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Antique Pleasure Augustan Treasure

Suite 744, 2 Old Brompton Road, London sw7 3dq, uk Tel : 020 7689 7500 Mobile : 07768236921 / 07836684133 Email : enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk Website : www.finchandco.art


[1] A Very Rare Neolithic Scottish / Shetland Islands Fired Clay Ball with Bulbous Protrusions 4000–2000 bc

s i z e : 8 cm dia – 3 ins dia. c f : D.V. Clarke Symbol of Power at the Time of Stonehenge Catalogue National Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh 1985 pg. 56–62 and pg. 171 for related stone ball examples At this period of time Northern Britain seems to have had a particularly flourishing culture, especially in the fertile Orkney Islands where the impressive passage grave of Maes Howe was built around 3200 bc. It has been suggested that the remarkable ditched and banked stone circles of Brodgar and Steness, that can be seen from Maes Howe, with their ceremonial entrance, are a further development of round passage graves. They probably enclosed circular timber structures for the kinds of rituals which previously took place in the tombs allowing larger numbers of people to gather than could in the stone chambers. The circles were aligned on the summer solstice, the light which gladdened the living, and the old tombs were aligned with the winter solstice, the cold light piercing the realm of the dead. We have no direct knowledge of their esoteric rites, but certain carefully made objects like this example, in the shape of ornamented spheres or platonic solids with carved bosses and facets, argue for a sophisticated understanding of geometry at this time. They were perhaps used for divination purposes, and seem to lead back to the patterns on the walls of the prehistoric passage graves of Brittany, Ireland and Anglesey. Closely related to the ancient curious Scottish stone balls that embody the mystery of mathematics, physics and cosmology and reveal a wealth of prehistoric knowledge of astonishing sophistication. The form of the balls varies, but the majority of the stone balls found have a regular distribution of knobs carved on the surface. Around 400 have been found over a fairly wide area of Scotland with a particular concentration of finds within Aberdeenshire.


[2] a. Fine Ottoman Turkish Sherbet Spoon with Tortoise­ shell Bowl Ivory Stem with Turned Simulated Rope Twist Design and a Large Natural Coral Finial Late 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 25.5 cm long – 10 ins long

b. Delicate Ottoman Turkish Sherbet Spoon with Tear Shaped Tortoiseshell Bowl and Stem Coral and Brass Segment Finial Late 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 21 cm long – 8¼ ins long The Ottomans liked using multiple materials in combination and the craftsmen at the Topkapi Palace produced many luxury items using exotic materials from around the world. Artists, architects and craftsmen engaged in all the various decorative arts were employed and lodged within the grounds of the palace. Rather than relying on placing orders with independent masters, the Ottomans kept co-opting the best artists they could find into their own palace workshops. Records show that at the beginning of the 16th century over 360 artisans were employed and that by the end of the century this number had risen to over 1500 craftsmen, all on the payroll of the palace. However by the end of the 18th century their number had been considerably reduced to a mere 186. Topkapi Palace formed the centre of the Ottoman world. For almost four centuries the palace patronised the fine arts producing textiles, jewels, carpets, calligraphy, arms and armour, manuscripts and bookbinding. The palace servants and concubines were recruited from far-flung provinces of the empire and the Ottoman rulers also had a penchant for precious stones and exotic materials and these also imported from distant shores were then used to achieve the most magnificent results possible in the palace workshops. For wealthy Europeans these luxury goods became status symbols whilst in the early 1800s, from London to Paris, it became the height of fashion to dress à la Turca.


[3] An Unusual Victorian Leather Bound Board Album of Twenty-Eight Watercolours Depicting Various Types of Fungi Found in Britain Some with their Latin names in pencil Inscribed inside the cover Fanny Matthews 1858 Mid 19th Century

s i z e : 13 cm high, 21.5 cm wide – 5 ins high, 8½ cm wide p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection There is something special about roaming the woods and fields in search of fungi. It is difficult to define the magic, but having first mastered the rudiments of sorting Boletus from Amanita and the essentials of sniffing, tasting and spitting, one quickly becomes a seasoned Mycophile. Fungi possess their own intrinsic lure, they are esoteric in every way and have the most extraordinary shapes, colours, textures and aromas. Searching them out generates its own peculiar compulsion which until you have been hooked by it is difficult to comprehend. Present day knowledge of British fungi owes a great deal to the painstaking careful observation of the Victorian botanists, although the ancient Romans passion for eating fungi has never been lost to the Mediterranean appetite. Fungi are not traditional fare in Britain and they are seen as objects of mystery, superstition and evil purpose. The British will happily select sloes and blackberries from the hedgerow, but will only eat suitably clean, cellophane wrapped mushrooms. Much more exciting to find, pick and cook them foraged from the wild, and as long as you can identify accurately what you are gathering you are perfectly safe.


[4] Chinese Bamboo Wrist Rest Incised with a Scholar Seated in a Boat Playing the Gin Gazing at a Crane in Flight above An inscription describing the scene as a tribute to the Yuan (340–278 bc) dated as Winter of the Yihai Year and Signed Xiao Feng Qing Dynasty 19th Century s i z e   : 29.5 cm long, 7 cm wide, 2 cm deep – 11½ ins long, 2¾ ins wide, ¾ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection The practice of collecting and copying ancient inscriptions was common among scholars and was a product of both scholarly and aesthetic interests. The reuse of these inscriptions in later works of art was a homage to Chinese antiquities as well as means of expressing the calligraphers own interest in archaic inscriptions. In the Chinese scholars studio wrist rests were used in the art of calligraphy to steady the hand whilst painting graceful brush strokes. The bamboo wrist rest in its function, material and decoration accurately reflects the work and ideals of the scholar. Although very little is known of the origin of wrist rests, most were composed of simple segments of bamboo and their makers were also skilled in the arts of poetry, calligraphy and scroll painting.


[5] An Extremely Fine and Large Italian Micro Mosaic Portrait Panel of a Reclining Spaniel Attributed to Antonio Aguatti The rectangular micro-mosaic panel depicting a brown and white spaniel lying couchant facing right a tree to the left and shrubs and further trees around the grassy clearing snow-capped mountains in the far distance The panel mounted within a fine gilt-bronze frame with pearl border Rome Italy Circa 1825–30 s i z e : 20.5 cm high, 24 cm wide – 8 ins high, 9½ ins wide (framed) c f: For a related rectangular mosaic panel, signed Aguatti, depicting a spaniel and a poodle in a landscape compare: Sotheby’s, Voyage à Rome, collection Particulière Italienne, IIème partie, Paris, 4th May 2016, lot 101 s e e: Jeanette Hanisee Gabriel, The Gilbert Collection, Micromosaics, London 2000, pp. 38 – 45 Rome was the fulcrum of the 18th century Grand Tour itinerary and it was the British who arrived in the largest numbers. It had become essential for a gentleman with ambitions to play a leading role in the society of the day to visit Italy on his personal grand tour and to try to bring home important antiquities and works of art. Many were disappointed as the latest finds were often already in the hands of the Vatican or destined for other prestigious collections, and so in order to satisfy this demand for a piece of Italian history, the artists and craftsmen began to produce souvenirs. These were often miniature copies of the major monuments and in time came to be considered as works of art in their own right. Roman micro mosaics were very popular with the artists, aristocrats and literati tourists providing them with snapshots of the unattainable. According to Jeanette Hanisee Gabriel, as described in her catalogue of The Gilbert Collection, Micromosaics, London 2000, see p.40… Aguatti was one of the pre-eminent mosaicists in the execution of animal subjects. Aguatti worked, like Raffaelli, for the Vatican, while simultaneously running his own studio. It was Aguatti who developed technical improvements in the pulled canes, both in shaping them and in uniting different shades in a single cane. The multi-coloured tesserae thereby produced, lent greater realism to flowers trees and architecture, while the different shapes mimicked brushstrokes and could be put to most effective use in the representation of animal fur. Aguatti occasionally signed his pieces as part of the mosaic itself. It has been suggested that the subject of our mosaic panel is related to a painting by Wenceslaus Peter (1742 – 1829), showing Tawny, the 6th Duke of Devonshire’s dog. Peter was a bohemian artist active in Rome who painted many animal subjects, copied by mosaicists.


[6] Carved Limestone Celtic Votive Head of a Male Warrior from a Shrine The head part of a larger triangular shaped stone Northern England Circa 1st Century bc – 1st Century ad

s i z e   : 43.5 cm high, 36.5 cm wide, 20 cm deep – 17 ins high, 14½ ins wide, 7¾ ins deep / 47 cm high – 18½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : By repute Woburn Abbey Ex Private English collection From about 500 bc, first Greek and later Roman historians mention peoples living in a large area of non-mediterranean Europe as Celts. These classical chroniclers seem to have recognised these communities as having sufficient shared cultural traditions to justify their being given a common name, Keltoi by the Greeks, and Celtae or Galli by the Romans. The earliest allusions to Celts by such Greek historians as Herodotus (485– 425 bc) were followed by Polybius (200–118 bc) and Livy (59 bc – 17 ad) who discuss the expansion of the Celts from their central European homelands during the 4th and 3rd centuries bc. They document the presence of Celts in Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Asia Minor, specifically central Turkey. The Celts testify to the successful Roman resistance to the Celts in Italy, after the ignominy of the sacking of Rome by them in 387 bc, and describe the huge defeat suffered by the Celts at the battle of Telemon in northern Italy in 225 bc. The Celts in Greece who sacked the sacred site of Delphi in 279 bc were defeated by King Antigonos Gonatas of Macedon in 278–277 bc and in Turkey by Altalus of Pergamon in 240 bc. The Celts in Spain fell under the shadow of Rome from 2nd Century bc and the Celtic heartland known by the Romans as Gaul was conquered by the Romans under Julius Caesar in the mid 1st Century bc. Britain was not referred to as Celtic by the ancient historians, but Caesar recognised the close similarities between Britain and Gaul especially in their political organisation. Tacitus (55–120 ad) and others chronicled the conquest of Britain between 43 and 84 ad some mentioning the fierce nature of the Celts who went into battle naked. Celtic art therefore belongs to an artistic tradition in the early history of Europe which is no less important than that of the classical world. Art was central to Celtic identity and was closely related to the objects which it decorated. The Celts were used to seeing art as an integral part of their everyday lives.


[7] A British or Australian Sailors Scrimshaw Sperm Whale Tooth Decorated with Two Whaling Ships in Full Sail Four Small Whalers Out on the Sea with Men Rowing in Pursuit of Four Blowing Whales Inscribed Recovery Whaleing and J. Duffy Commander Mid 19th Century

s i z e : 16.5 cm long, 6.5 cm high, 4.5 cm deep – 6½ ins long, 2½ ins high, 1¾ ins deep c f : An example of an Australian Tasmania Scrimshaw Tooth similarly decorated with the Pacific Hobart in the collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum (2001.100.15) U.S.A. I went to sea as a cabin-boy ten years of age; at fourteen, I steered a boat and struck my first whale; at sixteen, I was second mate… I was a boy who meant to be Captain or go under, and didn’t mean to go under if I could help it. At twenty two I was Master Davis pg. 265. The favourite theme for pictorial scrimshaw was of course, whaling. Engraved by actual whale-men, although naïve and somewhat unskilled in draftsmanship, the scenes are characterised by technical know-how, which is manifested in the depiction of the hunt. By the mid 19th century, British south sea whalers had been largely supplanted by an increasing Australian presence as London merchants transferred their interests to Sydney and Hobart to take advantage of their convenient proximity to the Pacific whaling grounds.


[8] The Blond Carapace of an Amazonian Arrau River Turtle Podocnemis Expansa with Two Brass Star-Shaped Appliqués Once used as a Victorian fire screen Old smooth creamy golden patina 19th Century

s i z e : 67 cm high, 50.5 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 26¼ ins high, 20 ins wide, 2 ins deep Known as Charapa in Brazil the Arrau River turtle is the most ancient turtle genus extant and was once the most widespread. It has been known in South America from the late Cretaceous period onwards and has a wide distribution embracing the entire Amazonian river system of Brazil reaching Bolivia via the Madeira River, and Columbia and Peru via the Solimões or Upper Amazon. Large individuals are sometimes washed up in Trinidad when the Orinoco is in flood. Fire screens were made of the carapace by European sailors on their return voyage from the captured turtles that had been taken for food on board ship. Nearly every 19th century house had a fire screen to shield people from the intense heat given out whilst sitting close to the hearth.


[9] Ancient Near Eastern Sumerian Rose-Coloured Calcite Votive Pendant in the Form of a Recumbent Bull his Legs Tucked underneath his Body his Staring Face with Shell Inlaid Eyes A vertical hole for suspension drilled through the body One ear worn away Smooth silky patina Circa 3000 bc

s i z e   : 4 cm high, 5 cm wide, 2.5 cm deep – 1½ in high, 2 ins wide, 1 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private French collection formed 1950–1970 Ex Private London collection c f : See George Ortiz Collection no. 4, for a similar example The bull was a powerful amuletic symbol in the arts of the ancient Near East. Sculpted out of a beautiful pinkish limestone and then highly polished, the naturalistic sculptural form is simple, yet the bull is boldly executed and particularly impressive of bovine power. The deeply inset staring eyes command the viewer’s attention and convey the essence of the bull. These votive pendants probably served as amulets as by the time this was made, working seals had taken the form of cylinders, although the shape and form harks back to an age when earlier models were used both as seals and amulets.


[10] Fine New Zealand Maori Toki the Long Slightly Curved Wood Shaft and Delicate Adze Marks Terminating with a Greenstone Adze bound with Original Flax Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 53 cm long – 20¾ ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection, Devon, England by descent from a 19th century Naval family who travelled extensively around the British Empire c f : A similar example sold by Finch and Co in: Polynesia, The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art; Adrienne L. Kaeppler, 2010, item number, 476, page 344 A further example can be found in Art and Artefacts of the Pacific, Africa and the Americas, The James Hooper Collection; Steven Phelps, 1976, plate no. 12, item no. 86, page 44 Before the introduction of metal, tools were limited but efficient. Nephrite pounamu was highly prized, however greywacke was more readily available and commonly used. The stone adze toki was the principal tool used for felling and dressing timber, the blade secured to a strong, elbow-haft handle cut from a natural fork in the tree. Nephrite, number six on Moh’s hardness scale, was preferred as material because of its greater ability to take and retain a sharp working edge. It occurs in outcrops in the regions of the Taramakau and Arahura Rivers on the west coast of the South Island and near Lake Wakatipu further south.


[11] Napoleonic Period French Glass Tumbler Housed within the Original Red Morocco Leather Travelling Case with Gilt Tooled Decoration The cut glass tumbler of cylindrical form with a diamond point pattern to the side wall The leather lined traveling case with three brass clasps (very small old chip to base) Attributed to the Montcenis Crystal Manufacturer France Circa 1800 – 1810

s i z e : Tumbler: 8 cm high, 7.5 cm dia – 3¹⁄8 ins high, 3 ins dia / 10 cm high, 9 cm dia. – 4 ins high, 3½ ins dia. (morocco leather case) The Napoleonic period spanning from November 1799 to June 1815 saw tremendous change in Northern Europe both militarily, politically and industrially. Many fine examples of French glass produced at this time were housed in travelling cases for their protection during journeys in horse drawn coaches while the nobility were on their travels or during military campaigns the officer classes travelled with extensive finery and trappings. The Montcenis firm was established in 1787 and had been the official crystal manu­ facturers to the monarch during the Ancien Régime, and would continue to play a significant role in the development of the French glass and crystalware industry. Even on campaign, Napoleon continued to use objects befitting his rank. At every stop, he demanded the same campaign furniture. The Maison d’Empereur was therefore obliged to ensure the maintenance of Napoleon’s typical routines and, in general, to follow Imperial Palace etiquette scrupulously. Since these objects were of such remarkable workmanship and value, they were generally protected from any accidents that might occur while travelling by carrying cases, themselves finely crafted. Examples of such cases include those for the china Headquarter’s service (see: Fondation Napoléon, inv. 792 – 14) and those protecting gold items, including the cutlery bearing the Emperor’s coat of arms (inv. 967). The same applies for the glassworks; a gobelet, donated to the Fondation Napoléon by Mr Jean-Claude Lachnitt, also has a cylindrical carrying case. Its interior is lined with green silk, and the exterior is made of brown morocco goat leather decorated in gold with the imperial symbol of the bee, and at the rim, the letter N under the imperial crown. The gobelet would have been an everyday object in the Emperor’s bivouac and was probably used during Napoleon’s last campaigns in 1814 and 1815.


[12] a. Superb Manju Netsuke Carved from Ivory Simulating a Termite Infestation in a Wooden Structure

The details of the termite damaged wood are finely carved and stained and a wonderful honeyed patina has developed over the centuries to provide a visually stunning and tactile netsuke Japan Early 19th Century s i z e   : 5.3 cm dia. 2 cm deep – 2¹⁄8 ins dia. ¾ ins deep Manju Netsuke are flat, round netsuke with the carving usually done in relief and are shaped like a popular Japanese confection called manju.

b. A Fine Japanese Ivory Netsuke of Sennin with an Octopus on his Shoulder Kyoto School Circa 1750

s i z e : 10 cm high – 4 ins high The various sennin derived from the Chinese immortals are extremely numerous making identification of many difficult but there are a handful of known netsuke of the octopus sennin. Sennin are ascetic with magical powers and have an ability to remain immortal for 100,000 years. This wonderfully dynamic example depicting the standing sennin with a large octopus perched on his shoulder is carved with an expertise that is not often encountered in mid-18th century netsuke. The octopus peers at the sennin between his tentacles and the sennin has typical long curling hair. He is powerful yet refined and the ivory has developed a beautiful patina over the nearly 300 years since it was created. The two asymmetrical himotoshi are classically placed at the back to position the netsuke perfectly on the obi when used with its accompanying sagemono.

c. A Rare Japanese Ivory Netsuke of Toba Riding his Mule Kyoto School Circa 1750

s i z e : 12 cm high – 4¾ ins high Toba was the Chinese official and calligraphist Su She (1036 – 1101) son of Su Sun and brother of Su Cheh, both of whom are also famous in Chinese history. Su She was degraded from his post at the Chinese court due to envy and intrigues against him. A plot was hatched to discredit him and he was sent into exile. This netsuke represents Toba making the arduous journey into exile riding his mule and is a magnificent tall ivory carving depicting Toba wearing his typical broad-brimmed hat, seated on a finely detailed saddle which is perched on the exaggeratedly tall but elegantly conceived mule. Toba is often depicted carrying or reading a hand scroll but in this case there is no hand scroll to be found. The mule has a long neck with a flowing mane of hair and very long refined legs and the ivory has a wonderful honey colour and patina which has developed over the centuries since it was carved. The finely carved himotoshi to the rear are of pipe-form with the second hole located underneath between the mule’s legs. p rov e na nc e : all three netsuke : Ex Max Rutherston Limited London Ex Private collection formed over the last 40 years


[13] Victorian Circular Papier-Mâché Erotic Snuff Box with Secret Compartment to the Interior Housed to the Inner Liner Titled Les Cadeaux Ecossois the interior entitled Ovide et Corine and L’Attaque Vigoureuse 19th Century s i z e   : 2 cm high, 8.5 cm dia. – ¾ ins high, 3³⁄8 ins dia. In Ancient Rome a celebrated festival was held annually on the 17th March in which a monstrous phallus was carried in procession in worship to Priapus and his generative powers. His worshippers followed indulging loudly and openly in obscene songs, conversation and attitudes, and when it halted the most respectable of matrons ceremoniously crowned the head of the Phallus with a garland. Unlike those of Ancient Rome, people in the 19th century regarded sex as shameful and any work of art, from antiquities to contemporary, deemed to be in the least erotically exciting was suppressed. Boxes such as this would have been hidden away and were often kept locked up in secret collections of erotica. It was popularly believed that the fall of the Roman Empire was directly attributable in a large degree to their sexual excess. In fact, in antiquity, they were merely less reticent in talking about and depicting sexual matters.


[14] Fine and Elegant Black Glaze Nolan Amphora of Large Scale with Piriform Body and Flaring Lip set upon a Torus Foot in two Degrees The underside is decorated with fine black concentric circles and a cushioned centre Excellent overall condition, small firing fissure and very minor chips to the lip Athens Greece Late 5th Century bc

s i z e   : 34 cm high, 16.5 cm dia. (max) – 13½ ins high, 6½ ins dia. (max) / 41 cm high – 16 ins high (on burr elm wood base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private US collection 1980s Ex Ariadne Gallery, New York, USA Ex Charles Ede Limited, 2007 Ex Private English collection c f : For a smaller example of the same form compare CVA Cambridge I pl. 279 / 38 Nolan amphorae are usually small in size and the name derived from the examples of this shape first discovered in Nola, Italy, where examples of this shape were first discovered.


[15] Fine Collection of Five Ottoman Sherbet Spoons Tortoiseshell Bowls Ivory Stems Coral Finials with Silver and Enamel Segments Late 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e   : min : 24.5 cm long – 9¾ ins long / max: 25.5 cm long – 10 ins long Large sets of these beautiful spoons were produced for the use of the Grand Viziers at their meetings in the Divan (the Kubbe Alti ) in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The ladies of the Palace harem would also use such spoons for compotes of dried fruit known as hoşaf. The use of forks for eating at table was a western European practice developed in the Renaissance and, although knives were used in the east for cutting up meat, spoons such as these would be used to help oneself from a communal dish of soup or stew. The nearer side of the spoon was being used for eating or sipping and the far side for helping oneself. However, the use of spoons at table was frowned upon by strict orthodox Muslims who held that the prophet found his right hand quite adequate as a tool for eating. The word sherbet comes from the classical Arab term for a cold sweetened drink, Sharâb which is non-alcoholic. However, in the late middle ages this word developed its current Arabic sense of an alcoholic drink so a different word was needed for the non-alcoholic sweetened beverage and this emerged as Sharbât. The Turkish term sherbet comes from this more recent Arabic word. In the 16th century its use entered Italian cuisine under the name Sorbetto derived from the Italian verb Sorbire meaning to sip. This gave rise to the French Sorbet and the Spanish Sorbete all of which begin with an S and not Sh. English is the only language, which took the word sherbet directly from the Turkish complete with its h.


[16] A Finely Carved Indo-Portuguese Ivory Madonna with Hands Clasped in Prayer Her flowing drapery decorated with the Original Poly­­chrome to the border

A bead necklace adorning her neck and long flowing braided hair falling down her back with original gilt decoration Raised upon a new ebonised octagonal base 17th Century s i z e   : 19.5 cm high – 7¾ ins high / 30.5 cm high – 12 ins high (with base) s e e : For an example probably by the same hand, Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. India, Goa, late 17th Century. Painted and Gilded Ivory. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon (2496 Esc) illustrated in Christianity in Asia Sacred Art and Visual Splendour, Asian Civilisations Musuem, Singapore, exhibition catalogue, 2016, pg. 109, fig 12 After the fall of Sri Lanka to the British in 1657 the Portuguese departed and established a larger trading presence in Goa. The town had always been a magnet for craftsmen from all over India even before the Sinhalese came to continue in the service of the Portuguese. The production of Christian ivories continued as it had done before in Sri Lanka, but now Goa became a major producer of luxury goods and a commercial centre. With the evolution of sea routes it developed into a worldwide trading hub with large numbers of European merchants Spanish, French, German and Flemish, beside the Portuguese settling there. The presence of the body of Saint Frances Xavier in Goa since 1554 and the cult developed by the Jesuits surrounding it, established an important market for the Catholic Missions in religious imagery. Carved in the Portuguese colony of Goa by a Goanese artist under Portuguese commission, these ivories epitomise the inter­ weaving of European, Indian and Asian decorative and figurative traditions. Missionary institutions were major buyers of religious works of art from local workshops, and the images produced reflect the main interests of the Jesuits and Franciscans and the saints they used in their propagandist and teaching roles. Missionary work had been established in Goa in the late 16th century. The wealth obtained through trade with the East, especially in spices and silks, had generated the oppotunity to spread the Catholic faith along the trade routes. Religious figures such as this were produced to both help convert the local population and to export back to Europe. Much of the ivory used in their carving came from another Portuguese colony, Mozambique in East Africa, where its export was strictly controlled.


[17] A Fine Antique Specimen of an Arctic Narwhal Tusk Monodon Monoceros 19th Century

s i z e : 195 cm long – 76¾ ins long / 209.5 cm high – 82½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e: Ex Private London collection Acquired end of 2nd World War / late 1940s Thence by descent Article 10 certificate no. 599665/01 Sometimes known as the sea unicorn the narwhal is one of the most curious and interesting of all the toothed whales. Inhabitants of the Arctic Seas they are often found in the company of Belugas. They are a mottled pale white colour, but their young are dark, sometimes almost shiny black. Measuring from twelve to sixteen feet long, the male has a long spiral upper tooth that juts forward eight or nine feet from the left side of his upper jaw. Occasionally a rare individual may have two. Looking like the lance of one of King Arthur’s knights, the tusk was historically thought to have many wonderful qualities, including the ability to counteract the effects of many poisons. The Greenland Eskimos still hunt narwhals in the traditional way with kayaks and harpoons as they are a vital source of fresh food. However, the Canadians now use guns and small powerboats. The Canadian government allows each hunter to take three narwhals annually, around one thousand a year, out of a population of approximately ten thousand.


[18] An Interesting Rare Early Ming Chinese Rectangular Silk Panel Decorated with Ingots the Various Damasks and Brocades Edged with Flat Gold on Paper the Roundels Embroidered in Chain Stitch Probably reworked in the Ming Dynasty from an older Ancient precious silk panel for use as a cushion Early Ming Dynasty 13th – 14th Century

s i z e s   : 22 cm high, 44.5 cm wide – 8½ ins high, 17½ ins wide / 33 cm high, 55.5 cm wide – 13 ins high, 21¾ ins wide (with frame) Pp rov e na nc e : Ex English Private collection Ex Spink & Son Limited London 1989 Ex Private London collection Published and illustrated in Spink’s catalogue The Art of Textiles 1989 no. 19 s e e : American Collectors of Asian Art page 179 p 113 for an example such as this being used for a cushion The importance of silk in Chinese culture is attested by the attribution of its legendary discovery to the consort of the Yellow Emperor, the founder of Chinese civilisation. Sericulture, the rearing of silkworms for the production of silk filament, was the


invention of Neolithic farmers living along the Huang Ho in north central China more than 4000 years ago. Through the centuries the state encouraged sericulture by making taxes payable in silk. The State controlled production to ensure the prestige of silk, to make its use an Imperial prerogative demonstrating the special status of the aristocracy. Fine silk garments and furnishings marked special occasions in life and were often interred with the dead. To the ancient Romans, China was the land of silk and during the Empire it was imported exclusively from the East. It represented extreme refinement and luxury and became so desirable that the wearing of silk provoked a strong reaction from Senators who believed it to be a sign of decadence and a drain on the economy. The Chinese art of silk and its production remained a closely guarded secret for over 3000 years. Its manufacture in a number of centres distributed throughout the Empire was one of the mainstays of the pre-modern Chinese economy, second only to agriculture in its value to the state and in the number of families for which it provided a means for support. Silk was also one of the first of China’s luxury products to be exported in large quantities both along the Silk Road and by sea to the rest of Asia. Silk textiles were one of the major lures which brought merchants from the Islamic and Indian worlds, as well as from Japan, to the ports of China and they were eagerly sought after by the first European merchants to reach Canton, which was also the centre of a major weaving region.


[19] Rare Ancient British Celtic Carved Red Sandstone Statuette of a Goddess with Long Flowing Hair Wearing Loosely Draped Tunic Her Breasts Exposed Perhaps Representing the Deity Brigantia An indentation to the top of her head for offerings or libations 1st – 2nd Century ad

s i z e   : 33 cm high, 12 cm wide, 12 cm deep – 13 ins high, 4¾ ins wide, 4¾ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Reputedly found in Yorkshire near Hadrian’s Wall in the 20th Century Ex Private London collection c f : Similarities can be seen in a Bronze Female Figurine found in Culver Hole Cave Glamorganshire. Published in Pagan Celtic Britain by Dr Anne Ross pg. 211 The Celtic Yorkshire goddess Brigantia, the High One, was the personification of a hegemony of tribes, the Brigantes. Unified under her protection their territory stretched from present day Southern Yorkshire and Lancashire into Southern Scotland. Brigantia was a goddess of a pastoral people to whom flocks and herds were of prime importance, but she also had influence in the sphere of warfare although this was usually by means of magic rather than through physical strength. Celtic belief in the power of the Goddess was very pronounced and they were deeply concerned with her importance in both fertility and maternity. The Celtic goddess was at once mother, warrior, virgin, witch, conveyor of fertility, of strong sexual appetite, giver of prosperity to the land and protectress of the flocks and herds. More static and archaic than the gods she remained tied to the land for which she was responsible, and whose striking features seemed to her worshippers to be manifestations of her power and personality. The Celts frequently traced their tribal descent back to a divine ancestor and they invoked the goddess Brigantia as wholly theirs, but by the 3rd century ad she appears clad as Roman Minerva and associated with the deity Victory in her role as a war goddess. By that time the Romans and the Celts had assimilated their belief in her control by magical means of the outcome of any battle.


[20] A Rare New Zealand Maori Stone Mahe or Line Sinker of Spherical Form with Finely Pecked Encircling Groove for Lashing a Cordage Tie Old attached paper collectors label inscribed in ink Vin….. 18th – Early 19th Century s i z e   : 5.5 cm dia. – 2¼ ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex English Private collection The Maori fished the seas around the coast of the land of the long white cloud with the aid of their carved wooden canoes. Basalt and sandstone Mahe such as this example were attached to seine and drag nets in order to sink them to the sea bed. They also practised troll and line fishing from the canoes. For small fish, crustaceans and eels, woven baskets and pots with the aid of stone sinkers were left in the sea, lakes, rivers and swamps to trap a catch.


[21] An Oceanic Micronesian Marshall Islands Composite Mother of Pearl Fish Hook used as Currency and for Catching Bonito 19th Century

s i z e : 10.5 cm high, 3 cm wide, 4.5 cm deep – 4 ins high, 1¼ ins wide, 1¾ ins deep These Marshall Islands fish hooks had a monetary value and were known as Jibbon Money. Schneider writing in 1905 with reference to Poehl states This is…. the only kind of shell currency that falls into the category of truly functional money rather than into that of jewellery currency (Muschelgeld-Studien, Dresden 1905.84:10) Lautz states that they were especially valuable objects: Besides the mother of pearl shell kitchen knives on Palau and Yap, this was undoubtedly the only real currency in Micronesia that was derived from a utilitarian object and not a piece of jewellery. Indeed this currency form was not only used for payment and purchase, but also for catching bonito. This mother of pearl fish hook appears to be the only one in all of Oceania that also had a currency value. All other hooks were really used exclusively for fishing and not as money (Steinreich in der Südse, Koln 1999.85:193/194)


[22] A Fine and Rare Pair of Bronze Angels from an Altar both figures kneeling with hands held to facilitate holding a candle Apertures to the reverse to hold wings now lost Rich dark patina to mellow translucent areas Raised upon later marble bases Probably Nuremberg South Germany Late 16th Century / Early 17th Century

s i z e   : 18.5 cm high, 10.5 cm wide, 7 cm deep – 7¼ ins high, 4¹⁄8 ins wide, 2¾ ins deep and 19 cm high, 10 cm wide, 6.5 cm deep – 7½ ins high, 4 ins wide, 2½ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ted Few London London art market early 1990s For a Warrior described as South German, Nuremberg (?) circa 1510–1515, in the Donath collection, Budapest see: Guido von Rhò, Vienna (E.W. Braun, Die Bronzen der Sampling Guido von Rhò, 1908, pg. 35, fig. 16) and Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes, Abbott Guggenheim Collection, Laura Camins, The Fine Art Musuems of San Francisco, 1988, Bronzes from the Abbott Guggenheim Collection, depicting the warrior cast in brass, dressed in fanciful armour, the standing statuette serving as a candleholder. Described as typical of statuettes cast in brass that were made as candleholders in Germany during the sixteenth century. Similarities with our Angels can be seen in the working and modelling of the eyes, hands and somewhat rather mechanical stance. The Italian bronze foundries produced superbly modelled Church candlesticks from small table examples to huge altar candlesticks with angel supports of almost life-size stature. Renaissance artists pressed a great variety of materials into use for the production of candlesticks, including Limoges enamels, pottery such as Saint Porchaire, amber, and damascened iron. Among the more fantastic forms were chandeliers called Lüsterweibchen made in German-speaking areas. A figure of a woman or a monster was carved in wood and painted in naturalistic colours and to the back was fixed a large pair of antlers to which in turn were attached prickets or sockets for candles. A design by Albert Dürer for a lustre of this type exists, and examples can still be found in German castles and city council chambers today.


[23] Rare Dutch Watercolour on Paper Depicting a Suriname Plantation Slave Girl Dancing with a Tambourine The paper with a City of Amsterdam Coat of Arms Watermark for circa 1694 Late 17th – Early 18th Century s i z e   : 31 cm high, 20.5 cm wide – 12¼ ins high, 8 ins wide Situated slightly north of the equator, Suriname is a tropical country dominated by rainforests. Europeans arrived in the 16th century and a century later Dutch and English settlers established plantation colonies along the many rivers in the fertile Guiana plains. The earliest documented colony in Guiana was an English settlement named Marshall’s Creek along the Suriname river. Disputes arose between the Dutch and English over the control of the territory, but in 1683 the Society of Suriname was founded by the City of Amsterdam and was chartered to manage and defend the colony. For the Dutch colonists Suriname was a lucrative source of sugar cane, coffee, cocoa and cotton and its plantation economy was driven by African slave labour. These peoples cultivated, harvested and processed all of the crops, and their treatment at the hands of the planters was notoriously brutal even by the standards of the time, with the result that many escaped, often with the help of native South Americans living in the rainforests. These so-called runaways established a new and unique culture in the interior that was highly successful. Known collectively as Maroons, and to the Dutch as Marrons, they gradually developed several independent tribes. They would mount raids on the plantations to recruit new members, acquire weapons, food and supplies, and in turn the colonists mounted armed campaigns against them. However, these attacks were ineffectual as their acute knowledge of the rainforest always enabled escape. In order to end hostilities in the 18th century, the European colonial authorities signed several peace treaties with various different tribes. They granted the Maroons sovereign status and trade rights in their inland territories giving them autonomy. After the abolition of slavery in 1863, the Dutch relied on indentured servants from Asia to cultivate the plantations. In 1954 Suriname became one of the constituent countries of the kingdom of Netherlands, and in 1975 left to become an independent state, but still maintains close economic, diplomatic and cultural ties.


[24] Exceptional Anti Slavery Medallion Inscribed in Upper Case Around the Edge Am I Not a Man and a Brother ? The figure kneeling in supplication his ankles and wrists shackled. Black on white Jasper Design by William Hackwood for Wedgwood Oval turned wooden frame England Circa 1790

s i z e : 3.2 cm high, 3 cm wide – 1¼ ins high, 1¹⁄8 ins wide / 6 cm high, 5.8 cm wide – 2³⁄8 ins high, 2¼ ins wide (framed) p rov e na nc e : A gift of John Bacon to William Cowper Thence by descent Private UK collection c f: Hand-written accompanying notes record that it was given by a sculptor named Bacon to the poet William Cowper. The sculptor referred to was John Bacon who created fine marble portraits and monuments and is known to have worked for Josiah Wedgwood. Wedgwood was greatly concerned by the plight of the slave and it may have been at Wedgwood’s request that Bacon gave this piece to William Cowper. As a poet Cowper wrote the words for many hymns, but his best-known composition is a moving poem titled The Negro’s Complaint written in 1788; this song talks about slavery from the perspective of the slave. Cowper gave the medallion to his cousin, in whose family this little token has passed by decent. The modelling of the medallion has traditionally been attributed to William Hackwood however John Bacon may have been involved in the design in some way. s e e: The Dictionary of Wedgwood Robin Reilly and George Savage, Antique Collectors Club Limited 1980 pg. 319 and Josiah Wedgwood and His Pottery William Burton, Cassell and Company, Limited 1922, pg. 181, for an illustration of an example in the British Musuem. Josiah Wedgwood was an English potter and businessman who is credited with the industrialisation of the production of pottery as well as inventing modern marketing. Wedgwood was born in 1730 and was a Unitarian and prominent abolitionist, be­ coming a key member of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. His main contribution to the abolitionist cause was producing the first anti-slavery medallion in 1787, depicting a kneeling slave in chains, with the phrase Am I Not a Man and a Brother. The medallions were mass produced and distributed and became widely worn and acknowledged, bringing public attention to the abolitionist movement. Wedgwood and the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was so revolutionary in the context of eighteenth-century society, as slavery was widely accepted and relied upon, particularly economically, as much of wealthy British society was built using the profits from the slave trade. Thus, opposing slavery was opposing many wealthy and powerful members and groups of society. Many of the medallions can be seen in museums and collections around the world. The medallion was designed by William Hackwood, who worked closely with Wedg­wood, and it became the most famous image of a black person in all of eighteenth-century art. The image and phrase became well known and a well-used and a recognised symbol of allegiance to the abolitionist cause. Many people found original and creative ways to don these medallions. Thomas Clarkson, a leading abolitionist, describes in his 1808 memoirs that men… inlaid in gold on the lid of their snuffboxes. Of the ladies, several wore them in bracelets, and others had them fitted up in an ornamental manner as pins for the hair. At length, the taste for wearing them became general; and thus fashion, which usually confines itself to worthless things, was seen for once in the honourable office of promoting the cause of justice, humanity, and freedom. It is unknown as to how many medallions were made and distributed as well as how many variants of them there were. Thomas Clarkson credited Wedgwood’s medallions with being instrumental in turning the attention of our countrymen to the case of the injured Africans, and of procuring a warm interest in their favour.


[25] Rare Ancient British Celtic Sandstone Shrine Figure of a Sacred Deity Squatting with Arms Raised above the Head Holding an Offering Dish 2nd Century bc – 1st Century bc

s i z e   : 25 cm high, 15.5 cm wide, 17 cm deep – 9¾ ins high, 6 ins wide, 6¾ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Found in a dry stone wall in Derbyshire Ex Private English collection An expressionless disconcerting countenance gives this unusual Celtic sculpture a powerful presence. It is probable that it was used as a portable wayside shrine with the dished top used for libations and offerings. The Celtic reverence for the natural world is displayed by the deified heads found by sacred springs, pools and rivers, but they also placed them near important landmarks that they deemed important to the veneration of a particular deity. Wells were thought to be one of the entrances to the otherworld and ritual offerings were often made to them. Springs and rivers were linked in the Celtic mind with fertility and life and so were the tangible manifestation of the invisible powers they worshipped.


[26] A Rare Figurative Ladle from Palau the Long Wooded Handle with a Coconut Bowl Attached by its Original Sennet The long handle carved with a double figure a seated female above a standing female both wearing traditional cheriut skirts A suspension lug to which a sennet cord would have been attached 19th Century

s i z e   : 37 cm long – 14½ ins long p rov e na nc e : Captain Levisohn, Germany Collected in the 1870s while the Captain of the Susanne, Levisohn travelled widely throughout the German territories of Micronesia and often sought pieces for German dealers, including J.F.G Umlauff of Hamburg Max Ackermann, 1887–1975, a German artist who established an artists colony with his friend and colleague Otto Dix in the early 1950s at Hornstead near Lake Constanz Ex Private German collection Ex Private UK collection c f : A similar example can be found in Linden-Musuem, Stuttgart, Germany These rare figurative ladles from Palau were used by high ranking families to serve a ceremonial fish or turtle soup. This one is a particular fine example depicting a pair of female ancestral figures. The delicately carved figures are rendered with the traditional top knot hairstyle, ear-spools and the colourful fibre skirts or cheriut worn by the Paluan women of rank during the 18th and 19th centuries. The distinctive skirts were constructed from the bast fibre of local trees, and were then brightly coloured with either orange turmeric or a mixture of red ochre soil and coconut oil, referred to as choriich. Traces of this red pigment can be found on the skirts of the figures on the ladle. The carved armband depicted on the standing figure represents a derual made from stacked rings of turtle shell, also an indicator of wealth and rank in Palauan culture.


[27] A Collection of Five Miniature Chinese Scholars Objects Qing Dynasty / 18th – Early 19th Century

a. A Miniature Chinese Black lingbi or taihu Stone Scholars Rock Raised upon a Shaped Wood Stand b. A Finely Carved Ivory Miniature Scholars Rock with Fungi Growing in the Crevices c. A Very Rare Chinese Ivory Miniature Doctors Model of a Reclining Female d. A Beautiful Circular Stag-Horn Snuff Dish Raised upon a Turned Foot e. A Finely Turned Ivory Miniature Wine Cup s i z e s: a. 5.5 cm high, 6.5 cm wide, 5.5 cm deep – 2¹⁄8 ins high, 2½ ins wide, 2¹⁄8 ins deep / 6 cm high – 2³⁄8 ins high (with base) b. 5.5 cm high – 2¹⁄8 ins high c. 7 cm long – 2¾ ins long d. 0.5 cm high, 5 cm dia. – ²⁄8 ins high, 2 ins dia. e. 3.5 cm high, 5.5 cm dia. – 1³⁄8 ins high, 2¹⁄8 ins dia. p rov e na nc e: Ex Private London collection formed over the last 40 years The Chinese art form of nature as a found object encompasses many artefacts that are both functional and sculptural creating a clever association between the natural form, the function and the cultural image. The majority of these natural art objects constitute the essential implements of the Chinese scholars studio such as brush rests, ink stones, scroll weights and rests, seals, brush washers, containers and water droppers. Despite their functional element, all of these aesthetically pleasing pieces go beyond the idea of craftwork to encompass all the conceptual and formal complexities of Chinese art. Ivory is a precious Buddhist symbol representing sacredness, compassion and complet­ eness and its contemplation offers the scholar poetic inspiration.


[28] German Model of Musca Domestica the Common Housefly Painted tin wood papier-mâché and fibre Old label to base Stubenfliege Vergl. 30 Fach Second half 19th Century

s i z e   : approx : 35 cm high, 30 cm wide, 28 cm deep – 13¾ ins high, 11¾ ins wide, 11 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Private USA collection Private UK collection Man has been classifying plants and animal species since recorded time into those that were useful to him, those that were harmful and those that were innocuous or of no practical interest. Several ancient Greek philosophers proposed their own classifications based on growth habits and structure, or on utility, but no formal system was ever laid down. The housefly Musca Domestica is a fly of the suborder Cyclorrhapha. It is believed to have evolved in the Cenozoic Era, possibly in the Middle East, and has spread all over the world as a commensal of humans. It is the most common fly species found in houses. Adults are grey to black, with four dark, longitudinal lines on the thorax, slightly hairy bodies, and a single pair of membranous wings. They have red eyes, set farther apart in the slightly larger female. Models such as this example would be found in Universities during the 19th century and early 20th century as aids to teaching. The details of each model were highly accurate.


[29] An Egyptian Serpentine Cippus Magical Stela Depicting the God Horus Standing on a Serpent and Two Crocodiles He holds a snake in each hand and is surmounted by a mask of Bes above his head The reverse inscribed with registers of magical symbols Ptolemaic to Roman Period / 3rd Century bc to 1st Century ad

s i z e: 11 cm high, 4.5 cm wide, 2 cm deep – 4¼ ins high, 1¾ ins wide, ¾ ins deep / 15.5 cm high – 6 ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e: Ex Private collection, Rheine, Westphalia, Germany, inherited with a large collection of ethnographic art, acquired during the 1930s–50s Thence by descent Ex Private collection Cippi such as this example were created to protect an individual or areas from the perils of wild animals. The god Horus is shown subduing these animals by trampling or holding them. The iconography can also be found on designs of Mesopotamian seals and sculpture. As the design nearly always incorporates the god standing upon two counterfacing crocodiles, these sculptures are also known as Horus on the Crocodiles stelae.


[30] An Exceptionally Large and Very Rare Ivory Teetotum Gambling Ball with Engraved Crown and Numbers 1–32 on the Faceted Sides Superb mellow colour and golden patina Early 18th Century / Circa 1710–20

s i z e   : 7 cm dia. – 2¾ ins dia. c f : for other much smaller examples see Finch and Co catalogue no. 3, item no. 61, catalogue 20, item number 42, catalogue number 21, item no. 35, catalogue number 26, item number 66, catalogue 28, item number 48, catalogue 29, item number 42 a-b, and catalogue number 33, item number 47 for an example dated 1708 The Latin word Totum means the whole; the whole stake. A teetotum ball acts somewhat like a spinning dice, but is a many faceted spinning top that has each side numbered and so, unlike a dice, when thrown there is an equal chance of any number turning up. Most teetotum balls are incised with the numbers 1–32, having 32 equally faceted sides. The English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) mentions a 32 sided ivory ball in Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693) in Section 150 he writes concerning teaching children to read… what if an ivory ball were made like that of the royal oak lottery, with 32 sides… The Royal Oak lottery was introduced in 1630 by Charles I to defray the expense of carrying water to London and was very popular. Lotteries first began to become an acceptable form of raising money for government funds under Queen Elizabeth I in 1568–69. The lottery was started in order to fund urgent repairs to the harbours and fortifications of England then under the threat of invasion from the Spanish. Great pains were taken to provoke the people to part with their money and even fortune tellers were consulted about lucky numbers. Lotteries later became established by successive Acts of Parliament, even during the time of the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. They became a popular and lucrative means of increasing government revenue and were regularly conducted, both in London and the country, by appointed contractors. Lotteries were not then confined to monetary prizes, but embraced silver, jewellery, books, paintings, tapestries and even live deer in Syon Park.


[31] An Unusually Broad Australian Aboriginal Western Desert Shield Wunda Stone Carved and coloured with natural earth pigments of white clay and red ochre Aged smooth patina to handle on reverse and around edges 19th Century

s i z e   : 73.5 cm long, 20 cm wide – 29 ins long, 8 ins wide Some of the early European settlers and visitors to the newly founded Australian colonies collected Aboriginal artefacts, many of which ended up in Britain or Europe. However, shields, unlike other traded objects, were not easily obtained by the Europeans as they took many hours to make and were held sacred and in high regard by the Aboriginals. The large flat shields were used for protection from spears and boomerangs. The incised linear designs were enhanced and emphasised with pigments rubbed into the grooves and were made by means of a possum-tooth engraving tool. These remarkably accomplished patterns changed with the alternation of light and shade in the bright Australian desert environment.


[32] A Fine French Ebony Collectors Cabinet with Brass Inlay Decoration Mother-of-Pearl and Ormolu Twisted Rope and Bead Borders

Attributed to the workshop of Maison Alphonse Giroux The double fronted doors revealing ten maple veneered graduated drawers with ebony turned handles. Each drawer lined with a thick cushioned green velvet liner. The doors top panel and side panels all decorated with brass and mother-of-pearl inlay bordered by four butterfly inlaid motifs to each door and panel. Original lock-plate and key Paris France Mid 19th Century s i z e   : 47 cm high, 44 cm wide, 33 cm deep – 18½ ins high, 17¼ ins wide, 13 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection Maison Alphonse Giroux was established in 1799 by Francois-Simon-Alphonse Giroux (1776 – 1848), an art restorer, cabinet maker and one of the official restorers for Notre Dame Cathedral. Based at 7, Rue du Coq-Saint-Honoré in Paris, the business initially started selling artists’ supplies, as well the products of his cabinetmaking work. However the business soon expanded into the manufacturing and retailing of luxury goods and artwork, attracting the attention of members of the royal French families. His sons, Alphonse-Gustave and André joined the business in 1834. Upon the retirement of Francois-Simon-Alphonse Giroux in 1838, the eldest son, Alphonse-Gustave Giroux, took over the business as named Alphonse Giroux et Cie. Under his control, the business gained further acclaim for the quality of their work and merchandise, winning a silver medal at the 1839 Exposition des Produits de L’industrie Française. In 1839, LouisJacques-Mande Daguerre, inventor of the Daguerrotype photographic process and its associated camera, signed one of two exclusive contracts with Alphonse-Gustave Giroux (his brother-in-law), to manufacture and retail the camera through his business. In 1857, the business moved to 43 Boulevard des Capucines in Paris, their exclusive department store, extending to the adjacent Rue Neuve des Capucines 24. In 1867 the business was taken over by Duvinage and Harinckouk. In the 18th and 19th centuries the concept of a cabinet of curiosities began to change and this lead to the separation of naturalia, artificialia and miribilia into different spaces and eventually into different museums. In the 1706 illustration of Level Vincent’s Natural History Collection there are portrayed jars of preservative fluid containing various small animals, frogs, snakes and inset in the middle of the display a baby’s head with the bizarre addition of a lace cap. A strong interest in antiquity introduced a taste for collecting cameos, bronze plaquettes, coins and medallions, and cabinets such as this were deemed suitable for masculine surroundings such as libraries in which to house such varied collections.


[33] A Rare and Large Glass Bead Picture of Winter after the Ancient Romano Mosaic Floor of Bignor Sussex England Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 76 cm high, 64 cm wide – 30 ins high, 25¼ ins wide / 81.5 cm high, 69 cm wide – 32 ins high, 27¼ ins wide (framed) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection c f : For a Regency after the antique glass mosaic of winter a copy of the original mosaic floor found at Bignor see Finch and Co catalogue number 19, item number 84 Discovered in July 1811, nearby to both Arundel and Petworth, the 1st – 2nd century ad Romano-British villa at Bignor was a major archaeological find on English soil. The Ganymede mosaic pavement was discovered on July 18th, 1811 when the Bury field was being ploughed. Mr John Hawkins of Bignor Park took the excavation in hand and placed it under the supervision of Samuel Lysons, the leading antiquary of the day. Hawkins assisted by a farmer, Mr Tupper, the owner of the field, did nearly all the digging which lasted for eight years. The size and extent of the Villa together with the quality of the mosaic pavements must have been astonishing. The seven fine mosaic pavements found at Bignor Park rank in design and execution with the best found elsewhere in Britain, i.e. London, Silchester, Woodchester and Cirencester. It is clear that in the middle of the 4th century ad the villa was the home of a very prosperous merchant or dignitary who was able to provide himself with one of the largest country houses in Roman Britain and to decorate it with some of the costliest and finest mosaics in the province. In a room over 40 feet long was discovered a large mosaic pavement depicting the four seasons most of which had been destroyed by ash trees growing over it in the 18th century. The chief remaining object of interest was the head of Winter, in the appropriate North east corner, in an octagon of intersecting squares. The four seasons was a popular subject with the Roman designers and in the Conservatori Museum in Rome there is another large ancient pavement with a figure of Winter that closely resembles the one at Bignor. The powerfully drawn head and shoulders of the Bignor figure are covered with a British Celtic hooded cloak well known in the 3rd century ad throughout the Roman Empire for its thickness and warmth. Mentioned in Diocletian’s edict of prices (ad 301) it commanded a higher price than any other similar garment. The figure holds a bare bough over the left shoulder and the cold effect has been skilfully obtained by the use of the black, brown and blue grey tesserae of the figure on the white background. The decorative effect of this carefully constructed bead glass replica is as striking and great as that of the original ancient mosaic. The reverse of the beadwork picture is visible in mirror image.


[34] A Large Ming Chinese Gilt Bronze Hand of a Buddha with Open Palm China Ming Dynasty / Early 17th Century

s i z e   : 5.5 cm high, 26 cm long, 8 cm deep – 2¹⁄8 ins high, 10¼ ins long, 3¹⁄8 ins deep / 12 cm high – 4¾ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection formed over the past 40 years


The life size richly gilded bronze left hand from a Chinese Buddha statue in typical open form. The left hand is in the meditation dhyana mudra. When the Buddha became enlightened, he would touch the earth with this mudra during his meditation. The earth was touched and witnessed the awakening. The Ming period 1368–1644, officially the Great Ming was the ruling dynasty of China following the collapse of the Yuan dynasty. The Ming Dynasty had several religious inclinations, however the dominant religious beliefs during this time were Taoism (also Daoism) and Buddhism. The Chinese people believed in having a harmonious relationship with nature. During this era, scriptures and various practices were made to reflect harmony with nature. Many court members, including some emperors, were fervent supporters of Taoismand Buddhism.


[35] An Ancient Aztec Veracruz Stone Yoke of Typical U Shape Form Smooth polished greenish stone with patina Circa 450–640 ad

s i z e   : 11 cm high, 32.5 cm wide, 38 cm deep – 4¼ ins high, 12¾ ins wide, 15 ins deep / 25 cm high – 9¾ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : USA Private collection Sold Sothebys, New York, 24th November 1997 Ex Private collection of Jan Krugier, legendary modern art dealer, who handled works by Bacon, Basquiat, Braque, Calder, Degas and Chagall, although the gallery in New York were best known for having the exclusive rights to the 400 plus strong collection of Picasso works owned by his grand-daughter, Marina Picasso Ex Private UK collection The Aztec ball game, known as ullamaliztli, was an important game to the ancient Mesoamericans. It is believed that the game dates back to the Olmec civilisation and became a key part of the Aztec Empire. Ullamaliztli wasn’t just a form of entertainment for the Aztecs; it as well had strong political and religious impacts. Specific rules varied by geographical region, however in general the game consisted of small teams of players hitting a dense rubber ball, often weighing as much as 4 kilograms (9 pounds), onto a stone marker placed on the sides of the masonry ball courts. They used their hips and elbows to prevent the ball from touching the ground. Games were played between city-states and tribes, giving the game a significant amount of political heft. A win or a loss could have serious consequences for the represented tribes; sometimes, the games were used to settle differences between two parties. And sometimes, the games were used as an excuse for an assassination or attack. The heavy stone yokes are the trophy versions of the thick protective padding originally made of leather, skin and wood, worn by the players.


[36] An Antique Sailors Scrimshaw Engraved Sperm Whale Tooth Depicting a Whaling Ship Flying a British Flag a Whaling Boat with Six Whalers a Harpoon Resting on their Prow The reverse depicting a full whaling scene with three boats down pursuing a rising whale blowing a huge spurt of air and water Excellent colour and patina Early 19th Century s i z e   : 8 cm high, 15 cm wide, 4 cm deep – 3¹⁄8 ins high, 5 7⁄8 ins wide, 1½ ins deep By their artistic depictions, the scrimshander created the common impression of whaling as a romantic and exciting activity, and it was true that on such occasions the chase and the catch there were periods of high adventure, danger and excitement. However, it was the fact that for most whale-men these times were so infrequent, thereby creating the necessity for the craft of scrimshaw to occupy the long dreary hours of idleness spent on board ship. Whale’s teeth are found only in the lower part of the mammal’s long jaw and as they have no corresponding upper teeth, they are not used for biting or chewing but for filtering out the food they eat such as krill. Surplus to the requirements of the 19th century whaling industry, the sailors used the teeth for decoration. The engraving was difficult and consumed hours of time, and so became a means of warding off the boredom of a long whaling voyage and of combating homesickness. The earliest reference to the art of scrimshaw appears in the log book of the brig By Chance operating out of the American port of Dartmouth, Massachusetts and now at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The entry for 20th May 1826 reads: All these 24 hours small breezes and thick foggy weather made no sale. So ends this day, all hands employed scrimshanting. For a period of over 100 years whalers produced a wide variety of scrimshaw, but it is the engraved and carved teeth that have always received the most interest, attention and admiration.


[37] An Unusual Pair of American Sailors Pipe Tampers of Turned Sperm Whale Tooth with Finely Carved Panels Depicting Ships Carpenters Tools an Anchor a Unicorn a Frog Dancing Beneath a Lily Blossom and an Eagle Perched on an Anchor Each border inlaid with baleen Second Half 19th Century

s i z e   : 8 cm high – 3¼ ins high (each) Scrimshaw was a veritable passion with the whale-men on board ship enduring long arduous three or four year voyages endlessly searching the seas, sometimes as far as Antarctica and Siberia, for the illusive right whales. The raw material was chiselled from the whale’s jaws, pan-bones and teeth. The range of work is extraordinary and the resulting decorative and practical objects carefully carved, provided both mementos to take home as gifts and extra pocket money. Known as a pipe stop these scrimshaw objects together with tobacco jars and pipe stands made of tropical woods, were popular sellers on the port quayside.


[38] Fine South Netherlandish Carved Ivory Crucifix Figure of Christ with a Silver Halo and Sacred Motto Affixed to a Rosewood Cross With gilt-wood embellishments on original Rosewood scallop shaped base an Ivory Skull and Crossbones symbolic of golgotha beneath Christ’s feet His legs uncrossed His hands and Feet attached by Iron Nails Small chips to fabric of hanging Perizonium Old smooth creamy patina Circa 1690–1700 s i z e s : Christ : 40 cm high, 24 cm wide, 6 cm deep – 15¾ ins high, 9½ ins wide, 2½ ins deep / Cross : 109 cm high, 41.5 cm wide, 22 cm deep – 43 ins high, 16¼ ins wide, 8¾ ins deep c f : A similar example in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum inv. no. A.73-1920 In this image of the Passion, Christ is shown alive, his eyes open looking upwards to his right, his teeth visible with his mouth open in his call to God. Imagery based on the Passion of Christ became increasingly popular from the 13th century. The mix of emotions which well up in the devout upon looking at such a human image, a blend of guilt and gratitude, sorrow and sympathy, is a very powerful combination. The Carthusian monk, Ludolph of Saxony (died 1378) expressed this attraction, without seeking to explain it, in his Life of Christ: I know not for sure…. how it is that you are sweeter in the heart of one who loves you in the form of flesh than as the word…. It is sweeter to view you as dying before the Jews on the tree, than as holding sway over the angels in Heaven, to see you as a man bearing every aspect of human nature to the end, than as God manifesting divine nature, to see you as the dying Redeemer than as the invisible Creator.


[39] An Ancient British Red Sandstone Celtic Head of a Deity with Recessed Spectacled Oval Eyes Triangular Flattened Nose and Long Moustache The surface weathered 1st Century bc – 1st Century ad

s i z e   : 28 cm high, 23 cm wide, 17.5 cm deep – 11 ins high, 9 ins wide, 7 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Found pre 2000 by a metal detectorist in a Garden in Barrow Cheshire and granted a License by the Liverpool Museums Service Portable Antiquities Scheme (copy available) Ex Private English collection Ex Private London collection c f : A similar Head with a Moustache in the collection of the Cartwright Hall Museum Bradford Most probably placed near a sacred spring, river or well in a shrine or temple, this powerfully carved head with his flowing moustache sculpted over a protruding lower lip served as a Celtic deity and was used for offerings. The custom of taking heads was an essential way of life and integral part of Celtic religious belief and practice up to the Roman conquest of Britain. Thereafter, they attempted to ban it together with human sacrifice, but the classical writers demonstrate through their literature how deeply rooted in tradition this practice must have been. Livy describes how a Roman Consul General, Lucius Postumius, died fighting the Celtic Gauls with his army in a forest. His head was severed and taken to their temple, the flesh removed and the skull adorned with gold. It was used as a sacred vessel for libations on holy days and by the priests as a ceremonial drinking goblet. The apotropaic and protective powers of such skulls went on to be appreciated and valued long after the beginning of the Roman occupation of both ancient Gaul and Britain.


[40] Sri Lankan Kandy Period Carved Ivory and Iron Elephant Goad Ankus The blade shaped as an abstract bird traces of old red and black polychrome decoration to the ivory handle 18th Century

s i z e   : 45.5 cm long – 17¾ ins long p rov e na nc e : Finch and Co, catalogue number 18, entry number 6, 2011 Ex Private English collection Elephant goads were used by the mahout or handler to control his animal’s actions, direction and speed of pace, much like a bridle and bit is used on a horse. An elephant’s ears are very sensitive and the ankus is used to prod and pull at them to affect the correct response to the mahout’s given command. The elephants of Ceylon were an essential requirement for the pageantry of the Island’s princes and kings, and for the proces­ sions of the Buddhist temples. The young, wild elephants needed for these events were captured either by the use of female decoys or by the strategy, cunning and agility of the mahout. Of a particular caste, these handlers devoted themselves to the pursuit and training of the elephants. Later, in the wake of European colonization, it became necessary to take further advantage of the elephant’s great strength and intelligence and they were consistently used in the clearing of forests and the making of roads and railways. Ivory was a favourite medium and was widely used by the Sinhalese craftsmen of the mountain Kingdom of Kandy. The royal palace was a centre that attracted the best skilled artists who formed a guild called the Pattal Hatara. Members included painters, jewellers, gold and silversmiths and ivory workers. They enjoyed the King’s protection and received royal donations. Their presence attracted other artists and performers, such as musicians and dancers, to the Court and the Kings of the small independent Kingdom of Kandy became famed for their patronage of the arts.


[41] An Indian Rajasthan Iron Casket Decorated with Gold Damascene with Foliate and Tendril Designs in the Koftgari Technique of Oval Form Two circular handles to each side velvet lined raised upon four iron bun feet With original gilt decorated key Mid 19th Century

s i z e   : 9.5 cm high, 17 cm wide, 13.5 cm deep – 3¾ ins high, 6¾ ins wide, 5¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection Koftgari or Kuftkari is the technique in which a pattern traced onto iron or steel is inlaid with gold. It was traditionally used in the manufacture of weapons and armour, but after the annexation of the Punjab by the British in 1849 the production of arms was banned. The skilled artisan Kuftkars quickly turned their attention to supplying the growing European demand for luxury domestic objects decorated with damascened gold or silver. However, the workshops did quietly continue their traditional art with weaponry albeit on a much reduced scale.


[42] A Rare Fijian War Club Buli Buli with an Expanded Hemispherical Globular-Head with Flat Circular Projections Carved decoration to the grip Superb colour and patina 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 107.5 cm long – 42¼ ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Yorkshire collection c f : A similar example can be found in Art and Artefacts of the Pacific, Africa and the Americas, The James Hooper Collection; Steven Phelps, 1976, plate no. 111, no. 865, page 198 Prestige and adulation were accorded to those accomplished in the martial arts, although these were only achieved by using a weapon effectively, and so the Fijian warrior would choose a club that suited his stature and natural movements. The two handed club was the traditional and favourite weapon. Different weapons were used for different types of blow and this club was a striker or crusher that was used with a downward smashing motion. It is said that the terrible wounds inflicted by the war clubs can still be seen on smashed skulls in burial caves on Fiji and that some warriors survived the heavy blows to live on for years with dramatically misshapen heads.


[43] A Rare and Very Fine Elizabethan Silver Pomander of Globular Form the Outer Hinged Sections each Engraved with a Royal Portrait The finial screws upwards to allow the sections to be lowered, each separate compartment with finely engraved decoration together with the hexagon central column the whole raised upon a circular foot with rope-work borders Unmarked England Late 16th to Early 17th Century / Circa 1600 s i z e   : 8 cm high, 5 cm dia. – 3¹⁄8 ins high, 2 ins dia. / 4 oz. / 113 grams p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection Ex Gerald Satin Limited London, 3rd April 1981 Pomanders were first mentioned in literature in the mid thirteenth century. They were used in the late Middle Ages through to the 17th century. A Pomander, from the French pomme d’ambre apple of amber, is a ball made for perfumes, such as ambergris, musk, or civet. The pomander was worn or carried in a vase, also known by the same name, as a protection against infections in times of pestilence or merely as a useful article to modify unpleasant odours. The globular cases which contained the pomanders were hung from a neck-chain or belt, or attached to the girdle, and were usually perforated in a variety of openwork techniques, and made of gold or silver. Sometimes they contained several partitions, in each of which was placed a different perfume. The term pomander can refer to the scented material itself or to the container that contains such material. The container could be made of gold or silver and eventually evolved to be shaped like nuts, skulls, hearts, books and ships. Smaller versions were made to be attached by a chain to a finger ring and held in the hand. Even smaller versions served as cape buttons or rosary beads. A recipe for making pomander was included in John Partridge’s The Treasury of Commodious Conceits, and Hidden Secrets (London, 1586). Receipt to make a pomander by Frederic Madden in Privy Purse expenses of the Princess Mary, daughter of King Henry VII, afterwards Queen Mary (1553–1558). The ingredients were, first benjamin benzoin, balsamic resin storax, calamite and labdanum, finely levigated, and dissolved in a little rosewater over the fire. The composition was then taken out, and powder of cinnamon, sweet sanders and cloves added to it, all of which were well mixed and rubbed together. After this, ambergris, musk, and civit, of each three grains, were prepared, the first being dissolved and mingled with the other two… take your pome and by degrees to gather up the last three ingredients, kneading and mixing them well with the ball, till they become perfectly incorporated with it.


[44] A Fine Celtic Arm Ring of Cast Copper Alloy Thick Overall Construction Twisted with Flattened Terminals Western Europe 8th Century bc

s i z e   : 11.5 cm high, 12.5 cm wide, approx 1 cm dia. – 4½ ins high, 5 ins wide, approx ³⁄8 ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection Walton-on-Thames acquired 1930s–1960s Ex Jon Lawton collection UK Jon Lawton acquired the piece from a neighbour in Walton-on-Thames who in the early 1970s had inherited the piece from her late husband who had been collecting from the early 1930s through to the late 1960s The classical writers were all agreed that the Celts were a dramatic looking people, quite distinctive in their appearance. Personal appearance was clearly a matter of some concern to the Celt. The archaeological evidence show that women used mirrors as well as tweezers, presumably for plucking hair. Metal jewellery is one of the most significant features of Bronze Age life, it has been discovered as valued grave goods, buried with men and women alike. The wealthiest burials were those of warriors and princes, often containing exquisitely made bronze swords, spears, and jewellery. It was a very important part of most Bronze Age societies, and something that held great value as a major part of their identity. Neck torques had a magical significance. Sometimes the Celt would go into battle naked but for his neck torque, which he believed would protect him from danger. Gold and Bronze bracelets or arm rings were popular among the aristocracy. They were usually elaborately decorated by the Celtic craftsmen working in the courts of the aristocracy.


[45] A Superb Watercolour Album of Seventy Four Exotic Animals Insects Shells and Flowers with Annotated Script Contained within the original gilt tooled morocco leather album / case An internal pocket to one side Lined with blue end-papers Regency / Circa 1820s

s i z e   : 23 cm high, 20 cm wide – 9 ins high, 8 ins wide c f : see end papers for further images and website for each individual page Between the years 1750–1850 a Golden Age of watercolour-painting flourished in Great Britain. Atmospheric effects were captured by artists such as Turner, Cotman, Cox, and Girtin, who revolutionised the art of watercolour painting. Watercolour societies developed, promoted by many exhibitions of well known artists. Amateur artists joined in, many of whom were highly trained and skilled in their own right. By the Regency period young ladies were expected to be highly accomplished in the art of watercolour painting.


[46] A Rare Tongan Kolo Throwing Club Small marks to the top of the head indicate possible kills Superb colour and rich patina (ancient traces of shellac) Wood Late 18th / Early 19th Century

s i z e: 40 cm long – 15¾ ins long p rov e na nc e: Ex Private UK collection c f: For a similar example see Art and Artefacts of the Pacific, Africa and the Americas, The James Hooper Collection; Steven Phelps, 1976, plate no. 89, no. 736, page 167 See also: The Art of Tonga Ko E Ngaahi ‘Aati’ O Tonga Keith St Cartmail, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, AIM 31861 In the 18th century an extensive exchange network existed between Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. Cook arrived in the 1770s on his second and third voyages as well as other European explorers and named Tonga the Friendly Islands. Valuable information on the area came from the account by William Mariner of his four year stay on Tonga between 1806 and 1810, and by the 1820s the London Missionary Society and the Methodist Mission were stationed on the Islands. Within ten years they had converted the Tongan chiefs to Christianity. The Fijian term kolo was used in Tonga to refer to the throwing clubs that were generally referred to as i ula in Fiji. The name, which has no meaning in Tongan, is one of several indications that throwing clubs spread from Fiji to Tonga and Samoa, where they were known as olo. Whilst many Tongan kolo are almost, if not wholly, indistinguishable from Fijian i ula, there is a small corpus of distinctly Tongan throwing clubs, such as this example, that pursue the greater refinement and symmetry of form, which is characteristic of Tongan art. On Tonga the quality of a warrior’s weapon was a symbol of his rank. Chiefs often possessed finely finished and decorated war clubs that were symbolic of their social status. The favourite weapons of the Tongan warrior was the club and the spear. They were fierce fighters and highly respected for their bravery in battle even by the ferocious Fijians.


[47] A Superb and Rare Large Renaissance Bronze Snake the Coiled Reptile with Raised Head Poised for Attack Sitting upon a marble Orbicular Granite (Orbicular Diorite) base The surface of the snake with a rich dark brown patina Padova (?) Northern Italy 16th Century

s i z e   : 7 cm high, 24 cm long, 13 cm wide – 2¾ ins high, 9½ ins long, 5 ins wide / 10.5 cm high, 17.5 cm deep, 25.5 cm wide – 4 ins high, 7 ins deep, 10 ins wide (with marble base) Snakes cast from nature adorn the 16th century Bronze Basin from Padua, with masks and figural relief decoration in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (inv. no. 5501) which traditionally has been attributed to Andrea Riccio. However it seems more likely that it was cast in the 1520s by an artist from the circle of Riccio. The Vienna bronze basin is illustrated and discussed together with five snakes (all cast from nature) in the exhibition catalogue: Natur und Antike in der Renaissance, Museum Liebieghaus, Frankfurt a. Main, 5th Dec. 1985 to 2nd Mar. 1986. Finally, for three very closely related snakes, compare: cat. no. 276 (Private coll.) cat. no. 277 (Kunsthist. Mus., Vienna, I.N.5907), cat no. 280 (Museo Correr, Venice, I.N.XI, 1289). For related examples of Orbicular Granite, see: Giorgio Giardini & Silvia Colasante, The Ancient Decorative Stones Collections of the Geological Survey of Italy: Federico Pescetto and Pio de Santis, Vol. I, Rome, 1986, p.126, illustrations 146 and 147.


[48] A Collection of Eleven Pre-Columbian Mexican Aztec Obsidian Blade Cores and Scrapers Housed in a Musuem Glass Topped Collection Box

With old paper labels reading: ink inscription: Mexican Objects … Obsidian by the Natives and typed: called Itzli, and the Indians of Yucatan named it The shining God. Out of it the Mexicans formed their sacrificial knives, razors, spear and arrow heads, it being capable of receiving a very fine edge, and a very sharp point. A number of the pieces here exhibited appear to have been prepared for that formidable native weapon the Macuahuitl, described in the …. and a paper label reading … Musuem Circa 1000–1500 ad s i z e   : min : 9 cm long – 3½ ins long / max : 12 cm long – 4¾ ins long and min : 3 cm dia. – 1¼ ins dia. / max : 6 cm dia. – 2¼ ins dia. The Aztecs developed great skill in fashioning objects from obsidian, a hard and brittle volcanic glass that is extremely difficult to work. It was used in Mesoamerica from the earliest times by all the various settlements in the Basin of Mexico until the arrival of the Spanish. Obsidian can have grey, green or golden reflections according to type and was obtained by collecting blocks of it on the surface or by mining the large deposits that existed in the area. Regarded as a valuable commodity, obsidian was given to the Aztec capital as a form of tribute by the local communities. To the Aztecs, black obsidian symbolised the night and the cold. The omnipotent god of fate Tezcatlipoca or smoking mirror was associated with the material as one of his attributes was an obsidian divinatory mirror. Later after the Spanish conquest, this god’s association with sacrifice, blood and obsidian drew a parallel between Aztec belief and Christian crucifixion imagery, and obsidian became requested by the Jesuit priests for the making of portable travelling altars which were used as liturgical instruments in their conversion of the indigenous people. A macuahuitl is a weapon, wooden club with several obsidian blades inserted to the outer edge, used in close contact combat. A drawing from the 16th century Florentine Codex, illustrates Aztec warriors brandishing macuahuitl’s. One example of the weapon survived the Conquest of Mexico and entered the Royal Armoury of Madrid until it was destroyed by fire in 1884.


[49] A Very Rare Roman Period Jewish Lead Roundel from a Sarcophagus Depicting a Menorah Surrounded by Vines in High Relief with Two Bunches of Grapes Holy Lands 2nd Century bc to 2nd Century ad

s i z e   : 22 cm dia. (max) approx: 1 cm deep – 8¾ ins dia. (max) approx: ³⁄8 ins deep / 23.5 cm high – 9¼ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection believed to have been in the same family since the 1950s Thence by descent Sold at auction 2020 c f : An analysis report of the lead carried out by, CEZA and Prof. Dr. Ernst Pernicka, Germany, sample receipt, 26, January 2021, report date, 10th March 2021 is available confirming the dating of the lead relief The menorah is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp (six branches) ancient Hebrew lamp-stand made of pure gold and used in the tabernacle set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Fresh olive oil was burned daily to light its lamps. The menorah is a symbol of both Judaism and Christianity since antiquity. The menorah from the Second Temple was carried to Rome after the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in 70 ad during the first Jewish-Roman war. The fate of the menorah used in the Second Temple is recorded by Josephus, who states that it was brought to Rome and carried along during the triumph of Vespasian and Titus. The bas relief on the Arch of Titus in Rome depicts a scene of Roman soldiers carrying away the spoils of the Second Temple, including the menorah. Lead coffins were common in the Land of Israel in the 3rd to 4th Century, being a less expensive alternative to stone or marble coffins. They were produced using a special casting mould into which hot lead was poured. Often the workshops that made these coffins served people of all faiths, with clients selecting symbols appropriate to their faith. A Jewish coffin Beth She´arim of the early Byzantine period (IAA: 1964–40) illustrates the use of vine branches, leaves, vases and birds as a standard design, embellished further at the request of the purchaser, with Jewish symbols of the menorah, incense shovel and the four species. The menorah is surmounted by two bunches of grapes. One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith, the menorah is used to light the Temple that is today closely identified with the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. Historically grapes were one of the most important products of Israel, grown both to eat as well as to make wine. Wine was often used in the ceremonial occasions and grapes offered at the altar. The vine and grapes are a symbol of fertility and blessing from God. The iconography of this sarcophagus clearly identifies the deceased individual who was once held within its confines as a pious Jew who was blessed by God in life, as he no doubt was also in death.


[50] A Finely Carved Bugbear Coconut Flask Decorated in the French Empire Style with Three Roundels Depicting a Lyre Two Horns and Sheet Music a Hunting Horn and Bag Two Doves Seated on a Quiver of Arrows an Empty Cartouche above Swagged in Military Trophies and Armaments

The face of the bugbear inset with mother of pearl eyes the base carved with acanthus leaves Probably French Napoleonic Prisoner of War Work intended as a shot flask for a gun Early 19th Century s i z e   : 9 cm high, 9 cm wide, 12.5 cm deep – 3½ ins high, 3½ ins wide, 5 ins deep

As early imports into Europe, coconuts like ostrich eggs were great rarities, costly objects to be carved by skilled craftsmen who turned them into silver mounted goblets or fanciful jugs. Cleverly carved to accentuate the natural bugbear markings into grotesque faces, these flasks were often used for shot when hunting with a gun for game. They vary enormously in quality and many of them are just crude souvenirs. Some are said to have been carved by Napoleonic prisoners of war and like this example, show great skill. They are also valuable as historic documentaries of the scenes and objects they portray.


[51] A Fine Pair of Ottoman Sherbet Spoons the Bowls made from Coconut Shell Bone stems with brass and enamel segments with amber and coral Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 26.5 cm long – 10½ ins long and 28 cm long – 11 ins long These exotic and luxurious spoons were used at table in the Topkapi palace to help oneself from a communal dish of hosaf, a sort of wet fruit stew, the nearer side of the spoon being used for eating or sipping and the far side for helping oneself. Although knives were employed for cutting up meat, the use of forks was a Western European practice and the use of spoons such as these at table was frowned upon by strictly orthodox Muslims who held that the Prophet found his right hand quite adequate as a tool for eating. Used by the ladies of the Palace harem, large sets of these spoons were also produced for the use of the Grand Viziers at their meetings in the Divan, the Kubbe Alti in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Artists, architects and all manner of skilled craftsmen engaged in all the various branches of the decorative arts were employed within the grounds of the palace using exotic materials from around the world. Rather than relying on placing orders with independent masters, the Ottoman rulers co-opted the best artists they could find into their own palace workshops. Records show that by the end of the 16th century over 1500 craftsmen were on the palace payroll, which by the end of the 18th century had reduced to a mere 186.


[52] An Interesting Example of an Early Japanese Functional Netsuke Carved from a Natural Bamboo Root in the Form of a Drum the Himotoshi Enhancing the Design Fine smooth lustrous patina 18th Century

s i z e   : 4 cm high, 2.5 cm dia. (max) – 1½ ins high, 1 ins dia. (max) Bamboo is a feature of the scenery in all parts of Japan. It is prolific, growing very fast, often a yard in a day and will reach its full height in a single season. It is highly prized by Japanese craftsmen who use an extensive vocabulary to identify species and their characteristics. It is used extensively in construction and the making of utensils and fine objects. Most netsuke are carved from the root or rhizome, and the underground portion of the stem, which are solid. Treasured by collectors for its natural appearance, bamboo as a smooth, durable and compact material is perfect for a functional netsuke. Appearing frequently in Japanese paintings and literature, bamboo is symbolic of fidelity and longevity.


[53] A Chinese Lacquered Wood Pigeon Whistle Wood lacquer bone and iron-ring Old glossy patina 19th Century

s i z e   : 8 cm high, 7.5 cm wide, 5.5 cm deep – 3¹⁄8 ins high, 3 ins wide, 2¹⁄8 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection formed over the last 40 years A pigeon whistle, known as a geling or geshao in China, is attached to a pigeon such that it emits a noise whilst flying. They have long been used in Asian countries, particularly in China, for entertainment, tracking and to deter attack by birds of prey. The practice was once common but is now much less widespread owing to increasing urbanisation and regulation of pigeon keeping. They have been used in China since at least the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912). A modern version of the device, based on specimens held at the Pitt Rivers Musuem in Oxford, has been developed by the musician Nathaniel Mann. Mann has performed with the devices attached to racing pigeons at festivals across the United Kingdom.


[54] An Ancient Central European Carpathian Basin Bronze Age Solid Cast Votive Sickle in the Form of a Bird the Body with Single Worn Hole Probably a ritual offering from a burial Dark blackened smooth patina Circa 2000–1500 bc

s i z e   : 16.5 cm high, 24 cm wide – 6½ ins high, 9½ ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex London Private collection The Bronze Age of the Carpathian Basin during the 2nd Millennium bc was both a time of warfare and dynamic economic development which stimulated many advances in bronze metallurgy in both working techniques and the number of artefacts produced. This led to the skilled manufacture of finely crafted weapons, tools and jewellery articles in large bronze workshops by the end of the millennium. Some of the major trade routes passed through the Carpathian Basin which enabled the easy acquisition of raw bronze and a flourishing trade to emerge in the finished products. From the late 2nd Millennium to the first half of the 1st Millennium bc bird depictions were popular, especially those of ducks and other water birds. Bronze vessels featuring ducks with long bills were made which probably served a ritual purpose, and bird motifs figured prominently in the ornament of objects and jewellery. It is believed that these birds symbolised life and the mythical creature flying over or swimming across the waters bordering the other world.


[55] A Finely Painted Portrait Miniature Eye Brooch set within a Pinchbeck Oval Frame of Two Snakes eating each other Symbolising the unity of love

Pin to reverse Fine condition Late 18th Century / Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 2 cm high, 2.5 cm wide – ¾ ins high, 1 ins wide During the late 18th century small miniatures sometimes known as lover’s eyes and representing a single eye were in fashion set into lockets, brooches, rings and small boxes. Some were painted as memorial jewellery, but mostly their purpose was the adoration of a beloved subject and a way of evoking their face in their absence. The act of looking, the gaze with different types of glances, conveyed different emotions and messages, and so an expression of devotion was therefore easily conveyed in a gazing eye. Traditionally it is said that eye portraits became popular because George, Prince of Wales, had his mistress Mrs Fitzherbert’s eye painted by Richard Cosway in November 1785. Pleading with her to marry him he wrote, I send you a parcel and I send you at the same time an Eye. Royal law forbade a Catholic widow from marrying a Prince but, soon after his passionate letter was received, he married his lover in a covert ceremony. Eye portraits were in vogue for no more than fifty years and by 1840s / 50s photography had emerged erasing the interest in miniature portraiture, but these lover’s eyes still retain their ability to hypnotise, to connect with and to articulate an essence of a person you have never met. The ouroboros or uroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. Originating in ancient Egyptian iconography, the ouroboros entered Western tradition via Greek magical tradition and was adopted as a symbol in Gnosticism and Hermeticism and most notably in alchemy. The term derives from Ancient Greek οὐροβόρος from οὐρά oura meaning tail, and βορός boros eating. The ouroboros is often interpreted as a symbol for eternal cyclic renewal or a cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The skin-sloughing process of snakes symbolises the transmigration of souls, the snake biting its own tail is a fertility symbol in some religions, the tail of the snake is a phallic symbol, and the mouth is a yonic or womb-like symbol.


[56] Fine and Rare Inuit Mouth Piece for a Pump or Bow Drill Wood and Green Hard-Stone Inlay With a conical well for the insertion and rotation of the drill shaft Fine overall colour and patina Two old collection labels 19th Century

s i z e   : 4 cm high, 9 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 1½ ins high, 3½ ins wide, 2 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Edward Gerrard & Sons, Taxidermists Co. College Place, Camden Town, London Ex UK collection Inuit carvers used a hand-powered drill to cut, drill and carve raw walrus ivory and bone. The line of the bow wraps around the shaft of the drill, with the mouthpiece held between the teeth, one hand turns the drill while the other guides the carving / drilling. Tool technologies were vitally important to the Inuit. Most tools were designed uniquely to take advantage of the materials that were naturally available The drill is the most important implement for working in ivory and bone. It consists of three parts, the bow with its string niuqtung, the drill qaivun, and the mouthpiece qingmiaq or kı̆´ñmia. The string of the bow is twisted around the shaft of the drill, the mouthpiece, which is made of wood or of bone and has a concave stone inset for the drill shaft is taken into the mouth, and the rounded end of the drill is placed in the stone hole. Then the whole implement is put firmly against the place to be perforated and is set in motion by moving the bow. Instead of the latter, a string is sometimes used with a handle at each end. For one man, however, the first device is far easier to use singlehandedly. The tradition of using bow drills continued into the early 20th century as can be seen in a photograph by Eric A. Hegg, taken in Port Clarence, in 1900, of Inuits making souvenirs; the photograph in the collection of North-West Collection, University of Washington.


[57] A Collection of Interesting Miniature Pacific Solomon Islands Fishing Lure Hooks Four of Pearl-Shell Tobeo and One Very Small of Tortoiseshell and Red Coral Toraho An old label inscribed San Christoval Solomon Is. T.Leo 19th Century

s i z e   : min: 2 cm long – ¾ ins long / max 2.5 ins long –1 ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex English Private collection Said to be from Uki and Ulawa Islands in the Solomons, these remarkable tiny hooks were used as lures to fish for mackerel on a bamboo pole from a platform made of sticks and branches over a reef. When dipped up and down in the sea the hooks mimic the flashing movements of baby fish luring the mackerel which are caught seasonally in great numbers when they run once a year. The smallest lure toraho was used to catch a particular species of sardine and similarly, was not used from a boat, but tied to a pole from a platform over the sea. Both these hooks took two or three days to make, and if a line breaks would be carefully retrieved from the clear water where it could be seen. If one lost a point the shank would be reused. Many lure hooks lasted over generations and were regarded as heirlooms.


[58] Ancient Near Eastern Phrygian Bronze Fibula of SemiCircular Outline with Thick Flat Bow-Shaped Decorative Catch Plate and Shaped Mouldings The clasp now missing Ancient greenish brown smooth patina Inventory no: M39231 to reverse 8th Century bc

s i z e   : 8 cm high, 10.5 cm wide, 1 cm deep – 3 ins high, 4 ins wide, ¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Julia Schottlander acquired London Art Market early 1980s Ex Lord McAlpine of West Green Ex Private London collection Seward Kennedy Similar examples illustrated and published in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford Exhibition Antiquities from Europe and the Near East from the Collection of the Lord McAlpine of West Green 1987 page 135 17.42. According to the classical historian Strabo, Phrygia was famous for its wine and brave and expert horsemen. He states that the King was known as Midas and reigned from 720 bc to 695 bc when the country was at the peak of its power. An Assyrian inscription mentioning Mita dated to 709 bc suggests Phrygia and Assyria had struck a truce around this time. Midas had close trade links with the Greeks and married an Aeolian Greek princess. In the capital city of Gordium a system of writing in the Phrygian language was developed using a Phoenician derived alphabet similar to Greek. The Iliad names the homeland of the Phrygians as on the banks of the Sangarius river, the third longest river in modern Turkey and one of the principal rivers of Asia Minor in classical antiquity, and Gordium remained the centre of the country throughout its history. The city has become one of Turkey’s most extensive archaeological sites with digs revealing a tomb popularly believed to be that of King Midas. Excavations have confirmed the capital’s violent destruction around 675 bc. When the Phrygian Kingdom was overwhelmed and sacked by Cimmerian invaders, Strabo reports that Midas committed suicide by drinking bull’s blood.


[59] A Luristan Bronze Horse Bit the Mouthpiece made from a Single Bronze Bar the Shank and Purchase made from Two Single Pieces of Bronze with Pierced Openwork Detailing Old painted collection number to mouthpiece LU 40 Iron Age II / circa 900–600 bc

s i z e   : 10.5 cm high (max) 20 cm wide – 4 ins high (max) 8 ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection Ex Tetragon, London Ex Christies, London Ex Private Swiss collection, pre 1960s The peoples of Luristan known as Kassites were described by Greek historians as those belligerent barbarian tribes renowned for their warlike valour. Alexander the Great had to fight them and in 317 bc Antigonus, (known as Cyclops, Alexander’s one eyed General) wishing to besiege Susa entered the lands of the Kassites without agreeing to pay them the customary tribute and reported that his troops harassed by these savage mountaineers suffered terribly. Around 1500 bc they were a thriving people of peasants, nomadic stock raisers, horse breeders and warriors who according to Strabo could put at the disposal of the Elamites on occasion as many as 13000 archers to help them fight the Susians and Babylonians. Numerous objects in bronze, gold, iron and silver have been found in their tombs near the springs by which they camped in the high plains of Luristan, many of which are decorated with scenes often borrowed from Assyrian mythology. As nomadic warriors and hunters, the Kassites of Luristan believed these objects to have protective qualities. The bit is an important item of a horses tack. It usually refers to the assembly of components that contacts and controls the horses mouth, and includes the shanks, rings, cheek-pads and mullen. The first bits were made of rope, bone, horn, or hard wood. Metal bits came into use between 1300 and 1200 bc, originally made of bronze.


[60] A Powerful Serene Life-Size Italian Terracotta Sculpted Head of a Singing Angel with Original Polychrome The animated face with mouth wide open in full voice with large open eyes raised towards the heavens a full head of curly long hair flowing downwards over his ears and neck Italy Circa 1500–25

s i z e   : 30 cm high, 20 cm wide, 20 cm deep – 11¾ ins high, 8 ins wide, 8 ins deep / 45 cm high – 17¾ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private European collection Ex Sotheby’s Amsterdam, 2006, lot 129 Ex Tomasso Brothers, Leeds, UK The earliest notated music of western Europe is Gregorian Chant with a few other types of chant which were later subsumed (or sometimes suppressed) by the Catholic Church. The tradition of unison choir singing lasted from between the times of St Ambrose (4th century ad) and Gregory the Great (6th century ad) up to the present. During the later Middle Ages, a new type of singing involving multiple melodic parts, called organum, became predominant for certain functions, but initially this polyphony was only sung by soloists. Further developments of this technique included clausulae, conductus and the motet (most notably the isorhythmic motet), which, unlike the renaissance motet, describes a composition with different texts sung simultaneously in different voices. The first evidence of polyphony with more than one singer per part comes in the Old Hall Manuscript (1420, though containing music from the late 14th century), in which there are apparent divisi, one part dividing into two simultaneously sounding notes. The choir, circa 1300, queor (part of the church where the choir sings), from the old French cuer, quem, or architecture (choir of a church) chorus of singers. In Latin chorus choir meaning band of singers and in English is from circa 1400, quyre. The re-spelling in the mid 17th century is an attempt to match classical forms, however the pronunciation was not changed. During the renaissance sacred choral music was the principal type of formally notated music in Western Europe. Throughout the period, hundreds of masses and motets (as well as various other forms) were composed for a cappella choir, though there is some dispute over the role of instruments during certain periods and in certain areas. Some of the better-known composers of this time included Guillaume Dufay, Josquin des Prez, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, John Dunstable and William Byrd. The glories of renaissance polyphony were choral, sung by choirs of great skill and distinction all over Europe. Many renaissance artists took inspiration from the choir and soloists as can be seen in Luca della Robbia’s Cantoria in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence.


[61] Papua New Guinea Trobriand Islands Massim Carved Ebony Lime Spatula Kena with Human Figural Finial Decorated with Interlocking Scrolls the Shaft Carved with Symbolic Motifs Representative of Birds Humans and the Sea Old smooth silky patina Old chip to the tip Early 20th Century

s i z e   : 57.5 cm long – 22½ ins long / 60 cm high – 23½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private UK collection The term Massim is thought to be a corruption of Misima the name of an Island in the Louisiade Archipelago. At the end of the 19th century Western Christian missionary stations were established in the area when the population numbered around 38,000. Although tobacco is grown locally, it is the betel nut, the seed of the Areca palm which is most used as a stimulant. People with good teeth crush the nut in their mouths whilst the older generation use a mortar and pestle. The leaf or fruit of the betel plant, and a little lime taken from a pot with the aid of a lime spatula, is added to the crushed and chewed stimulating nut. The lime is produced by burning coral which is then powdered and put into bowls, often made of coconut. The Massim do not practice ancestor worship, but it is believed that the human figures carved to the top of the spatula represent spirits that will provide protection to their owner.


[62] A Superb and Unusually Large English Regency Turned Rosewood Gallery Glass The initials L&C and 5 Etched into the Brass Collar Circa 1820

s i z e s   : 24 cm dia., 47 cm long – 9¾ ins dia., 18½ ins long This large and impressive form of a magnifying glass was made to enable connoisseurs and collectors to view paintings and sculpture in detail whilst attending an exhibition, dealer’s gallery or an artist’s studio. Works of art and paintings could be surveyed from a distance whilst being discussed at leisure from a comfortable vantage point.


[63] A Scottish Silver Mounted Stag’s Horn Hilted Hunting Hanger with Engraved Steel Single Edged Slightly Curved Blade The silver open worked knucklebow struck twice with a makers mark for Thomas Vicaridge and a Pre-Britannia Standard The pommel with a large cherub’s head amidst scrolling foliage Circa 1697

s i z e   : 68.5 cm long – 27 ins long p rov e na nc e : Reputedly from the Deceased Estate of Richard Talbot (1630–1700) First Earl of Tyrconnell, Irish Politician and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Ex Private Northern Irish collection The hunting hanger became a popular weapon during the 16th and 17th centuries because it was an effective sword whether on foot, horseback or on board ship. In Scotland and Ireland, it was essentially a single-handed short sword used for finishing off game in lieu of using further shot. Light in weight with a small blade of around twenty inches in length fitted to a simple hilt comprising a single knucklebow to protect the fingers, the silver parts of the hilt are often decorated with biblical, mythological or hunting motifs.


[64] A Fine Ancient Near East Caucasian Bronze Age Koban Culture Finely Decorated Bronze Shaft-Hole Axe Head Solid cast with extensively chiselled and punched decoration Richly gilded bronze patina with patches of deep green Small repair to nick on blade 9th – 8th Century bc

s i z e   : 5.5 cm high, 18 cm long, 3 cm deep – 2¼ ins high, 7 ins long, 1¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection Acquired Christies London 5th October 2000, lot 188 Art Loss Register Certificate available c f : A plainer example in the collections of the British Museum London BM1913.1215.9 The Koban culture 1100 to 400 bc is a late Bronze Age and Iron Age culture of the northern and central Caucasus. It is named after the village of Koban where in 1869 many battle axes, daggers and other items were discovered in a Kurgan or burial mound. These axe heads were often found in grave sites as they were emblems of power and probably had a cult significance. Used in personal combat they were decorated to intimidate an enemy. Three closely hatched ribs strengthen and adorn the outer sides of the shaft-hole and the blade surface is carefully chiselled with fine abstract lines; it is characteristic of the best of these stylised axe heads.


[65] Prehistoric Native American Hopewell Mound Peoples Green Granitic Gneiss Bird Stone of Abstract Form Probably an Atlatl Weight Reputedly from Indiana County, Ohio Circa 1500–1000 bc

s i z e   : 5.5 cm high, 10.5 cm wide, 2 cm deep – 2¼ ins high, 4 ins wide, ¾ ins deep Pp rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection The ancient Hopewell culture was without obvious parallels in other parts of America. The people were agriculturalists who grew maize and tobacco and built great earthworks for military and ceremonial purposes. Archaic atlatl weights, banner stones and bird stones have been found from the Appalachians to Iowa and from Florida to the Great Lakes. The significance of these objects has not yet been conclusively proven, but made of subtly shaped and polished quartzes, granites, banded clay stones, and other colourful stone materials often imported from faraway sources, these minimal geometric forms were clearly highly valued. Functioning as weights for spear throwers, which was the primary weapon used for thousands of years before the bow and arrow, the quality of their craftsmanship suggests that they also served as emblems of prestige and status conferred on hunters coming of age and as magical talismans for increasing the spear thrower’s efficacy.


[66] A Rare and Powerful Ashante Bronze Gold Weight of a Figure Blowing Transverse Horn with a Sword to His Side under a Belt The long elongated thin arms typical of figures of this period Ghana 17th Century

s i z e   : 7.5 cm high – 3 ins high / 9 cm high – 3½ ins high (with base) c f : For a related figure see: African Goldweights, Miniature Sculpture from Ghana 1400–1900, Tom Philips; item number 143 The West African Ashante used these little weights for measuring gold dust and nuggets that had been hacked out by slaves of the gold bearing rock that everywhere surrounded them. The goldsmiths were of great importance to the King and his court and worked in the Royal compounds. They claimed descent from Fusu Kwabi, the first member of their tribe who was reputed to have come down from heaven over 400 years previously to teach men to cast gold. Only they were allowed to make the elaborate gold ornaments and objects for royal personages and to cast the little weights and boxes used by Royalty. Certainly no wealthy Ashante could be expected to carry his own gold and a bearer always accompanied him on expeditions from his own compound carrying the box of gold dust, a set of weights and a small pair of scales in order to pay for his master’s purchases in the pure soft gold of the realm. The naïve charm of these naturalistic or geometric weights cast of brass has made them a unique art form.


[67] Ancient British Celtic Red Sandstone Head of Unusual Shape with a Long Narrow Face Striking Deeply Cut Trun­ cated Eyes and Parted Lips Two gashes to the nose 1st Century bc – 1st Century ad

s i z e   : 18 cm high, 9 cm wide, 13.5 cm deep – 7 ins high, 3½ ins wide, 5¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Reputedly found near Hadrian’s Wall Ex Private English collection acquired from Chris Rudd Antiquities 1998 Ex Private London collection In the late Iron Age Yorkshire was the terrain of a powerful hegemony of Celtic tribes known as the Brigantes or the High Ones worshippers of the great pan Celtic goddess Brigantia who later morphed into the popular Christian Saint Brigid. The Brigantes were wild and war-like, and as headhunters, were feared by the Romans who were garrisoned in the forts along Hadrian’s Wall. The Romans tried to ban Druidism as they distrusted the influence, both spiritual and political, of the Celtic priests, but were mostly unsuccessful. Headhunting and human sacrifice were prohibited, but also continued amongst a Celtic populace resentful of Roman interference. For the Celts, eyes were an important feature and they were often emphasised in their sculpture to indicate divinity. This divine severed head simply fashioned from sandstone has a strange and disconcerting power of its own.


[68] A Fine Antique Specimen of a Bering Strait Eskimo Arctic Walrus Fossilised Oosik Penis Bone Club Odobenus Rosmarus With later drilled hole for a wrist thong perhaps collected by a sailor Smooth silky creamy patina Late 18th – Early 19th Century s i z e   : 41.5 cm long – 16¼ ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection Once known as the Sea Horse, 19th century naturalists believed the walrus to be the connecting link between mammals of the land and those of the sea. The male walrus lacks any external visible penis and in order to control body temperature in freezing Arctic waters it is internal and supported by a bone called a bacculum. Mating takes place in late Spring or early Summer on land. The Bering Sea Eskimo Inuit would make use of these natural clubs when hunting to dispatch seals and fish. Used like a braining stone, they would avoid making holes in the useful seal skin. As with other elements of Eskimo hunting technology, they reflect the strongly rooted belief that effectiveness in hunting requires a combination of craftsmanship and spirituality using compatible materials that will please the Inua.


[69] Interesting and Curious Wunderkammer Walking Cane Fashioned from the Long Tail of a Giant Eagle Ray Myliobatis Aquila Mounted with a colonial silver collar and turned colonial ivory knop Original ferrule to the tip Sri Lanka or Goa Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 90.5 cm long – 35½ ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection c f : For another example housed in a Morocco leather case, see Finch and Co catalogue number, 26, item number 50, 2016 Eagle rays swim in the Atlantic Ocean from Britain to Senegal as well as the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. They are more active than stingrays feeding on crustaceans and molluscs they forage on the sea bed. They are large graceful fish with pointed wing like pectoral fins and extraordinary long thin tails. These were sometimes put to use by sailors and made into an instrument of punishment.


[70] A Rare German Gilt Brass Spice Box or Powder Container with Cast and Engraved Relief Decoration Augsburg South Germany Last quarter of 16th Century

s i z e   : 18.5 cm high, 5 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 7¼ ins high, 2 ins wide, 2 ins deep p rov e na nc e : A member of the Ritter von Gutmann Family Thence by descent Sold at Kunsthaus Lempertz Cologne Auction no. 928, 23 November 2008, lot 1042 The superb quality and craftsmanship of this very unusual container suggests the ownership and possible commission was made by a high ranking military official or aristocratic family. The purpose is not fully known; however it has been suggested that of either gun powder or spice. The container with three separate covered compartments, the cast relief decoration depicting reclining figures and heads of putti amongst scroll-work. On one end, a portrait medallion showing a lady surrounded by a foliage wreath. The underside of the container with fine floral engraving depicting medallions with birds. The container with three loop handles (one missing) for attaching a cord for carrying. One of the ends pointed with a square opening, possibly for technical use, an integral key for turning or tightening ?


[71] A Fine and Rare Caroline Island Weather Charm with a Janus Head Wood stingray spines palm leaf bindings fibre and pigment A suspension lug allowing the charm to be suspended from a roof Yapese atoll of Lamotrek Micronesia Late 19th Century

s i z e   : 44.5 cm high, 7 cm wide (max) 6.5 cm deep – 17½ ins high, 2¾ ins wide (max) 2½ ins deep p rov e na nc e : collected in the early 1900s by Heinrich Kampling a Capuchin Monk living in the Yap region between 1905 and 1919 Thence by family descent to the Mueller family Ex Gunther Franke, Munich, contemporary art dealer (a painting by Otto Dix depicting Gunther Franke also depicts ethnographic masks) Ex German Private collection Ex UK Private collection c f : Kampling was extremely interested in the Yap region and peoples, he worked with another monk named Walleser who later wrote a book on traditional Yapese Culture The Caroline Islands in Micronesia are home to some of the most accomplished long distance voyagers in the Pacific.Among the greatest hazards facing Caroline sailors are powerful storms, which can destroy a sailing canoe, drowning crew and having them adrift far from land. To avert such disasters, canoe navigators would employ weather magic, believed to have the ability to prevent or altar the path of approaching storms. An indispensable element of weather magic is the hos a potent charm frequently consisting of a stylised human image whose legs are formed from the dagger like spines of stingrays, which are the source of its supernatural powers. The subtle facial features and stylised angular torso, embodies a minimalist approach to the human figure, typical of Micronesian sculpture.


[72] Fine North American Granite Pole Celt of Teardrop Form Mississippian Culture Old collection number: AG. H52 / I L U - 10 - A F J Late Prehistoric Period / 1000–1500 ad s i z e   : 18 cm long – 7 ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection Ex Art Gerber Ancient Art collection (1938–2017) Axe heads were more than utilitarian tools, they functioned as emblems of chiefly authority and power. Often surface finds unearthed by the farmer’s plough, axes of this type are found in many parts of the USA and Canada, but few are as beautifully formed as this example. They were made over a long period from 1500 bc to 1200 ad.


[73] a. An Arctic Bering Strait Walrus Ivory Toggle of a Seal with two drilled holes the Eyes Inlaid with Pyrites Superb colour and glossy patina Late 18th Century / Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 1.5 cm high, 7 cm long, 2 cm wide – 5⁄8 ins high, 2¾ ins long, ¾ ins wide

b. An Arctic Bering Strait Walrus Ivory Handle in the Form of a Seal with Blue Glass Trade Bead Inset Eyes Smoothly polished through use 19th Century

s i z e   : 2.5 cm high, 8 cm long, 2 cm wide – 1 ins high, 3¹⁄8 ins long, ¾ ins wide The Eskimo and their predecessors on the Bering Strait were most probably the first people in the world to carve walrus ivory. In the Arctic, driftwood was a rare commodity with walrus ivory much more readily available to use to carve objects and hunting implements. Of all the animals that exist in the Arctic none has been more important to human survival than the walrus. Every part of its body was used to manufacture a wide variety of essentials for everyday Eskimo existence. It provided food, the blubber was used for cooking oil, heating and lighting. The skin was used for clothing, making kayaks and the roofs of houses. The sinew and guts provided cords and lines and the bone and ivory were fashioned into tools and art


[74] Ancient Villanovan Bronze Cauldron or Incense Bowl Fitting in the Form of a Swan with Out-Stretched Wings The head rising from a flat smooth plate the wings formed by a single bronze strip curved and tapered to the ends Smooth green patina 8th – 7th Century bc

s i z e   : 10 cm high, 22.5 cm wide, 18 cm deep – 4 ins high, 8¾ ins wide, 7 ins deep p rov e na nc e : With Galerie Gunter Puhze Freiburg 1990s Sold Bonhams London 21st October 1999 lot 101 Ex Private American collection Ex Private London collection c f : A similar fitting attachment to a bowl with six legs each bearing a Horse and Rider in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (54.11.1) The early Iron Age civilisation of the area that became Etruria is known as Villanovan after a site near Bologna where the first finds that define it were discovered in the mid 19th century. Most Villanovan archaeological material comes from tombs and there is plenty of evidence for these and the many sanctuaries of these proto-Etruscan peoples, but much less was known about their villages and daily lives until recent investigations began to yield evidence. It appears that the arrival of Greek colonists in Campania greatly influenced the Villanovans. The colonists’ arrival led to the import of large numbers of Greek goods and to the arrival of more traders and craftsmen who quickly established themselves on Italian soil. The local bronze workshops, already very skilled, adopted new ideas and applied them to their own products. There were significant advances in agriculture with the introduction of drainage methods, better tools and new crops, such as grapes and olives ideally suited to the region’s soil which from the 7th century bc began to be intensively cultivated for the first time. The private ownership of land, and the division of fields with clear boundaries became evident and all of these changes transformed Villanovan society. Over time, a more complex social structure evolved with rich and important aristocratic families demonstrating their wealth and power through their lavish lifestyles and prestigious and imposing funerary monuments.


[75] A Large Example of an English Folk Art Cumbrian Mineral Spar Tower Made from crystals fluorspar and minerals mined by tin miners in the north of England during the Victorian period 19th Century

s i z e   : 36 cm high, 20.5 cm dia. (max) – 14¹⁄8 ins high, 8 ins dia. (max) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection c f : The last large collection to surface was held by Lord McAlpine, and was sold at auction in the 1990s since when few examples have come onto the market s e e : Finch & Co Catalogue number 2, 2002 for an example of a Spar Tower and a similar spar tower in Killhope Lead and Mining Museum, County Durham The miners took great pride in their knowledge of these minerals and it became a traditional pastime to mount them into towers, boxes and models, often supplementing their income by selling them at annual shows. The craft flourished in only three places in Britain. The centre was Upper Weardale and also included West Cumberland and the Isle of Man. The fine example present was made in West Cumberland. The miners collected colourful pieces of feldspar, quartz and other minerals they found while at work, and would create spar boxes whose popularity lasted no more than a few decades. Some took the form of shadow boxes with interior scenes or landscapes, or abstracted arrangements resembling grottoes. Others like this example, took the form of architectural structures such as pyramids, towers and temples. Competitions were held and prizes given in the town halls of the North Pennines for the most carefully made and elaborate Spar Cases and Spar Models.


[76] Egyptian Obsidian Amulet of the Index and Middle Fingers Old paper labels to reverse: 46.40.59 3rd Intermediate Period / 1069–664 bc – Late Dynastic Period / 664–332 bc

s i z e   : 8.5 cm long, 2 cm wide – 3¾ ins long, ¾ ins wide p rov e na nc e : Private collection, Bergen, New Jersey, USA acquired during the 1970s from an older collection (mostly from Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York) note: the collection number on the reverse probably refers to a de-accession museum reference number UK collection c f : For a similar obsidian example see Brooklyn Musuem, USA, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 74.158 The two finger amulets were usually found on the mummy near the embalming incision, through which the internal organs were removed during the mummification process; thus it is thought they represent the fingers of the embalmer. However it is also possible that this type was intended to seal the wound, preventing harmful forces from entering the body. The amulets are often made of obsidian, basalt or steatite. The black colour had associations with the underworld. The hard-stones durability was selected to aid and retain their power for eternity.


[77] An Ancient Celtic Iberian Solid Cast Bronze Figure of a Male Votary Wearing a Long Narrow Tunic with Bandoliers Crossed Behind His Shoulders A twisted cord across his chest his right hand extended and holding an offering his face with large prominent eyes long narrow nose and full lips One arm now lost (repair to break in body) Black glossy patina 5th Century bc

s i z e   : 11.5 cm high – 4½ ins high / 14.5 cm high – 5¾ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection Acquired September 2000 c f : National Archaeological Museum Madrid has similar examples all found in the Sanctuary of Des Pénaperros Dressed in a tight tunic, this votive figure stands in an attitude of awe and worship. They were produced in provincial workshops, but are full of creativity and imagination. Known in Spain as Munecos: puppets, they came from sanctuaries and are all similar for the way the eyes are made and in the shape and character of their faces. The sanctuaries were found in South and Southeast Spain and these votive figures have been found scattered around the caves or lying outside them for over three centuries. It is only since the beginning of the 20th century that archaeological excavations have taken place and it is now believed the statuettes are not cult images, but represent offerers in their ceremonial costumes with their attributes.


[78] A Rare Netherlandish Ivory Pax Carved with a Relief of the Crucifixion the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Lamenting Christ on the Cross Set between Two Roman Columns the Skull of Golgotha below The reverse with a slot for a handle (now missing) The arched top with old worn damage Old smooth silky creamy patina Late 16th Century

s i z e   : 11 cm high, 8 cm wide, 2 cm deep – 4¼ ins high, 3ins wide, ¾ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Netherlands collection Pax were used to receive the kiss of peace by the celebrant of the Mass which was then transmitted to the other priests and then to the laity. In the 13th century, direct kissing among the congregation was replaced by each in turn kissing the pax which was carried around to those present in the church. The pax was held out on its handle and was wiped with a cloth between each person. The range of medical and social conditions, especially plague, made the practice of direct kissing undesirable. Believed to have been instituted by the Franciscans the ritual response by the person holding the pax was to say Paxtecum who then received the reply Et cum spirtutuo.


[79] Unusual Neoclassical Portrait Miniature Painted on Ivory All’Antica of a Gentleman in a Pose Inspired by an Antique Statue Representing a Classical Roman God or Emperor In a rose gold mount with pendant a Bristol blue glass reverse contained in a period red leather velvet lined case Circa 1790–1810 s i z e   : 10.5 cm high, 3 cm wide, 4.5 cm deep – 4 ins high, 1¼ ins wide, 1¾ ins deep One of the most original and certain means of fulfilling the desire for fame and immortality was the portrait miniature for within the confines of this small portable object was contained a wealth of information about the subject represented. In earlier times during the Renaissance the European cast bronze, silver or gold portrait medal had this function. Usually circular, they normally had two sides: the obverse with a portrait and identifying inscription and the reverse with a text or scene associated with the sitter. The portrait miniature painted normally on ivory, although not as easily reproduced, can be seen as the direct descendant of the medal which drew on the rich heritage of Imperial Rome, just as the Neoclassical period was connected to the revaluation of classical antiquity. Both portrait miniatures and medals were very personal objects. They are meant to inform us about the subject as they or others wished us to perceive them. The message begins with the subjects bearing and dress, in strictest realism or idealised, the portrait thereby conveying the sitter’s aspirations and accomplishments or just self-satisfaction. Much more portable than painted portraits or sculpture, miniatures became an enduring means of attaining earthly immortality.


[80] A Rare and Finely Carved Egyptian Wooden Headrest with a Carved Head to both Sides Representing the God Bes (Protector of the Homestead) above Carved Lilies Decorated to the Stem Fine old aged glossy patina An old paper label to the underside 80 Two Victorian nails to the base once supporting a rectangular museum display or description card Egypt Ramesside Period / 13th – 12th Century bc

s i z e   : 19 cm high, 8 cm deep, 22.5 cm wide – 7½ ins high, 3¼ ins deep, 8¾ ins wide p rov e na nc e : by repute: Judge Herbert Blum (1900–1992) Baltimore Maryland USA Herbert F. Rieser, London, during the 1960s Acquired by Barbara Kornblatt (b. 1931) niece of Judge Blum Sold at Harris Auction House, 1990s, Baltimore, Maryland USA Ex Private UK collection When they slept the ancient Egyptians rested their heads on low wooden or stone supports. The fundamental form of a flat base, straight shaft and a neckpiece carved to accommodate the head appeared as early as the First Dynasty (3100–2890 bc) and continued through the Ptolemaic period. Elaborate hairstyles necessitated the use of the headrests in order to protect time consuming and expensive hairdressing. The hard pillow or platform kept the wigs and braiding from being damaged during sleep. They were also remarkably comfortable as long as one did not roll over. Similar wooden headrests are still used today in West Africa. As a support for the most vulnerable part of the body when it was most at risk from the powers of darkness, the headrest was a potent symbol of protection and was often placed in sarcophagi next to the mummy’s head or supporting it. As important burial gifts, headrests served to assist the deceased in his or her quest for immortal life. Elegantly proportioned ancient Egyptian wood furniture was made for the use of the elite; by modern standards the houses of the poor had very little furniture. Headrests have been found in the tombs of Kings, Queens and their officials together with low stools, chairs, bed frames, jar stands and boxes.


[81] A Very Fine Ancient Etruscan Faliscan Bronze Patera Handle Depicting a Youthful Female Naked Except for Her Soft Slippers Her thick hair parted in the centre sweeps backwards to the shaped projection that would have attached the deep bowl to the handle Dark green smooth rich patina 4th – 3rd Century bc s i z e : 15.5 cm high, 5.5 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 6 ins high, 2¼ ins wide, 2 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection acquired 1980s Ex Rupert Wace Limited Ex Private London collection acquired from above June 2009 Art Loss Register Certificate available c f : A similar bronze in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston U.S.A. no. 529 The art of the Etruscan period is an art of many peoples and influences. It can be said that Etruscan art is the real antique art of Italy. Etruria was a rich country well provided with fertile valleys and having quantities of silver and other ores. Roman poets did not exaggerate when they wrote that the Etruscans were well fed and lived enjoyable lives. The Falisci lived in northern Lazio on the Etruscan side of the Tiber River. They spoke an Italic language called Faliscan closely related to Latin. Originally a sovereign state politically and socially they supported the Etruscans joining the Etruscan league. This affiliation led to their near destruction and total subjugation by Rome. Roman connoisseurs in the days of Pliny were especially fond of collecting Etruscan and Falisci works of art, paying high prices for vases and bronzes. In 295 bc the Romans bought 2000 bronze statues to Rome from the conquered Volsinii and the Emperor Augustus commissioned the renewal of a statue of Apollo. In the bronze foundries of Praeneste, not many miles from Rome, people had worked according to Etruscan models for 500 years. Although considered old fashioned from the epoch of Trajan, Etruscan craftsmen were still employed to make beautiful engraved bronze mirrors, vessels, containers and brooches.


[82] Netherlands Silver Pyx or Host Box of Flattened Circular Shape with a Double Opening Lid Depicting an Arm Thrust Downwards Holding a Sword to a Flame An inscription Nec Me Vis Dividet Vlla meaning I do not want to cut Vita (Vita Life) With a Dutch inscription in script beneath the scene Hallmarks to underside W within a heart and also a crowned heart Late 17th Century / Early 18th Century s i z e   : 1.5 cm high, 8 cm dia. – ½ ins high, 3 ins dia. The word pyx comes from the Greek word πυξίς, pyxis meaning box or receptacle. For keeping dry the consecrated wafers used in the communion service symbolic of the Body of Christ.


[83] Netherlands Silver Circular Pyx Dated 1674 a Cartouche to the Centre of the Lid Engraved with a Sacred Flaming Heart and Monogram the sides with Scrolling Foliage Unmarked 17th Century

s i z e   : 3.5 high, 5 cm dia. – 1¼ cm high, 2 ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection These small boxes were probably intended for use by a travelling celebrant who would take the Eucharist to those unable to attend church, or the sick, in order for them to receive Holy Communion. Pyxes were widely used in monasteries for holding the blessed sacraments. An inventory of 1536, the year in which Henry VIII passed the Act for the dissolution of the lesser monasteries, contains an entry for 190 Divers Pyxides of Ivory with clasps and without them, of silver, with many relicks.


[84] An Italian Cast Bronze Coiled Snake Cast from Nature The surface with a rich brown patina (almost translucent in areas) Padova (?) Northern Italy Late 16th Century

s i z e   : 2.5 cm high, 13 cm wide, 9 cm deep – 1 ins high, 5 ins wide, 3½ ins deep The 16th century Frenchman, Bernard Palissy was a true Renaissance polymath whose myriad areas of expertise ranged from painting and glassmaking to geology and natural history. He conducted experiments and wrote treatises that enriched both palaeontology and ceramics. Palissy’s legacy thrives through a series of curious, rustic ceramic dishes. The glossy, sculptural vessels and platters are glazed in vibrant jewel-tones and crawling with various animal species, forms that Palissy made by taking casts of living, breathing creatures, cast from nature. For further reference, see: Ernst Kris, Der Stil Rustique, Die Verwendung des Naturabgusses bei Wenzel Jamnitzer und Bernard Palissy, Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien, Neue Folge, Vol. I, 1926, pp. 137–208. During Renaissance Europe, life-casting was already widely used among 16th century metalworkers, who were creating decorative objects in gold and bronze adorned with figurines of natural species, in line with the era’s enthusiasm for the natural world, and the rise of mannerism.


[85] An Ancient Fijian Sali War Club with Broad Cheeks Cross-Hatched a Spurred Head and a Serrated Cutting Edge with Notches for Feathers and Shells The whole showing considerable signs of generational use The damaged iron wood edges and flaring butt flange with old smooth patination displaying continual wear and handling 18th Century s i z e   : 94 cm long – 37 ins long Sali refers to the clawed flower of a species of a banana-like plant and these clubs were an extreme variant of the gata with broad flattened blade and pronounced spur. The cheeks were carefully carved with geometric patterns instead of being merely roughened. The head was effectively a scythe with the long spur used like the beak of the totokia for piercing. It is also thought that the crotched spur was used to throttle victims by pinning them to the ground. Symbolic embodiments of power, far more attention to detail went into the making of weapons than was required for their technical effectiveness in combat. They were made in enormous variety often with extremely well furnished elaborate surface designs. Although this is an indication of the prevalence of warfare the clubs obviously had more complex roles than just that of a weapon. Their form and level of embellishment signalled the status and rank of their owner and they were also regarded as important exchange valuables. Clubs and spears could be dedicated at temples as Berthold Seeman noted in 1860, In some old temples the various offerings have been tastefully arranged, making the interior of the building look like a great armoury.


[86] Ancient Kingdom of Urartu Eastern Anatolia Turkish Bronze Lost Wax Cast Section of a Belt Plate Decorated with Snarling Lions Circa 860–590 bc

s i z e   : 14 cm high, 19.5 cm wide – 5½ ins high, 7¾ ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex collection of the late Seward Kennedy Acquired 1970s London art market c f : A similar Belt Plate in the German Museum Für Vor Und Frühgeschichte. inv. no. Xlc4876 The Iron Age kingdom of Urartu was centred around Lake Van in the historic Armenian highlands, but at its height the kingdom stretched north beyond Lake Sevan and into the southern part of present day Georgia almost to the shores of the Black Sea, west to the sources of the Euphrates and east to Tabriz and Lake Urmia and south to the sources of the Tigris. Rising to power in the mid 9th century bc, the kingdom went into gradual decline and was conquered by the Iranian Medes in the 6th century bc. The art of Urartu is especially notable for its fine lost wax cast bronze objects which includes weapons, helmets, furniture fittings, figurines and huge cauldrons that were used for sacrifices. The singular types of jewellery produced by the ancient kingdom include these decorated bronze belt plates exclusively found among the rich funerary equipment in the tombs of the Urartian ruling class. However, relatively little of their jewellery has been found, the Assyrians having boasted of looting in great quantities from Musasir in 714 bc.


[87] A Finely Cast Bronze Buddha’s Hand Rich dark patina Thailand Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 17 cm high, 6 cm wide – 6¾ ins high, 2³⁄8 ins wide / 21 cm high – 8¼ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection, Verona, Italy Ex UK collection A bronze Sukhothai-style left hand of the Buddha, in vitarka mudra with a mandala. In the Pali canon, Vitakka-Vicara forms one expression, referring the normal process of discursive thought. The Buddhist commentarial tradition, as requested by the contemporary Thervāda interprets vitarka and vicāra as the initial and sustained application of attention to a medicinal object, which culminates in the stilling of the mind. A mandala is a geometric configuration of symbols. In Buddhism it is used as a map representing deities. It has been used in Buddhist art form since the first century bc.


[88] Finely Cast Renaissance Bronze Foot Inkwell After the Antique The foot modelled wearing openwork sandal upper and also showing the sole The whole raised upon an oval marble base Padua or Milan Italy Late 16th Century / Early 17th Century s i z e   : 7.5 cm high, 14.5 cm long – 3 ins high, 5¾ ins long / 9 cm high, 16 cm long – 3½ ins high, 6¼ ins long (with marble base) The origins of the inkwell can be found from the 16th century onwards. Before this period writing was thought to be a lowly task, one which the aristocracy left to scribes. However the scholarly approach to study in the renaissance and the production of decorative bronze inkwells from the renaissance period onwards allowed a wealthy class to adopt writing within their libraries and private studies. This very fine example of renaissance bronze work from northern Italy, with the finely detailed and chased decoration to the sandal would undoubtedly have once belonged to an important renaissance family who were both scholarly and had sophisticated taste. The numerous excavations of Roman antiquities fascinated the thinking men and women of the Italian renaissance. Many of the newly discovered antiquities were copied in various forms of renaissance bronze sculpture and incorporated into new designs.


[89] Ancient Roman Fragment of Imperial Porphyry from a Column or Large Sarcophagus Ancient curved polished surface to one side Italy 1st – 2nd Century ad

s i z e   : 34 cm x 19.5 cm x 10 cm – 13³⁄8 ins x 7¾ ins x 4 ins The word Porphyry comes from the Latin Porpora meaning purple and was first used to describe the famous Egyptian Imperial porphyry of which this is an example. It is a hard volcanic rock of a deep purple red colour with a peppering of tiny white crystals of feldspar and has been prized by Emperors, Kings and Popes since ancient times. By law only the Roman emperors could use the colour purple and the dye was worth more than gold. First extracted by the Phoenicians and called Tyrian the dye came from crushed Murex Trunculus shellfish. Whole woollen fleeces would be dyed to the desired colour before being spun into the wool to weave the Imperial togas. The Egyptian porphyry quarries were known as Mons Porphyrites and were opened in the 1st century ad and worked for four centuries, mostly by slaves and convicts. The deep purple-red colour of the rock was highly prized by the Emperors Nero, Trajan and Hadrian who restricted it, like the dye, to Imperial use, and regarded the Egyptian quarries as their exclusive property.


[90] A Victorian Gold Stickpin Fashioned from the Spurs of Lord Lonsdale and Lord Yarborois Cockfighting Birds

The gold pin terminating in a buckle collar separating the two spurs An old label reading: Original Spur. Taken from the Champion Fighting Cock, After the last Main. Fighting the Grand National Between Lord Lonsdale’s + Lord Yarborois Birds. Before the fixing of Steel Spurs. no t e : Main refers to matched cock-fights based on weights s i z e   : 6 cm long – 2³⁄8 ins long

Cockfighting was popular in ancient Greece, Rome and Persia, but probably originated from India. In Renaissance England it was a Royal sport and a cockpit was built in Whitehall Palace by Henry VIII. Royal patronage continued into the 17th century until it was banned by Cromwell. The sport was revived at the Restoration by King Charles II, but was finally prohibited by law in 1849. It is still legal in Louisiana, Mexico and Latin America, the Philippines, South East Asia and the Middle East, where it is usually accompanied by frenzied gambling. Cockfighting jousts took place in a small circular pit into which the specially bred fighting gamecocks are placed beak to beak by their handlers and then released. A combatant wins when its opponent is unable or unwilling to fight or is killed. Metal spurs attached to the birds natural spurs make the action deadlier. The earliest known British book on the sport of cockfighting was published in 1607 The Commendation of Cocks and Cockfighting by George Wilson. He was the first to use the term Cock of the game after which fighting cockerels were known as gamecocks. On Magellan’s voyage around the Philippines in 1521 it was documented as a major sport in the Kingdom of Taytay by the chronicler Antonio Pigafetta. It is therefore possible that the game’s origins lie in South East Asia.


[91] A Rare Large Bezoar Stone Probably from the Stomach of a Goat or Camel Smooth Greyish-Green Patina 19th Century

s i z e : approx: 6.5 cm high, 7 cm wide, 6.5 cm deep – 2½ ins high, 2¾ ins wide, 2½ ins deep Pp rov e na nc e : Found in a Chest in the Attic of a deceased Estate in London Bezoar stones are formed from the accretions in the stomachs of ruminants that have become ossified. They were believed to be magical having the power to detect poison and act as an antidote to melancholy. The Emperor Rudolf II of Prague wore a small one on a pendant in the hope of curing his chronic depression and had another larger made into a cup mounted in enamelled gold studded with rubies and emeralds which he thought would render all poison harmless. In 16th and 17th century Europe they became valuable commodities and it is said that they were worth up to ten times their weight in gold so strong was the belief in their medicinal and magical powers.


[92] A Fine and Large Egyptian Limestone Relief Carved in Shallow Relief Traces of original polychrome Old Kingdom / 5th Dynasty / 2454–2311 bc

s i z e   : 32 cm high, 70 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 12½ ins high, 27½ ins wide, 2 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Swiss collection Acquired mid 1960s and thence by descent Ex Rupert Wace Limited London Ex Private London collection


c f : A similar relief with a procession of waiters carrying food-stuffs including live birds from the Mastaba of Thefw is illustrated in Prof. Dr. Selim Hassan’s article Mastabas of Ny-ankh-Pepy and Others in Excavations at Saqqara, 1937–38, Vol. II Cairo 1975, plate LXXXVI The relief scene from a wall of a tomb depicts in the lower register a procession of offering bearers carrying a variety of birds. Hieroglyphic inscriptions incised before and behind the figure on the left in part referring to the lost figure overseer of the domain, servant of Ka. The lower part of the upper register shows a figure pulling on a catch net (the legs lean back to counterbalance the weight of the net) and birds with open wings try to escape capture, while the caught birds are shown within the net in the upper right corner.


[93] An Early British Sailors Walrus Ivory Teetotum Ball Numbered 1–32 on Faceted Sides The carved arabic numbers save for the VI which is roman numeral Superb rich dark golden colour and patina 17th Century s i z e   : 4.5 cm dia. – 1¾ ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Scottish collection Totum is Latin for the whole and therefore is used in reference to the whole stake in gambling. Teetotum balls act somewhat like spinning dice, but have faceted numbered sides so when thrown there is an equal chance of any number turning up which is not the case with dice. Lotteries first began to be an acceptable form of gambling in the reign of Elizabeth I. In 1568–69 the government needed to quickly raise a substantial sum of money for urgent repairs to the harbours and coastal fortifications of England in order to repel the threatened seaborne invasion from the Spanish. Successive Acts of Parliament then established lotteries as a legitimate means of increasing revenue and over time they became a lucrative source of government income.


[94] A Finely Carved Silver Mounted Bugbear Coconut Flask with a Scene of Two Native North American Woodlanders Hunting a Caribou with Spears and a Hound Dog The whole covered with flowering tendrils leaves and foliage the glass eyes set in silver the silver stopper and surround engraved with a sun motif A silver roundel to the base with initials Probably French sailors work Late 18th – Early 19th Century s i z e   : 9 cm high, 9 cm wide, 14 cm deep – 3½ ins high, 3½ ins wide, 5½ ins deep Bugbear coconut flasks were often carved by sailors on their return from long sea voyages who had visited the Tropics and collected the green immature nuts. Easier to carve whilst still young and fresh bugbears have originated from Mexico, North and South America and the French Polynesian Islands. This example is very fine and as it is carved with a hunting scene was probably intended to be used as a shot flask for a gun.


[95] Ancient Near Eastern Sumerian Uruk White Limestone Votive Statuette of a Reclining Young Bull Inlaid with Lapis Lazuli his Legs Folded under his Body Showing his genitalia Some inlays now lost Smooth silky patina Circa 3000 bc

s i z e   : 3 cm high, 2.5 cm wide, 5.5 cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 1 ins wide, 5¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection Elie Boustrous, Beirut, Lebanon, acquired 1920s Ex Private London collection c f : A similar example in the Berlin Staatlich Vorderasiatishes Museum: VA14536 Often found in tombs where they accompanied their owners, the inlays of lapis lazuli were intended to replicate the spots on the bull’s hide. The holes are either circular or crescent-shaped and the inlays deeply inserted into the limestone. Cattle, especially bulls, were highly valued and given as gifts during ceremonial events and religious rites. The Royal Palaces and temples had the best herds with several temples, especially at Enna in Uruk having great shrines dedicated to the goddess Inanna, the Queen of Heaven around which the Bulls congregated. Archaeologists believe that statuettes such as this were substitutes for sacrificial animals. They were symbolic, perpetual votive offerings which celebrated the divinity, prompted answers to the worshippers prayers and ensured the continuing goodwill of the goddess.


[96] An Ancient British Sandstone Celtic Pagan Male Head with Piercing Drilled Eyes and Pupils Grooved Eyebrows and Open Slit Mouth with Beard Below 200 – 300 ad

s i z e   : 17 cm high, 14 cm wide – 6¾ ins high, 5½ ins wide p rov e na nc e : Lady Albery Thence by descent Ex Private UK collection The Celts had a predilection for the human head. The tete coupée of the Celts like that of the Gorgon or Medusa of the Mediterranean had apotropaic powers and fulfilled the function of averting evil, and of conferring protection on the building into which they were incorporated. Celtic heads were often associated with springs and thermal waters as was the Roman image of Medusa and thus native Celtic symbolism became acceptable to the conquering Romans as the deeply indigenous cult of the head was comfortably masked under the image of Medusa. The best known of these vigorous male images and typical of many Romano British heads is the head carved on the shield of the goddess Sulis, equated with Minerva, on the pediment of the temple of Sulis in Bath. This head perhaps symbolises the forced emergence of the Celts from the ambiguous world of their ancestors where the otherworld was as accessible as this one into the ordered, straight edged, rational and disciplined world of the Romans.


[97] A Large British Watercolour of Fingal’s Cave Staffa by G. E. Howman 1827

Housed within the Original Gilt Frame Initialed G.E.H and dated 1827 To the reverse labels reading: The Exhibition of the Royal Academy MDCCCXXVII The Fifty-Ninth. An Alphabetical List of the Exhibitors Another label attached over reading: Honorary list A further applied label reading: 30 Antique Academy. and ‘602 Fingal’s Cave, Staffa, as seen August 5, 1820. Iona in the distance. — — Rev. G. E. Howman A hand written label titled: Fingal’s Cave - Staffa as seen August 5 1820 and Iona in the Distance Geo: Ernest Howman Exhibited in Royal Academy 1827 Gilt Title: Fingal’s Cave-Staffa / By George Ernest Little (erroneously) / Exhibited in Royal Academy, 1827. An old dealers label: From Fred K. B Daniell & Son Dealers in Old Engravings, Drawings, Pictures, etc. 32, Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, London, W.C.2 Old ink inscription reading: For the Rev.d Edward J Howman signed G. Ernest Little The view looking out of the cave in the direction of Iona on the horizon 19th Century

s i z e   : 49.5 cm high, 64 cm wide – 19½ ins high, 25¼ ins wide / 73 cm high, 86.5 cm wide – 28¾ ins high, 34 ins wide (frame) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection Fingal’s cave is a sea cave on the uninhibited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, known for its natural acoustics. The cave was brought to the attention of the English speaking world by the 18th century eminent naturalist Sir Jospeh Banks who accidentally discovered the cave in 1772. It became known as Fingal’s cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by the 18th century Scottish poet-historian James Macpherson. Queen Victoria visited the cave, J.M.W Turner painted Staffa, Fingal’s Cave in 1832 and Felix Mendelssohn visited in 1829 followed by an overture, The Hebrides, Op. 26 also known as Fingal’s Cave overture. The geology of the cave is Paleocene Basalt Flow forming a cave structure entirely of basalt columns, similar in structure to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland and those of nearby Ulva.


[98] Ancient British Small Celtic Red Sandstone Ceremonial Stone Head with Typical Ovoid Eyes Triangular Nose and Slash Mouth the Top Indented Possibly for Offerings or Libations Inventory number to base 3431 1st Century bc – 1st Century ad

s i z e   : 9 cm high, 8 cm wide, 7.5 cm deep – 3½ ins high, 3¼ ins wide, 3 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Said to have been found south of Cornovian Territory in the area of the Dobunni now known as Warwickshire Ex Private English collection acquired from Chris Rudd Antiquities 1998 Ex Private London collection When their enemies fall they cut off their heads and fasten them about the necks of their horses Diodorus Siculus 5.29. By the 3rd century bc, the Celts were the masters of Europe with territories stretching from the Baltic to the Mediterranean and from the Black Sea to the western coasts of Ireland. Driving light two-wheeled war chariots, tyred with iron which metal they were first to discover, they swept across huge tracts of land intimidating and defeating all who resisted them. Their languages can still be heard today in Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and in Breton. Europe is studded with place names of Celtic origin and the old rivers which were regarded as sacred by the Celts, were also named by them. Real severed human heads were venerated especially in conjunction with sacred springs, but those fashioned from stone or wood, pottery or metal were believed to possess ancient apotropaic powers. This iconic countenance with huge riveting deeply cut eyes was probably from a shrine or altar where it could be worshipped and afford protection to the community.


[99] Small Ancient British Celtic Buff Coloured Sandstone Head with Dramatic Staring Pierced Eyes a Bulbous Nose and Slightly Open Slit Mouth 1st Century bc – 1st Century ad

s i z e   : 12 cm high, 8 cm wide, 11 cm deep – 4¾ ins high, 3¼ ins wide, 4¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Said to have been found near Wroxeter Shropshire, once the Roman Town of Viroconium, the Territory of the Celtic Cornovii Ex Private English collection acquired from Chris Rudd Antiquities 1998 Ex Private London collection The Celts venerated the head as a symbol of divinity and of the powers of the other world. They regarded it as the most important part of the human body, the very seat of the soul. This belief was found universally throughout the entire Celtic world from the time of their emergence as a distinctive people, and it persists until the present day still appearing as a motif in modern folklore. The Celts were not just head-hunters; their reverence for the head went beyond its use as a symbol of military success and was a profoundly important spiritual sphere of their life. The stone and wood carvings of severed heads were used as cult objects in both their religious sanctuaries and temporal homes. Often associated with sacred springs and pools, the symbol of the severed head was the most universal of their religious beliefs, and they imbued their god-head with all the qualities and powers most admired and desired by them: fertility, prophecy, hospitality, wisdom and healing.


[100] Ancient Western Central Asian Bactrian Copper Alloy Horse Headed Shaft-Hole Axe Circa 2000 bc

s i z e   : 19.5 cm long, 2 cm deep – 7¾ ins long, ¾ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection Acquired 1990s c f : Metropolitan Museum of Art New York has a similar example inv. no. L.1979.44.123 Bactria was an ancient country lying between the mountains of the Hindu Kush and the ancient Oxus River to the far north east of Persia in what is now part of Afghanistan. It occupied a commanding position on the road to India and was called beautiful Bactria, crowned with flags by the Auesta. In the Bronze Age its people were agriculturalists who practised irrigation farming, raising crops of wheat and barley. They also had a sophisticated tradition of metalworking and were proficient in producing an extensive corpus of objects in a variety of metals including bronze, copper, silver and gold. Shaft-hole axes were used in hunting and in battle, and may also have had a ritual use. They were made throughout the neareast over a long period and there was a considerable exchange network throughout the vast expanses of Greater Iran toward the end of the Bronze Age. Sumerian examples were plain, the more elaborate types such as this example coming from Luristan and the Bactrian regions. Bactrian hammers and axes have an animal protome projecting from the butt whereas Luristan examples and others from further east have animals in high relief.


[101] Ancient Anglo-Saxon Cast Bronze Fibula Decorated with Stylised Ravens and Anthropomorphic Mask Head Terminal Circa 4th – 5th Century ad

s i z e   : 7 cm high, 3.5 cm wide – 2¾ ins high, 1¼ ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex English Private collection Human masks, beasts and birds predominated in the decoration of ancient fibulae or long brooches. Made from bronze, silver or gold cast in clay, antler or carved wooden moulds, these safety pin brooches were used as garment clasps to secure the cloak at the neck with the aid of a long pin fastened across the back of the decorative plate. The stylised design incorporates dots representing eyes and scrolling birds symbolic of ravens. The eyes were considered the mirror of the soul and their glazing over was a sure sign of imminent death. To the Anglo-Saxon warrior the special meaning of the eyes was confirmed when at a sacrificial site or on an abandoned battlefield, the eyes would be first taken by the ravens, pecked out of the heads of the dead humans and animals.


[102] A Fine Pre-Dynastic Egyptian Flint Hand Axe Formed of a Warm Caramel Stone The cutting edge knapped to a point Old inventory numbers in black ink 507 and 59.300 Egypt Late Mesolithic / Circa 7,000–6,000 bc

s i z e   : 14 cm long, 12 cm wide, 4.5 cm deep – 5½ ins long, 5 ins wide, 1¾ ins deep / 14.5 cm high – 5¾ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Robert De Rustafjell (1876–1943) acquired in Thebes prior to 1909 Deaccessioned from The Heckscher Museum of Art, Long Island, New York Private New Jersey collection p u b l i s h e d  : De Rustafjaell, R., The Stone Age in Egypt: A Record of Recently Discovered Implements and Products of Handicraft of the Archaic Nilotic Races Inhabiting the Thebaid, New York, 1914 Object 507 During the Palaeolithic period man was a hunter. Ingeniously he developed hand axes, choppers and flint flake and blade tools. In the transitional Mesolithic age the most characteristic tools were microliths, which were hafted to form the points of cutting edges of weapons and implements. With the growth of a full agricultural and herding economy in Neolithic times, ground stone tools such as the adze, chisel and gouge came into use. Historical and academic interest in stone tools was not present until the end of the 17th century. It was not that they had never been discovered it was that they were not previously thought to be the products of human manufacture. Although there are biblical references to stone tools and they were known to be used by the Native Americans they continued to be categorised as fossils. Then in 1656 Sir William Dugdale, a noted antiquary, published a book on the antiquities of Warwickshire containing an engraving of a wonderful polished stone axe. He states that divers flint stones had been found by ploughing on the north part of Oldbury fort and went on… so made by Native Britain’s and put in a hole bored through the side of a staff, were made use of for weapons. In as much as they had not then attained to their knowledge of working iron or brass to such uses.


[103] A Pair of Elegant Italian Bronze After the Antique Candelabrum Modelled on an Ancient Pompeiian Original in the Naples Archaeological Museum

The flamed sconces rising above foliate and bird encrusted columns three pelicans standing on rams’ heads above triangular shaped bases supported by winged lions the whole resting on paw feet First Half 19th Century s i z e   : 40 cm high – 15¾ ins high By the 19th century connoisseurs from Britain had assembled the richest collections of classical antiquities outside Italy, and the galleries they created to house their spectacular treasures were often as magnificent as the artworks themselves. However, no natural catastrophe had become so deeply impressed upon the minds of collectors as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ad 79. As the discovery of Pompeii and the surrounding sites began to slowly unfold so a new interest and neoclassical taste was formed that laid the foundations for a re-evaluation of classical antiquity. This interest spurred the production of bronzes in Naples based on the originals found. As Goethe wrote in 1787 in his Italian Journey: of the many misfortunes that have occurred in this world, no others have given prosperity such joy.


[104] Large Rare British Celtic Apotropaic Sandstone Head of Cernunnos the Horned Deity with Typical Eyes Triangular Nose and Slit Mouth 1st Century bc – 1st Century ad

s i z e   : 47.5 cm high, 39 cm wide, 33 cm deep – 18¼ ins high, 15¼ ins wide, 13 ins deep / 52 cm high – 20.5 cm high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection Cernunnos was a horned god and one of the most ancient Celtic deities. He predates Roman influence in Western Europe with images occurring from as early as the 4th century bc. Known as the Lord of the Animals essentially he was a god symbolising fertility and fecundity in nature. As the patron god of hunters his horned head was an appropriate symbol for a people who decapitated their enemies and revered the head, a people given to fighting, cattle lifting and hunting. The horned god was their leader in war, symbolic of virility, lawgiver in times of peace, protector in times of danger. He was an all purpose tribal god and his deep rooted nature and association with fertility made him unacceptable to emerging Christianity who destroyed any maternalistic traces of his cult whenever they could. The Romans, however, took great care not to antagonise the god of place, the named warrior of the Celts, and equated him with a member of the more familiar classical pantheon such as Pan, or as an armed warrior equivalent to Mars. In Dr. Anne Ross’s Pagan Celtic Britain, 1967, she devotes a chapter to The Horned God in Britain discussing the cult of the human head, and has been seen to be most widespread, typical and enduring of Celtic cults. Cernunnos was widely depicted in Celtic art over a wide landmass from Northern Italy, Romania, France and Denmark to Great Britain and Ireland. Celtic cult images of Cernunnos from the pre-Roman Iron Age, are rare, one such is that on the 1st century bc Gundestrup Cauldron. In the Roman period by contrast, more than fifty representations of this god are recorded, mainly clustered in north-east Gaul, see: Relief of Cernunnos from Rheims, France, 1st – 2nd century ad, Musée SaintRémi, Rheims, sitting crossed legged on a dais, a torc around his neck, pouring money or corn from a bag to feed a small bull and a stag at his feet, flanked by the classical gods Apollo and Mercury. A great deal of Celtic religious imagery appears for the first time in the Roman era influenced by Roman forms of expression. They adopted Roman ways of expressing the divine and Celtic perceptions of the supernatural became defined with much greater clarity than before.


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