reputable dealers.

Literature:

Description:
The squat body flares from a low angled foot to broad shoulders with thick integral circular rim. The original flat disc lid with circular projection on the underside to locate on the vessel and seal. The interior with traces of kohl.

Height: 4 cm Diameter of lid: 3.8 cm

  - Egyptian black-top jar

Egyptian black-top jar

Predynastic Period. Naqada I-II, c. 4000-3250 BC

Provenance:
Private collection UK, acquired at Christies London between 1956 and 1960

Literature:

Description:
Height: 30 cm

The elongated ovoid body rises from a small flat foot to a short neck with everted lip. The red and burnt black surface is burnished to a dull sheen.
The vessel restored from original fragments.

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

Black-topped pottery vessels, made of fired Nile silt, have a polished red coloured lower surface, sometimes enhanced by a red slip. Below the rim is a blackened area probably caused by the vessel being fired with its mouth pushed into the ashes with the body exposed to the air, although it is also suggested that it was placed in some type of organic matter immediately after firing. This carbonization was employed solely to obtain a desired colour effect, and was obviously deliberate for the even firing of pottery in a kiln had been practiced for centuries. The blackened area is also polished, giving it an almost metallic sheen.

Exhibited: 'The Middle Class go To Heaven', Condo 2017, Galerie Max Mayer & CHEWDAY’S
Egyptian Funerary Objects, Jef Geys and Nicolás Guagnini, 14 January 2017 – 11 February, 2017

  - Egyptian predynastic painted pottery jar

Egyptian predynastic painted pottery jar

Naqada II, Gerzean, 3700-3250 BC

Provenance:
Collection of Ernest Seymour Thomas (d.1936), UK, acquired in the early 20th Century and thence by descent.
The ethnographer and artist, Ernest Seymour Thomas worked in Cairo for the Royal Geographical Society, writing a catalogue of the Ethnographical collections, which was published in 1924. He went on to be appointed assistant curator to the Pitt Rivers Museum by Henry Balfour in the early 1920s.

Literature:

Description:
Height: 10 cm Width: 14.5 cm

The jar of compressed globular form with lug handles and a flat everted rim. The body decorated in red slip with six vertical hatched panels, similar horizontal bands below the handles which also bear hatching. The base painted with concentric rings and the rim with six groups of six straight lines.

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

  - Egyptian bronze statuette of Khonsu

Egyptian bronze statuette of Khonsu

Late Dynastic Period. 25th-31st Dynasty, 715-332 BC

Provenance:
Private collection France, acquired 1970s

Literature:

Description:
Height: 15.5 cm

Shown mummiform, holding both the djed-sceptre of Ptah, and the hook and flail of Osiris to his chest, his right hand placed above his left, wearing a false beard, sidelock, and broad usekh collar with tasselled trim and striated menat hanging at the back of the neck, his forehead crowned with a uraeus cobra, his head surmounted with a crescent and lunar disc.

This fine bronze combines the attributes of four separate Egyptian deities: Khonsu, Ptah, Osiris, and Iah. This is typical of representations of Khonsu from Lower Egypt, as is the placement of the hands, and conveys different aspects of his divinity. For example, the lunar disc points to his role as god of the moon and defender of those who travel at night, aligning him with Thoth and Iah: as Khonsupakhered, he was the personification of the light of the crescent moon, and thus of rebirth and regeneration. The child's sidelock, associated with Harpocrates, refers to his status at Thebes, where he was venerated with the name Khonsou-Neferhotep as the child of Amun and Mut; he also shared an epithet with Ptah, 'lord of Ma'at', and in the later period was associated with Osiris as respective personifications of the sun and moon.

Condition:
Repaired break at waist. Dark green patina over all.

  - N/A

N/A

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:

  - Egyptian polychrome wood mask

Egyptian polychrome wood mask

Third Intermediate Period
22nd-24th Dynasty, 945-715 BC

Provenance:
From the Estate of Thomas M. Messer (1920-2013), New York, director of the Guggenheim Museum from 1962 to 1988

Literature:

Description:
The oval face with finely outlined, slightly smiling lips, straight nose, defined philtrum and large slightly recessed almond-shaped eyes. The upper rims, extended brows and cosmetic lines of the eyes carved in shallow relief. Crowned by the remaining central portion of the wig. Evidence of gilding survives on the face and with remains of original pigment on the wig and eyes.
Height: 24.1 cm

  - Interior of the Temple of Rameses II, Abu Simbel

Interior of the Temple of Rameses II, Abu Simbel

English School. 19th century

Thomas D Bland

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
Executed in pen and ink and watercolour, heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic, the study shows two figures, a local guide leading a 19th century tourist through the temple by torchlight.

Inscribed with title 'Interior of the Remeses II Temple - Aboo Simbnel' (lower left) and signed and dated 'T D Bland Jan 7th 68' (on the body of the colossal statue of Ramesses as Osiris).

Probably the most renowned of the numerous monuments moved as a result of the threat of flooding from the building of the Aswan High Dam. Between 1964 and 1968 the entire site of Abu Simbel was carefully dismantled to be reassembled 65 metres higher and 200 metres back from the river, now Lake Nasser.

Framed dimensions: 47 x 54 cm

  - Roman Glass Flask

Roman Glass Flask

Eastern Mediterranean. c.3rd-4th century AD

Provenance:
Private collection France, acquired c. 1990

Literature:

Description:
The lenticular body of translucent pale green glass with a cylindrical neck, a pronounce depression at the join, and thick flared rim. Two turquoise ribbon-like trails applied to the sides and continuing up to form handles of circular cross section attached at the middle of the neck. A small flat base with pontil mark.

Height: 14.8 cm

  - Study of Philae

Study of Philae

English School. 19th century

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
Study from the sketchbook, 'Sketches in the East', of 'J.D.T', an as yet unidentified English watercolour artist. The temple complex of Philae is shown from the Nile, the Kiosk of Trajan standing prominently on the banks of the island.

Along with Abu Simbel, this is one of the most renowned of the numerous monuments moved as a result of the threat of flooding caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Formerly standing on an island in the First Cataract of the Nile, the temple complex was partially flooded for half a century after the building of the Aswan Low Dam. It was moved to the nearby island of Agilkia as part of the UNESCO project.

Titled 'Philae' and dated '25 Dec 1861', bottom left corner.

Dimensions: 24.8 x 37.5 cm
Framed Dimensions: 41 x 53 cm

  - Small silver gilt fibula of an eagle

Small silver gilt fibula of an eagle

Merovingian, 6th century AD

Provenance:
Private collection Germany, acquired 1980s

Literature:
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.

Description:
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

  - 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

  - A 19th century Grand Tourist exploring the sites

A 19th century Grand Tourist exploring the sites

English School. 19th century

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
A cave like interior lit by a candle held by a naked male figure crouched on the heaped bodies of bandaged mummies. A European male looks on whilst a foot is wrested from one of the corpses.
Inscibed on the mount ‘Descent into the Mummy-Pits, nr. Medeenet Aboo./ My guide is represented trying to break off a/ “nice foot”(!) as a memento of this fascinating/ spot.’

Pencil, pen and ink and wash.

Dimensions of study: 12.5 x 24.5 cm. Framed size: 31.2 x 41 cm

  - Watercolour study of 'Philae'

Watercolour study of 'Philae'

English School. 19th century

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
Study from the sketchbook, 'Sketches in the East', of 'J.D.T', an as yet unidentified English watercolour artist. A view of the temple of Hathor, Philae.

Along with Abu Simbel, this is one of the most renowned of the numerous monuments moved as a result of the threat of flooding caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Formerly standing on an island in the First Cataract of the Nile, the temple complex was partially flooded for half a century after the building of the Aswan Low Dam. It was moved to the nearby island of Agilkia as part of the UNESCO project.

Titled 'Philae' and dated '29 Dec 1861', bottom left corner.

Dimensions: 24.7 x 36.3 cm
Framed Dimensions: 41.5 x 53 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

  - Egyptian schist rhomboidal palette

Egyptian schist rhomboidal palette

Predynastic Period. Naqada I-II,4200-3250 BC

Provenance:
Joseph Klein Collection, USA acquired between 1941 and 1980 and thence by descent

Literature:

Description:
Large broad example of roughly rhomboidal form with slightly convex profile. The face dished from use. Score marks on the surface particularly of the back from original finishing process.

Bearing old collection number in white 'No.171-4'.

Length: 37.5 cm

  - Anatolian marble fragment of a 'star gazer' figure

Anatolian marble fragment of a 'star gazer' figure

Early Bronze Age, c. 2700-2100 BC

Provenance:
UK collection

Literature:
For a similar complete example see Jurgen Thimme, 'Kunst und Kultur der Kykladeninseln im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr.', Karlsruhe 1976, no.563, ill. p.403 and Oscar White Muscarella (Ed.), 'Ancient Art: The Norbert Schimmel Collection', Exhibition Catalogue, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Mainz 1974, no. 8.

Description:
The highly stylized oval head with two small ears and long nasal ridge leans slightly back. A short neck to broad rounded shoulders, deep oblique grooves delineate the arms at the back, with the forearms bent upwards at the elbow to give them a wing-like appearance. The figure broken just above the waist.

Height: 4.8 cm

  - Pencil and watercolour study of Karnak

Pencil and watercolour study of Karnak

English School. 19th century

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
Study from the sketchbook, 'Sketches in the East', of 'J.D.T', an as yet unidentified English watercolour artist. A view from the back of the complex of Karnak, the largest ancient religious site in the world. Construction of the temples began in the Middle Kingdom and continued through to the Ptolemaic period.

Titled 'Karnak' and dated '25 January 1862' bottom left corner.

Dimensions: 36.5 x 24.8 cm
Framed Dimensions: 53 x 41.5 cm

  - Egyptian faience frog seal amulet

Egyptian faience frog seal amulet

New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty, Thutmosid period 1504-1391 BC

Provenance:

Literature:
Examples of frog amulets can be seen in Florence Dunn Friedman (Ed.) with Georgina Borromeo, 'Gifts of the Nile, Ancient Egyptian Faience' (London, 1998) pp.116 and 208, figs. 70-71.

Description:
Of very pale green colour, the frog is depicted seated on an integral oval base, hind legs tightly bent, front legs splayed to support the erect upper body. Head held high with protruding eyes of round flattened rim with bulbous pupils, the mouth an incised line. Pierced longitudinally between the front and back legs to allow the amulet to be suspended or attached. Front of base restored.

The base of the amulet incised with a horse and eye hierolgyph within an oval frame. The horse first appears in Egypt during the Hyksos Period, the first foreign rulers in the country whose arrival initiated the Second Intermediate Period. The horse is probably still rare and a royal perogative during the early New Kingdom. It has been suggested that the representation of a horse on a seal amulet is a substitute for the king.

For the Egyptians the frog or toad held the same symbolism as the scarab beetle because it was apparently born from mud as though by spontaneous generation and, in addition, reproduced in huge numbers. Consequently, from the earliest Dynasties, an amulet in its shape offered its owner the hope of regeneration and fertility. Appropriately they were also associated with Heket, the goddess of childbirth.

Length: 2.5 cm

  - Watercolour study of an Egyptian Temple

Watercolour study of an Egyptian Temple

English School. Early 20th century

Winifred Mabel Brunton (1880-1952)

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
Watercolour on paper of a colossal seated figure flanking the entrance from the peristyle courtyard into the hypostyle hall of the temple.

Signed with initials 'WMNB' (Winifred Mabel Newberry Brunton) and dated '1912' on the rock in the foreground.

Winifred Brunton (1880-1959) was the South African wife of British Egyptologist Guy Brunton, who excavated at Lahun with Flinders Petrie, later serving as Assistant Keeper of the Cairo Museum. Winifred illustrated many of the finds for her husband's excavation reports and was responsible for the 'portraits' which fill the two volumes, 'Kings and Queens of Ancient Egypt' (1926) and 'Great Ones of Ancient Egypt' (1929). Today these books are highly collectible for the illustrations.

Dimensions: 36 x 27 cm. Framed dimensions: 50.5 x 40.2 cm

  - North European tinned bronze fibula of a cicada

North European tinned bronze fibula of a cicada

Ostrogothic, 6th century AD

Provenance:
UK collection.

Literature:
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

Description:
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

  - 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

  - Watercolour study of Edfu

Watercolour study of Edfu

English School. 19th century

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
Study from the sketchbook, 'Sketches in the East', of 'J.D.T', an as yet unidentified English watercolour artist. A view of the main entrance, the first pylon of the temple of Edfu, one of the best preserved in Egypt, constructed in the Ptolemaic period and dedicated to Horus.

Titled 'Edfoo' and dated '20 Dec 1861', bottom left corner.

Dimensions: 36.2 x 24.5 cm
Framed Dimensions: 52.7 x 41.5 cm

  - Study of a tomb at Beni Hasan

Study of a tomb at Beni Hasan

English School. 19th century

Rev. John Louis Petit (1801–1868)

Provenance:

Literature:

Description:
A study executed in a striking palette of reds and terracottas over pencil by the Rev. John Louis Petit (1801–1868) of the interior of the 12th Dynasty rock cut tomb of Baqet III at Beni Hasan (tomb 15). This tomb is renowned for its depictions of wrestling techniques, a part of these scenes visible on the rear wall surrounding the niche.

Born in Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire and educated at Eton and Cambridge, the Rev Petit was an accomplished artist publishing a number of books on church architecture. He sketched rapidly and always painted 'plein air', finishing his drawings on site. In 1864-5 he travelled extensively in the East returning home with a collection of studies which included this fine example.

Inscribed on the back in blue ink '1864-5, 32' and in pencil, 'Beni Hasssan 6th January 1865'.

Dimensions: 39.5 x 28 cm
Framed Dimensions: 46.5 x 58.4 cm