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Visions & Visitations

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


[1] Fine Ancient Roman Bronze Figure of the Nude Venus a Diadem in her Hair Holding an Apple to Signify the Myth of Helen and Paris Part of a thumb and two fingers missing Smooth glossy green patina with extensive patches of red 1st Century bc – 1st Century ad

s i z e   : 20 cm high, 8 cm wide, 6 cm deep – 8 ins high, 3¼ ins wide, 2½ ins deep / 29 cm high – 11½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Oxfordshire collection Acquired Sothebys, London, 10th July 1989, Lot 204 Venus was particularly worshipped as a goddess in Rome where Julius Caesar claimed to be her descendant through his ancestor Aeneas. In gratitude for his military successes in the civil war he dedicated a temple to Venus Genetrix in 46 bc and lavished rich spoils on it. Games were held annually in her honour and would last for eleven days. She was regarded as the mother of the whole Roman race and became the personification of Rome. The 1st of April was sacred to Venus as the day on which she was worshipped by Roman matrons together with Fortuna, the goddess of prosperity. In 135 ad Hadrian dedicated a double temple to her, the ruins of which can still be seen near the Coliseum. She had become identified with Aphrodite by the 3rd century bc and was soon regarded by the Romans as the virtual counterpart of the love goddess.


[2] New Zealand Maori Carved Wood War Club Tewhatewha Smooth silky patina old stone cut hole for the attachment of feathers James Hooper inventory number to the shaft H. 260 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 175.5 cm long – 69 ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex James Hooper collection no. 260 Acquired 1926 from Colonel W. Dawson, Streatley, Berkshire described as a Hatchet Ex David Petty London 1980’s Ex Private French collection e x h i b i t e d  : Château Longpra Saint-Geoire-En-Valdaine Quad L’Art Tribal Envahit Longpra 2014 catalogue Chasseurs Et Guerriers illustrated pg. 78 The Tewhatewha was a New Zealand Maori two-handed club with an expanded end at the blade which was used both as a weapon and signalling device by the commander of an army, the expanded surface making it clearly visible. The Tewhatewha caught the eye of the Europeans, as the expanded axe-like blade often had hawk or pigeon feathers attached through a small hole which would quiver in the wind, and were flicked across an opponent’s face to distract him and permit a blow delivered with the thick back of the blade. When swung like a quarterstaV the enemy would be struck by the straight edge behind the flat surface, often in the side of the head. Warfare was common amongst the Maori as demonstrated by the large number of fortifications known as Pa built by them and the wide range of weapons developed. Fighting was an integral part of Maori life and every adult male became a warrior when circumstances demanded. They were rigorously trained from youth in martial exercises and weaponry as there existed prescribed fighting techniques for each weapon.


[3]A Fine Japanese Ivory Pendant Cross with Shakudō Worked Panel in Gold and Silver Detailing Insects Flowers and Leaves Meiji Period Circa 1860 – 90

s i z e   : 9.5 cm high, 6 cm wide, 1 cm deep – 3¾ ins high, 2¼ ins wide, ¼ ins deep On reaching the Japanese city of Nagasaki, Dutch sailors were ordered to put away their bibles. Christianity had been forbidden in Japan since the early 17th century and the country’s self-imposed isolation. This policy was actively pursued as is shown by the annual ritual of e-fumi, a ceremony in which the cross is trampled upon, which was parodied by Voltaire in his Candide published in 1775. A sailor from Batavia tells how he trampled the cross four times upon arriving in Japan. The e-fumi was seen by the Catholic Church and the Jesuit priests as anti-Christian and an insult, and was used against the reputation of the Dutch by their European trading rivals. The price of trade with Japan, they said entailed renouncing one’s faith, so Catholic Europe would not do so. Japan’s fear of Christianity supplanting Buddhism, and ultimately their whole realm, only abated during the Meiji period 1868 – 1912.

[4]A Japanese Samurai Iron Mask Menpō with Whiskers of Animal Hair the Mouth Showing a Row of Black Lacquered Teeth Below a Red Lip the Reverse also with Red Lacquering From a Suit of Ceremonial Armour Myōchin School Edo Period 18th Century

s i z e   : 7 cm high, 9.5 cm wide, 4.5 cm deep – 2¾ ins high, 3¾ ins wide, 1¾ ins deep / 14.5 cm high – 5¾ ins high (with base) For a Daimyo or domain Lord of the Edo period (1615 – 1868) the term arms and armour meant a sword and a suit of armour. The expression in Japanese of The house of horse and bow referred to the warrior class and these two arts of horsemanship and archery were requisite for warriors. During the peaceful years of the Edo period armour became a luxury item intended solely for display. Elaborate armour was made for use by great generals and although practical, were important as emblems of rank, and since they no longer played a combative role the effort lavished on the decoration of their battle dress was unlikely to be wasted as a result of war damage.


[5] Early Medieval English Carved Limestone Head of Christ with Beard and Flowing Hair a Foliate Cross Above A layer of old white gesso to the surface Perhaps from a Tympanum 2nd Half 12th Century

s i z e   : 31 cm high, 15 cm wide, 11.5 cm deep – 12¼ ins high, 6 cm wide, 4½ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex collection late Professor Charles Reginald Dodwell, Pilkington Professor of History of Art Director of Whitworth Gallery, Manchester University 1966 – 1989 Thence by descent Figurative sculpture in the Late Romanesque and early Medieval period was heavily inXuenced by manuscript illumination as well as small scale ivory and bronze sculptures. Tympanum, above the portal of the west door, typically showed these inXuences where the imagery of Christ in majesty with the symbols of the four evangelists is often drawn directly from the ornamental covers of the illuminated Gospel Books. Nearly all medieval sculptures differ radically today from their original appearance as a result of their loss of polychrome colouring. Being stripped of their painted decoration the modern observer can only gain a limited impression of how they must have looked. Great importance was attached to the painting of statues as can be seen from the salaries paid to the painters and stone masons. Documents from the period in England record that the painters of sculpted images received almost as much as the sculptor. Although these sums probably included the cost of gold leaf and expensive coloured paints, there can be no doubt that the painted decoration was considered to be an essential component of the finished statue. However, their considerable beauty now lies in the plain ancient esoteric surface of the stone.


[7] A Late Medieval Gilt Bronze Lion Lying with Fully Stretched Front Paws Looking Protectively Upward with Detailed Mane and Fur an Indented Surface to the Lion’s Back Consistent with it Functioning as a Support Probably one of three or four Supports perhaps from a reliquary casket or small Tomb Chest made to be seen primarily from above Circa 1450–1500

s i z e : 8.5 cm high, 14.5 cm wide, 4 cm deep – 3¼ ins high, 5¾ ins wide, 1½ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Belgian collection the late Mr Guy Onghena Thence by descent c f : Three similar but larger lion supports decorate the base of a brass lectern in the form of an eagle Limburg circa 1500 in the New York Metropolitan Cloisters Museum Collection 1968 (68.8) Lions symbolise strength and majesty as does Jesus. St John’s vision refers to Jesus as a lion standing victorious over evil, and so stone sculptures of powerful lions are often used as defensive bulwarks in Italian churches where statues support the porch columns. Medieval legend held that lions slept with their eyes open which made them symbols of eternal vigilance, just as Christ is for all humankind. In medieval bestiaries lion cubs were thought to be born dead and to come to life after three days when their father breathed life into them, just as Jesus died and rose again after three days.

[6] Netherlands Brabant or Belgian Mechelen Late Medieval Rare Cast Bronze Sculpture of a Hawk or Falcon from an Ecclesiastical Chandelier The hole at the top of the Bird’s back would have originally held a loop for suspending the chandelier Once having wings indicated by slots on the Bird’s shoulders First Half 16th Century 1500–1550 s i z e   : 12.5 cm high, 4 cm wide, 10 cm deep – 5 ins high, 1½ ins wide, 4 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Belgian collection the late Mr Guy Onghena Thence by descent Although these cast bronze or brass figures are now often treated as freestanding sculptures they started life as part of ecclesiastical furnishings such as baptismal fonts, lecterns, candlesticks or as in the case of this splendid hawk, the central feature of a chandelier. The medieval church strictly forbade priests and bishops to practise falconry, but they remained keen falconers deliberately misinterpreting the word devots (devotees) so that the term would not apply to them. Pope Leo X was such an inveterate falconer that he would hawk in any weather. William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester complained that nuns taking their falcons into chapel with them interfered with the service. The medieval Bishop of Ely was so enraged that he stormed back into the cathedral and threatened to excommunicate the culprit who had stolen his falcons from the vestry.


[8] Three Melanesian Admiralty Islands Throwing Spears the Blades with Obsidian Points Decorated with Incised and Painted Patterns on Cord Binding and Parinarium Mastic with Inserted Coix Seeds the Connecting Wood Piece Carved Variously with:

a. A rare double bladed spear with the abstract design of two severed upside down male heads to the connecting wood section b. A single obsidian spear with wood section carved and painted to depict a crocodile below which is a section of woven fern c. A large obsidian spear with wood section carved and painted with anthropomorphic abstract designs The long shafts cut down Early 20th Century / Circa 1905–1915 s i z e   : 122 cm long – 48 ins long 122 cm long – 48 ins long 121.5 cm long – 47¾ ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex Californian collection U.S.A. Obsidian, black volcanic glass, was mined in the Admiralties on the Islands of Poam, Mouk and Lou, but ceased in the early 1900’s. Deep shafts can still be seen as holes in the ground and the miners are said to have remained in the shaft digging for the obsidian for three to four days working by the light of torches. Obsidian was traded in whole blocks and Richard Parkinson states in his 1907 Thirty years in the South Seas that the blade maker would select a small block and knocked small chips off the side by means of a stone… He then firmly grasped the block with his hands so that the sides rested on his palm and his fingers firmly clasped both ends. He then made a light rapid blow on the outer surface of the block and a long splinter immediately split off from the side clasped by the hand. By means of light blows he completed the formation of this splinter into a spear point.


[10] A Rare Large Sicilian Trepani Carved Red Coral Figure of a Dolphin Late 17th – Early 18th Century

s i z e   : 3.5 cm high, 6.5 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 2½ ins wide, 1¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private European collection Acquired London early 1970’s

[9] French Cabinet du Curiosities Gilded Ormolu Mounted Sicilian Red Coral Branch First half 18th Century

s i z e   : 15.5 cm high – 6 ins high / base: 12.5 cm wide, 9 cm deep – 5 ins wide, 3½ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private European collection Acquired London 1980’s Treasured by Renaissance and later collectors, coral was highly prized for its bright red colour and was thought to have great amuletic powers, protecting against all evil spirits, having originated according to classical Greek mythology as the spurts of blood that had gushed forth when the Medusa’s head was cut off by Perseus. He achieved the gorgon’s death by not looking at her, having been given a mirrored shield by Athena. As Perseus then triumphantly held aloft the severed head he realised that he now possessed the power of her deadly gaze as well as her miraculous blood which could both heal and poison. The Medusa’s blood became coral which as a protection against magic spells was believed to be highly eYcacious.

The ancient Greeks loved dolphins. They called them philomousoi, music lovers, because they believed that dolphins danced when they heard it. Considered a benevolent, intelligent animal, its appearance in the wake of boats was considered a good omen. They were thought to be Poseidon’s messengers and many items of ancient jewellery and coins depict the image of the god of the sea’s son Taras riding a dolphin. The gods Aphrodite and Apollo believed them to be sacred. The ancient Greek apothecary Dioscurides who wrote Materia Medica in the early 6th century bc, believed coral could staunch bleeding. In Greek, coral was known as Lithodendron or stone plant, a powerful apotropaic material halfway between a soft plant and a hard stone. It was thought to have taken its colour from the blood of the Medusa, but in later history powerfully recalled the colour of Christ’s blood.


[11] Ancient Romano-Egyptian Banded Alabaster Funerary Jar of Cylindrical Form with Everted Rim on a Waisted Stem and Circular Spreading Base With an old paper label inscribed Do Not Touch 4000 Years Old ! (Touna Egypt) Good condition tiny surface chips to rim old hairline crack to neck Roman Period 1st – 2nd Century ad s i z e   : 20.5 cm high, 10 cm dia. – 8 ins high, 4 ins dia. The ancient site of Tuna el Gebel (Touna) lies to the west of Hermopolis Magna and is composed of three sections: a Graeco-Roman necropolis, the sacred animal catacombs and temple of Thoth to the South and a 6th century A.D settlement to the North, with cemeteries of various dates. There are surviving remains of the buildings constructed to accommodate the numerous ancient pilgrims visiting the site. As it was of importance it attracted private burials including about sixty brick built funerary houses and nine limestone tomb chapels, many of Ptolemaic and Roman date. The names of some of the owners of these funerary houses and tomb chapels are known including Isadora (circa A.D 150), a woman who is said to have drowned in the Nile and subsequently became the object of a popular cult. The private tomb of the chief priest of Thoth called Petosiris (circa 300 B.C) is regarded as the most important because of its decoration which is an unusual combination of Egyptian and Hellenistic styles.


[12] Rare Solomon Islands Malaita Province Warrior’s Ritual Baton or Ceremonial Sceptre Hau Aano Rero or Wari-Hau Inlaid with anthropomorphic designs in nautilus shell the ball to the top of iron pyrite contained within a woven fern fibre covering 19th Century

s i z e : 48 cm long – 19 ins long c f : An Album of the Weapons, Tools…. by Edge-Partington and Heape, Manchester 1898, plate 34 no. 1 for a similar baton These curious batons were Wrst seen by Europeans in 1568 when the crew of a Spanish ship captained by Alvano de Mendana mistook the heavy pyrites knops for gold, triggering rumours of gold in the Solomon Islands and making the clubs collectable ever after. Consecrated to the ancestors and kept in the men’s house the ritual batons symbolised a warrior’s power and were worn suspended by a cord from the back of the neck with the stone section at the top. Most importantly the baton indicated that the warrior had successfully taken heads either in warfare or as a hired assassin.

[13] A Solomon Islands Votive StaV Carved with a Spirit Figure of a Female with Typical Protruding Jaw and Bulbous Headdress her Hands Clasped Around Her MidriV with Clam Shell Inlaid Eyes Wearing a Shell Nose-ring Standing on two male trophy heads She is shown with long breasts and a marked vagina Possibly a woman’s dance staff perhaps New Georgia Island Smooth and silky patina on points from long use 19th Century s i z e : 104.5 cm long – 41 ins long In the 19th century the outside world viewed the people of the Solomon Islands as barbarous savages constantly engaged in headhunting. However, those who spent time within the islands reflected a diVerent image. In 1897 Lieutenant Boyle Sommerville wrote of his two years there during 1893 – 95 their general demeanour is by most white people said to be ferocious and certainly they are inveterate headhunters. Our officers, however, never experienced any­ thing but civility, good temper, and occasionally kindness at their hands. This staV probably depicts a powerful spirit and personal success was intimately associated with the concept of influential supernatural forces derived from spirits which could imbue chosen individuals with ability and fortune. Success was achieved by the correct propitiation of spirits and by strict adherence to formal taboos which regulated behaviour according to the supposed satisfaction of ancestral and other spirits. Most potent and powerful were the spirits of the recent dead and they had to be constantly placated.


[14] An Unusual Spanish Memento Mori Oil on Canvas Depicting the Penitent Saint Mary Magdalene Lying in a Grotto a Classical Landscape Behind Contemplating a Skull Her Lower Body Displayed as a Skeleton Her Upper Half with a Richly Clothed Bejewelled Décolletage Mounted in a contemporary wood frame decorated with scrolling foliage and with skulls to each corner Mid 17th Century

s i z e   : 56 cm high, 110 cm wide – 22 ins high, 43¼ ins wide / 61.5 cm high, 116 cm wide – 24¼ ins high, 45¾ ins wide (framed) s i z e : Ex Spanish Private collection

Mary Magdalene was sometimes portrayed in a grotto contemplating or meditating on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ so that the faithful could pray to her in an atmosphere of penitence. She was a follower of Christ out of whom He had cast seven devils who stood by His cross, went to anoint His body at the tomb and to whom the risen Christ appeared on Easter Sunday morning. When she attempted to touch him, He told her touch me not for the saving body of the risen Christ was now beyond the reach of her earthly love. The love that had transformed her from a sinner must now itself be transformed and become a spiritual love for Him as a God rather than as a man. Vezelay in France claimed her relics from the 11th century and a legend arose that she, her brother Lazarus and her sister Martha had all evangelised Provence where Mary lived as a hermit in the Maritime Alps before dying at Saint Maximin. This depiction of her in a cave or grotto is consistent with this legend, but she is more usually shown in the Gospel scenes of the Passion and Resurrection represented with her emblem of an ointment jar.


[15] An Interesting and Unusual Sailors Scrimshaw Sperm Whale Tooth Depicting a Spouting Sperm Whale and to the Reverse a Full Whaling Scene Showing the Mother Ship Hove to in the Background with Six Boats Down Pursuing a Pod of Whales one with a Waif Flag Marking the Position and Ownership of the Carcass Mid 19th Century

s i z e   : 6.5 cm high (max) 15.5 cm wide – 2½ ins high (max) 6 ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection of Maritime Art Whale’s teeth are found only in the lower part of the mammals 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 diYcult 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.

[16] A Rare Whaling Journal and Log Book Stamp the Block of Whalebone Scrimshawed in Relief with the Outline of a Sperm Whale well stained with Blue Ink the Ship’s Name Fortuna and the Date 1857 carved to the reverse Mid 19th Century / Circa 1857

s i z e   : 3.5 cm high, 9.5 cm wide, 1 cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 3¾ ins wide, ¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection of Maritime Art c f : Published by the Hakluyt Society in 2009 The Arctic Whaling Journals of William Scoresby the Younger. Voyagers of 1817, 1818 and 1820 out of Whitby, Yorkshire, show a similar Stamp used to Record the Capture of a Whale Carved with the Image of a Whale’s Tail. The Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection, Part II, sold Sothebys, New York, April 1983, lot 508, comprised two carved Whale Tooth Stamps stained with ink, circa 1850. Another lot 509 dated 1861 carved from a tip of a Whale Tooth in the shape of a whale’s tail. These stamps were used on board a whaling ship to record the catch in the log book. Usually this was the preserve of the Master, but sometimes it was kept by the First Mate or Navigator or a more literate crew member. The Ship’s journals and log books were often very informative of the whalemen’s lives and the conditions on board ship. The island of South Georgia in Antarctica once supported a large whaling station in the early 20th century, but historically it had also been a port of call for whaling vessels. On the north coast a tidewater glacier called the Fortuna still exists at the mouth of Cumberland Bay. On the island there is a Fortuna Peak, and a Fortuna Bay which is assumed to have been named after a 1900’s whaling vessel co-owned by the Norwegians and the Argentines. It is very probable that a mid 19th century whaling ship was also called the Fortuna and had connections with South Georgia.


[17] Central African Democratic Republic of Congo Mongo Saka Peoples Long Oval Wickerworked Shield Rattan Raffia and Wood Good condition Late 19th Century

s i z e   : 143 cm long, 24.5 cm wide – 56½ ins long, 9¾ ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex Belgian collection

On no other continent in the world is there a wider spectrum of shield types than Africa. The craftsmanship of the individual tribes and the local availability of plants and animals played a decisive role in the development of individual shield types. Wicker shields came from the areas of tropical rainforest. The Saka people are one of the sixty sub-tribes of the Mongo who constitute the most important Bantu group. Amongst them are a large number of pygmy groups. Living in the rainforest, the Mongo peoples all make and use shields constructed from two layers of wicker put one on top of each other and then stabilised with a braided reed or cane rim.


[18] A Fine Italian Florentine Renaissance Polychromed and Gilded Carved Poplar Wood Bust of the Mary Magdalen Her Adoring Face and Eyes Turned up to Look at Christ on the Cross Wearing Gilded Lace Fringed Fashionable Loose Fitting Tunic Her Hair Falling in Ringlets Down Her Shoulders Set upon a socle Probably once part of a crucifixion scene from a church interior decoration such as an altar Circa 1500 - 1520

s i z e : 27 cm high, 28 cm wide, 18 cm deep – 10½ ins high, 11 cm wide, 7 ins deep / 31 cm high – 12¼ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private New York collection Mary Magdalen was one of the most controversial women in the history of Christianity. The interpretation of the Magdalen has ranged from prostitute to apostle. During the 16th century, particularly in Italy, some European artists presented the Magdalen as a sensual, almost classical Venus figure, as shown in this sculpture. Other interpretations focused on her later life when she had renounced all material goods and lived as a hermit. Finally she has been represented as an apostle of Christ, either teaching or studying. In religious narratives the temperament and moral worth of the characters depicted was well established by the church and well known. The messages conveyed by their facial features and postures in sculpture and paintings were unambiguous. The direct connection between appearance and inner qualities was meant to be clear and visible.


[19] An Interesting English Album Containing Thirty Five Finely and Intricately Cut Silhouettes Including an Unusual Scene of a Man Hanging from a Gibbet Next to a Sheep Strung Upon a Tree Initialled in Ink E.M. in Verso and Dated 1829 The others to include a tall Gothic Tower in a picturesque landscape Camels in a Desert Oasis a Scandinavian scene with a Reindeer Sled Children in a Garden next to a Greek inspired classical temple Many initialled and dated from 1829 to 1837 on the reverse two inscribed Brixton All loosely inserted unmounted between the album leaves On green blue yellow pink or black paper Good condition Circa 1829–1837 s i z e   : 24 cm high, 20 cm wide – 9½ ins high, 8 ins wide (album) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Irish collection

Rolled and cut paper work, much like shell work, was a skilled pastime practised by aristocratic and upper class women, most of whom, because of their social status, were precluded from working to earn an income, but who had the time to study and pursue creative activities which became of great importance to them. The daughter of George III, Princess Elizabeth included cut paper profiles among her many accomplishments and a small album of her genre pieces inspired by family life is in the Royal Collection. Her elder sister Princess Charlotte was also a competent cutter of paper profiles. Marianne Leigh Hunt made a famous cut paper profile of Lord Byron sitting on a chair holding a riding crop while she and her family were staying with the Shelleys’ at Pisa in 1822. The waning of the art of paper cutting silhouettes and profiles coincided with the growth of photography. However, it could be said that one led to the other as a natural progression as several of the early professional daguerreotypists were former cut paper profilists. Many amateur silhouettists progressed to photography for recording events and family, but few continued to make cut paper profiles and silhouettes after the 1860’s.


[20] A Japanese Openwork Bushi Tsuba an Iron Sword Guard Depicting a Bridled Horse with Finely Worked Mane and Tail Fine black dark brown patina, with wooden storage box Edo Period 18th Century

s i z e   : 6.5 cm dia. – 2½ ins dia. c f : Tsuba: Japanese Sword Guards by; G.D. Murtha, pg. 16 & 17 for another example The principal fitting of a Samurai’s sword was the tsuba or guard roughly circular and pierced with a wedge-shaped hole to admit the sword blade, and sometimes, as in this example, with two smaller holes to admit the ends of the kozuka and kōgai a small dagger and a skewer-like implement which were carried in the scabbard of the main sword. Over a thousand years have passed since the birth of the Japanese sword and it has become a cultural symbol of Japan, known throughout the world. Although fundamentally weapons, the high level of skill involved in producing such an effective and beautiful object made them into sacred symbols of authority for the Japanese warrior class. Horses were highly valued, especially by the Samurai, who regarded horsemanship as one of the most important essential accomplishments. As the vehicles of the gods, horses were dedicated as offerings to Shinto shrines when people prayed for special favours. Wooden statues or tablets embellished with designs of horses were offered to the Shinto deities as substitutes for an actual horse. The Buddhist deity, Kannon was depicted with the head of a horse and was worshipped as the goddess of mercy and animals, particularly domesticated pets.

[21] A Japanese Muromachi Period Ironwork Kutsuwa Horse Bit and Rein Guide an Inscription Finely Incised to the Inner Side Myōchin Yoshimitsu Saku Made by Myōchin Yoshimitsu and Echizen (No) Kuni Ju Living in the Echizen Region Contained in an old Japanese black lacquered woven bamboo and paper lined box An attached label detailing the inscription in Japanese 16th Century / End of Muromachi Period

s i z e   : 16 cm high, 22 cm wide, 8 cm deep – 6¼ ins high, 8¾ ins wide, 3¼ ins deep The Myōchin were a family of traditional skilled metal workers who made armour and armour accessories. A Samurai helmet in the Victoria and Albert Museum made of sixty-two iron plates is signed Myōchin Nobuie who was one of the earliest members of this dynasty. It dates from the late Muromachi period, around 1550–70, and no earlier pieces of their work are known to have been made before the 16th century. Despite this, the Myōchin were notorious for their practice of crediting their own family workshops with the manufacture of all early armour and accessories. In the mid 16th century the Portuguese brought Barbary and Arabian horses to Japan which quickly became popular with the Shogunate and Samurai. They were bred with the native Mongolian ponies which resulted in a larger and faster mount for the Japanese cavalry. Amongst the nobility racing these swift horses along the terraces of the palace watched by the court became a favourite pastime.


[22] A Rare Scottish Silver Mounted Powder Horn Decorated with Carved Roundels of a GriYn and Eagles above Stylised Acanthus Leaves Initials to the silver band to top edge I AN…..WS and to lower band I A Late 16th – Early 17th Century

*

s i z e : 38.5 cm wide, 8.5 cm dia. (max) – 15¼ ins wide, 3¼ ins dia. (max) / 45.5 cm – 18 ins circumference (max) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection c f : A Scottish Highland powder horn illustrated in The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol. VIII 1871 Fig. 3 has a very similar acanthus leaf decoration carved to one side

Powder horns were used to carry gunpowder for use in Xint lock firearms. The Xasks were frequently made from cow horn which was naturally waterproof and conveniently hollow inside. Their container shape also made them excellent for keeping the powder dry. The earlier ones are larger than the later as the old charge powder was much less powerful. The horn was softened in boiling water before being carved with the images of a griYn and eagles amidst acanthus. The griYn was a monster with the head and wings of an eagle and the body and legs of a lion. The griYn was used as a symbol for Christ, the two elements of the mythical beast being like the human, the lion on earth, and the divine, the eagle in the sky; the dual aspects of Christ’s nature. The lion and the eagle were respectively kings of the animals and of the birds. It combined a lion’s strength with an eagle’s vigilance. The eagle also became to be symbolic of the resurrection. This powder horn would have been proudly carried and displayed across the body by means of a long strap and used wherever muzzle loading guns were fired.


[23] A Rare Polynesian Tongan Chief ’s Club of Paddle Form Kini Kini Decorated with Two Abstract Wheel Formed Eye Motifs Beneath Two Crescent Moons on the Engraved Blade having Transverse and Median Ridges A pierced hole to the butt for a wrist thong Damages to edges of the blade consistent with use Old smooth silky natural patina Late 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 106.5 cm long, 18 cm wide – 42 ins long, 7 ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex Private French collection Ex Private USA collection

A much used specimen, this club of paddle form was made by Tongan craftsmen on the Island of Lau or windward Viti Levu. Kini kini are said to have been owned by high chiefs and priests who by holding it on the battlefield were exempt from combat. The two circular motifs on the club acting as eyes and aVording spiritual protection. The meaning of the carefully zoned engraved designs is obscure, but they are probably connected to tattoo, barkcloth and woven matting iconography. Named by Captain Cook as the Friendly Islands it is thought that before the late 18th century warfare did not exist on Tonga and that wars were only fought abroad in Fiji or Samoa. However, in 1777 Cook witnessed martial exercises in which two opponents fought with clubs and soon after his departure war broke out throughout the Islands. Fortifications were erected and fleets of large seagoing canoes brought from Fiji were used to ferry warriors between the Islands. The Tongans were in fact fierce fighters and were highly respected even by the notoriously war-like Fijians.


[24] An Ancient Etruscan Greek South Italy Votive Bronze Indented Bowl with a Repoussé Silver Medallion to the Centre Depicting the Youthful God Apollo with Ringlets of Long Hair Beneath a Helmet Smooth green patina with patches of reddish metal Two small damages to silver medallion 6th – 5th Century bc

s i z e   : 7.5 cm high, 22 cm dia. – 3 ins high, 8¾ ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection Eric Vaule, Connecticut U.S.A. Acquired 1970s Ex European collection This ancient votive bronze bowl is decorated to the centre with a silver medallion in relief depicting the God Apollo. Son of Zeus by Latona who according to legend bore him and his sister Artemis at the foot of mount Cynthus on the Island of Delos. Apollo was originally the God of light both in its beneficent and its destructive eVects. As the God of pure light he is the enemy of darkness. He is the holy bright life giving God and so his festivals are all in the spring or summer. He gives the crops prosperity and protection, and with his light brings a successful harvest. In ancient art he was represented as a long haired beardless youth of tall muscular build and handsome features. Images of him were popular as his worship was extensive.


[25] A Fine French or German Medieval Gothic Ivory Right Hand Diptych Panel Depicting the Crucifixion Scene of Christ on the Cross Mourned by the Virgin and St John the Apostle Contained within a single Trifoliated Arch a Blind Gable above and a Roof Line Treated with Large Floral Crockets and Two Pinnacles A hole to the top for suspension, remains of old hinges Attributed to the Master of the Berlin Triptych Second Half of 14th Century / Circa 1350–70

s i z e   : 11.5 cm high, 7.5 cm wide, 1 cm deep – 4½ ins high, 3 ins wide, ¼ ins deep / 14.5cm high – 5¾ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection c f : A similar panel attributed to the Master of the Berlin Triptych in the Art Institute of Chicago (1937.827) The serenity imparted by this well carved panel is typical of a small group of ivories attributed to the Master of the Berlin Triptych who owes his name to a fine triptych of a seated Virgin in the Berlin Museum. Although it is not known if he worked in Germany or France his work is different in detail from that of his contemporaries. The earliest Gothic ivories were produced in the middle and second half of the 13th century when Limoges enamel was still the dominant material for religious artefacts, but by the end of the century ivory had become the vogue and the taste for objects in the new and rarer material swept across Europe. Paris and the Ile-de-France became the focus of the Gothic style in all branches of the arts, including architecture, manuscript illumination, sculpture in wood and stone, and the production of religious ivories. This dominance resulted in many artisans Xocking to Paris to learn the techniques of the workshops, and they returned home to Flanders, England, the Rhineland and northern Italy with the Parisian Gothic style as their template. It is consequently diYcult to now differentiate between all the workshops and production centres. However, although these panels represent familiar scenes with routine subject matter, no two surviving Gothic ivory panels are exact duplicates, and each is likely to have been specifically ordered by a patron rather than speculatively produced for casual customers.


[26] An Antique Fragment of a Narwhal Tusk Monodon Monoceros Probably Collected as a Sailor’s Curiosity A silver mount to the end 18th – Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 121 cm long – 47½ ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex Scottish Private collection Article 10 Certificate no. 580682/01 available In the 18th and first half of the 19th century hundreds of American and British whaling vessels roamed the oceans in their search for the elusive leviathan of the deep. They carried thousands of sailors, each of whom either practised the art of scrimshaw to while away the idle hours on the endless cruising voyages, or collected and kept souvenirs of their time at sea. Many came from foreign ports, from Africa to the Pacific Islands, with Hawaii supplying many native green hands. During the 19th century the typical whaling crew became a sort of seagoing United Nations, with only the officers on board, American or British nationals.

[27] An Unusual and Curious South American Uruguayan Rhea Egg Carved with the Legend

The Oriental Republic of Uruguay is Composed of Three Cities Eighteen Villages and Eleven Toiwnes the Population Two Hundred Thousand Souls – her Territorial Extension Twenty Four Thousand Square Miles – her Capitol the City of Montevideo, Contains Forty Thousand Souls, its Situated on the Coast of the River Plate, in Latitude 34º - 55º - South, and Longitude 56º - 4º - West. Montevideo 11th January 1857. The Siege of Montevideo Began on the 6th Day of February 1843 and was Raised on the 8th Day of October 1851. The Siege Having Lasted 8 Years 7 Months and 21 Days 19th Century s i z e   : 14 cm high, 9 cm dia. – 5½ ins high, 3½ ins dia. / 18 cm high – 7 ins high (with base) Rheas are the South American equivalents of the ostrich and are the heaviest of the New World birds. Although they have larger wings than other Ratites they are still unable to Xy, but they are good swimmers and fast runners. Greater Rheas live in Xocks of between 20 and 30 birds, male and female birds look much alike. They feed on plants, seeds and insects and some small animals. At breeding time the male bird displays and gathers together a harem of females. He then leads his mated females to a shallow nest which he has prepared and they all lay their eggs in one nest making a clutch of up to 18 eggs in total which the male then incubates.


[28] Spanish Cast Silver Holy or Passion Week Semana Santa Crown of Thorns from a Large Processional Figure of Christ Crucified or as the Man of Sorrows Late 17th – Early 18th Century

s i z e   : approx: 9 cm high, 31 cm dia. – 3½ ins high, 12¼ ins dia. / 19 cm high – 7½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex European collection Lisbon Holy Week Semana Santa in Spain is the annual tribute of the Passion of Christ, His suVering in the events leading up to His death and resurrection, celebrated and reenacted by Catholic brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish town and city during the last week of Lent. These associations have their origins in the Middle Ages, but a number were later created in the 17th century encouraged by the Counter Reformation. Their common feature

is the wearing of the Nazareno or penitential robe by some of the participants in the processions which consists of a hood with a conical tip capirote used to conceal the face, and a cloak. They carry processional candles or wooden crosses, acts of mortification are carried out, and they often walk barefoot sometimes with shackles and chains on their feet. Accompanied by marching bands the penitents carry aloft the magnificent pasos weighing up to two tons and bearing life-size painted sculptures depicting the diVerent scenes related to Christ’s Passion or the sorrows of the Virgin. Carried by some thirty men the floats sway from side to side giving the impression the sculptures are alive. For many devout Christians it is as though they were witnessing the Passion first hand. Total engagement takes place with these powerfully realistic reconstructions which as important works of religious art have often been preserved for centuries. This silver crown of thorns would have adorned the head of a processional figure of Christ, and even today these swaying sculptures can appear shocking, their uncompromising realism intending to arouse feelings of empathy in the pious viewer.


[29] A Rare Tibetan Prayer Board Painted with an Image of the Powerful Wrathful Deity Mahakala The Great Power of Time Wearing Earrings of Two Severed Heads a Crown of Five Skulls a Garland of Severed Heads Around His Middle Holding in His Four Hands a Vajra a Ritual Skull Topped Sceptre Khatvanga a Lotus Bud and a Sword He Stands on Two Devils Floating Against a Backdrop of Dancing Fiery Flames The Reverse of the Board Inscribed with the Mantra Om Mani Padme Hūm and with Prayers in Black Script 19th Century

s i z e   : 51 cm high, 22 cm wide, 1 cm deep – 20 ins high, 8¾ ins wide, ¼ ins deep / 55 cm high – 21¾ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex collection Marion H. Duncan Missionary, Army Intelligence OYcer and Author of many books on Tibet its Custom and People. She spent 15 years in Tibet and wrote her Wrst book The Mountain of Silver Snow published in 1929. She collected this Prayer Board in the early 1920’s Ex collection Major R.E. Donnelly Thence by descent Tibetans use mantras in many ways. A mantra consists of one or more syllables which are held to condense and precipitate energies either for ritual or magical purposes Om Mani Padme Hūm is the best known, but there are many others each with a diVerent eVect. Mantras only work if learned and uttered properly with total concentration of that mind from which all forces originate. Uttering them so can even aVect one’s Karma. Many Tibetans recite their great basic mantra Om Mani Padme Hūm almost continuously. This is supposed to help consolidate its beneWcial eVect. They enlist the mind to help repeat it by inscribing it on prayer Xags. They endlessly turn prayer wheels of all sizes. They incise it on rocks by the roadside, paint it around the circumference of a circle, write it on paper-slips, wear it in amuletic chain boxes hung round their necks, and inscribe it on prayer boards such as this.


[30] A Rare American Great Lakes Prehistoric Michigan Hopewell Mound Peoples Large Ceremonial Axe Head of Sand Burnished Pink Mottled Serpentine of Exceptional Form An old label attached Kent Co Mich R W Stephens Circa 3000 – 1000 bc

s i z e   : 20.5 cm long – 8 ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex American collection Ex English collection There are 46 archaeological sites in Kent country in the state of Michigan with the largest and most important centre near the city of Grand ₡apids. The prehistoric mound peoples were master artisans in stone and flint and their artefacts fashioned from hard obdurate stone are often of surpassing workmanship. This axehead was a ceremonial weapon, not intended for utility purposes, and probably part of the ritual paraphernalia of the shaman, although they were also the insignia of chiefs exhibited to conWrm status on special occasions. Both implements and ornaments of ground stone comprising axes, celts, pestles and mortars were all made and are outstanding among the products of the stone age peoples of the world.


[31] Two Rare German Wunderkammer Turned Puzzle Balls: a. A Rare Turned Boxwood Puzzle with Twelve Apertures Containing a Moveable Spiked Twelve Pointed Star Turned from the Same Piece of Boxwood Small chip to end of one spike 17th Century

s i z e   : a. 5.5 cm dia – 2¼ ins dia.

b. Turned Ivory Smooth Hollow Sphere with Four Apertures the Puzzle Ball Containing Two Loose Gaming Pieces and Two Moveable Dice Inside Two Turned Rhombic Dodecahedron 17th Century

s i z e   : b. 5.5 cm dia – 2¼ ins dia. In the circa 1596 inventory of the collection of Ambras Castle in Innsbruck, famous as an early cabinet of curiosities, turned spheres such as these are listed as works of art. Regarded as wonders of virtuoso turning, the art of making such objects formed an integral part of the education of noble European princes from the 16th to the 18th century. In 1605 Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, summarised the pride felt in creating art from nature by engraving on an ivory vessel he produced: Ebur Ars Nobilitat, Artem Auctor Maximilianus Dux Bavaria, Art ennobles ivory, the creator (of this vessel) Maximilian Duke of Bavaria on the other hand, ennobles art.


[32] A Unusual Ancient British Celtic Carved Gritstone Panel Head of a Deity The open mouth showing teeth and a hole to the centre possibly for offerings spectacled oval eyes a mass of hair shown around the head with a series of holes and a deformed long nose 1st Century bc – 1st Century ad

s i z e : 28 cm high, 20.5 cm wide, 10 cm deep – 11 ins high, 8 ins wide, 4 ins deep / 34.5 cm high – 13½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Yorkshire collection c f : A similar head showing teeth in the Cartwright Hall Museum, Bradford, unearthed in a garden The Celts venerated the head as a symbol of divinity and the powers of the otherworld. They regarded it as the most important part of the human body, the very seat of the soul. Although this veneration had an ancestry in Europe and Britain far older than the Celts, it was they who developed it into an elaborate cult and made it a distinctive feature of their religious expression. It is known from the skulls found in Celtic iron age hill forts that human heads were hunted and that these served as trophies testifying to the military prowess of their owner and simultaneously acted protectively in keeping evil away from the fortress whilst ensuring positive success and good luck. Thus the symbol of the severed human head became as representative of the Celtic religion as is the cross in Christian contexts.


[33] A Fine Massive Japanese Hand Canon Ozutsu Teppo of the Tazuke-Ryu School the 26mm Bore or 30 Monme Matchlock Carbine with Heavy 71cm Barrel Superbly inlaid with Gold and Silver depicting the Immortal Tekkai Senin blowing His Soul out of His Body in Order to Meet His Master on Mount Hua the Lower Section with a Family Crest Mon of Maru Ni Kuginuki Perhaps the Hori Clan the Underside with Incised Signature Tomioka Sahaiji Yoshihisa The stock carved of Japanese Oak Edo Period First Half 19th Century

s i z e : 103 cm long – 40¾ ins long Resembling the Portuguese arguebus, the first matchlock gun to be seen in Japan, this massive and handsome weapon expresses the Japanese desire for powerful, finely made firearms. A 17th century Japanese tradition relates that after the accidental arrival of three Portuguese mariners on Tanegashima Island in 1543, the sword-smith Kiyosada

gave his daughter to their captain in order to learn the secrets of musket manufacture. The actual guns were snap matchlocks made in Malacca, a Portuguese colony, and by 1550 were in production on a large scale. Known as Tanegashima or Teppō they were used by the Samurai and their foot soldiers and changed the way war was fought in Japan forever. Large carbines such as this example were known as ozutsu or cannon and were mounted on castle walls, used on merchant ships to repel pirates, on horseback in war or as assault weapons to blast through door hinges. They could also launch incendiary or explosive arrows known as Hiya to set fires during sieges. When fired these powerful weapons had a large recoil, and bales of rice were used to support the gunners back from injury. Ammunition consisted of heavy round lead balls with differing sizes described as Monme. Made to take 30 Monme shots, this carbine is one of the largest examples of Japanese Edo Period handheld firearms, but was most probably made as an exhibition piece. Yoshihisa was a gunsmith from the Musahi province and is recorded as working Tenpo 14 (1843) and was an oYcial supplier to the shogun, for whom this piece was probably produced. By the end of the 19th century these massive hand cannons were still used, but only to call the Buddhist monks to prayer, to signal the end of the working day in the towns, or to begin oYcial festivals.


[34] Ancient {oman Bronze Portrait Head of Young Woman with Open Mouth and Pensive Melancholy Look Her Hair Arranged in Waves with a Circular Curl Beside each Ear Hollow cast The back of the head missing Smooth dark greyish green patina 1st – 2nd Century ad

s i z e   : 15 cm high, 7 cm wide, 6 cm deep – 6 ins high, 2¾ ins wide, 2¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Oxfordshire collection Acquired from Rupert Wace The marble portrait and historical relief are among the original creations of Roman art which were echoed in bronze sculptures. The imitation of the face closely followed nature and were often accurate revelations of the character of the person being portrayed. The appearance of Roman Imperial rulers and their wives detailed in oYcial portraits set the fashion for men and women throughout the Empire. Their clothes and hairstyles would be copied and worn by all who aspired to the Imperial Court.


G

[35] A Collection of Eleven Memento Mori Skulls:

a. A South German Carved and Polychromed Lime-wood Memento Mori Skull with Curling Snake Probably from an Altarpiece Late 17th – Early 18th Century s i z e : 18 cm high, 14 cm wide, 13.5 cm deep – 7 ins high, 5½ ins wide, 5¼ deep / 30 cm high – 11¾ ins high (with base) b. A South German Carved Memento Mori Pear-wood Skull with Prominent Teeth Probably from a Devotional Crucifix Late 17th – Early 18th Century s i z e : 5 cm high, 4.5 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 2 ins high, 1¾ ins wide, 2 ins deep c. A German Carved and Polychromed Lime-wood Memento Mori Skull 18th Century s i z e : 3.5 cm high, 3.5 cm wide, 4 cm deep – 1¼ high, 1¼ wide, 1½ ins deep d. A German Carved Boxwood Memento Mori Skull Probably from a Devotional Crucifix Late 17th Century s i z e : 4 cm high, 3 cm wide, 4 cm deep – 1½ ins high, 1 ins wide, 1½ ins deep e. An Unusual South German Carved Boxwood Rosary Bead Depicting a Skull with a Deformed Nose 17th Century s i z e : 2.5 cm high, 3 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 1 ins high, 1 ins wide, 1¼ deep f. A German Memento Mori Carved Ivory Rosary Bead Depicting an Overlarge Skull Mid 17th Century s i z e : 3 cm high, 3.5 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 1 ins high, 1¼ ins wide, 1¼ deep g. An English Finely Carved Anatomical Model of a Human Skull a Vanitas 18th Century s i z e : 4.5 cm high, 4 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 1¾ ins high, 1½ ins wide, ¾ deep h. A German Miniature Carved Ivory Memento Mori Skull Late 17th – Early 18th Century s i z e : 1.2 cm high, 1.5 cm wide, 2 cm deep – ½ ins high, ½ ins wide, ¾ deep i. A Collection of Three Memento Mori Skulls: A Spanish Small Carved Bone Janus Head Rosary Bead Depicting Christ and to the Reverse a Skull A German Carved Ivory Miniature Rosary Bead in Form of a Skull A German Carved Ivory Memento Mori Skull 18th Century s i z e : 1.5 cm high – ½ ins high (each) p rov e na nc e : Ex English Private collection Death, for most people before the 19th century, was a major preoccupation. Life expectancy was under 40 and the Catholic church taught that after dying the soul faced a terrifying and uncertain onward journey. Images of skulls were a reminder of your own mortality, a reminder to live a good and pious life, to pray for your soul in eternity. A memento mori that death comes for us all. As the Latin inscription on Archbishop Chicele’s tomb states, Now I am cast down: and turned into food for worms.

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[36] Fine South German Pear-wood Sculpture of Saint Sebastian the Patron Saint of Archers and Soldiers Standing against a Naturalistically Carved Tree Trunk of Close Grained Oak Refined and Detailed Facial Features a Moustache and Falling Locks of Curling Hair One Arm Outstretched the Other Behind his Back A Monogram carved underneath the base CJ together with a Cross Pattée Arrows missing and top of right hand damaged Early 17th Century

s i z e   : 37 cm high – 14½ ins high / base: 10.5 cm dia. – 4¼ ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex European Private collection Acquired from Anita Gray, London, 1969 According to legend Sebastian was an oYcer of the guard in ancient Rome and condemned to death by shooting with crossbow by the Emperor Diocletian in 288 A.D because he had preached and propagated his Christian beliefs in a seditious manner. Bombarded by arrows shot at close range, he was declared dead at his place of execution where he was tended by St Irene. He then miraculously recovered and confronted the Emperor for his cruelty. As a result he suffered his second martyrdom by means of being bludgeoned to death with cudgels. His body was thrown into the city sewers from which it was later retrieved. Saint Sebastian gave Renaissance sculptors the opportunity to portray a handsome young male nude in an ecclesiastical context. The slim bodied fragile youth is portrayed as an athlete. As his epithet Athleta Gloriosissimus states he is the most glorious of contestants, a figure of ideal beauty which no torment can disfigure. He has become almost a classical hero, but the pose is at variance with the Italian classical contrapposto revealing the sculptor’s northern European heritage. Such sensual and affective nude representations would have been regarded by the church in the early 16th century as lascivious and subjected to severe criticism. However, by the early 17th century the propaganda of the Counter Reformation found such images appropriate and Saint Sebastian not only came to represent the courage of soldiers under attack, but also promised to grant protection from the plague, as according to ancient belief God sent the dreaded illness, and all other evils, like arrows to pierce and punish the earth.


[37] A Rare Commonwealth Oval English Cedar Wood Horn and Bone Inlaid Tobacco Box Decorated with the Legend The Best is Not Too Good for You Dated 1656 Smooth silky patina with wear to the wood indicating the box has been carried in a pocket over a long period 17th Century s i z e   : 2.5 cm high, 8 cm wide, 10 cm deep – 1 ins high, 3 ins wide, 4 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex English Private collection E.H.Pinto in his book Treen and other wooden bygones states that these oval cedar wood boxes rimmed in horn and inlaid with bone… belong to a small and rare English group which all appear to have been made by one man between 1680 and 1710. They bear varied, but attractive inscriptions and dates; this one (in his collection) proclaims For you the best is not too good 1706 If a box was good for keeping the pipe tobacco fresh it would sometimes also be used for snuV and they were sold by tobacconists for either purpose according to choice. It could also have been treated as a table box to be passed along to fill pipes at convivial functions. They were sometimes used for a free dip of tobacco on the counter of a tobacconist’s shop, or at an Inn where the landlord would keep the snuV freshly rasped, or the tobacco nicely moist, on a daily basis.

[38] An Unusual Carved Whale Tooth SnuV Mull Depicting Bonnie Prince Charlie Dressed as a Jacobite Clansman in Tartan Plaid Holding a Shield a Cutlass a Scottish Dirk in his Belt by his Sporran Looking Furtively Over his Shoulder Traces of red blue and black polychrome Smooth silky patina with patches of wear 18th Century

s i z e   : 9.5 cm high, 3 cm wide, 4.5 cm deep – 3¾ ins high, 1¼ ins wide, 1¾ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection One of Scottish history’s most romantic figures, the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie (1720 – 1788), born Charles Edward Stuart, was a tragic story of loyalty and devotion to Scotland’s Catholic cause. Known as the Young Pretender he planned to invade Britain with his Jacobite followers and remove the Hanoverian usurper George II and regain the throne his grandfather, the Roman Catholic convert, James VII of Scotland and II of England, who had lost the throne in 1688–90 to his nephew and son-in-law William of Orange who became William III. This glorious revolution confirmed a Protestant succession in a predominantly Protestant Great Britain, which from 1714 was embodied in the Hanoverian dynasty. In 1740 tension mounted between Protestant England and the Catholic Jacobean communities in Scotland and France. Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland on 25th July 1745 from France and quickly gained support from the Highlands. After initial victory at Prestonpans they were forced to retreat, but he did not give up and continued to lead his men into battles. However, after the terrible forty minute defeat at Culloden Moor, Charles was forced to spend the next five months as a hunted man. He disguised himself as a Mr Sinclair a shipwrecked merchant, and later as a lady Betty Burke. Eventually he was taken to France by his brother, but after 1748 when the war between England and France came to an end, he was exiled and forced to spend the rest of his life wandering around Europe in a range of disguises.


[39] An Unusual French Medieval Gothic Carved Alabaster Fragment Depicting a Knight with a Falcon on His Left Fist Holding a Large Sword and Wearing a Long Cloak Perhaps from a tomb relief Set on an old carved wood base Circa 1400–1450

s i z e   : 16 cm high, 5.5 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 6¼ ins high, 2 ins wide, 1¼ ins deep / 20cm high – 8 ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private London collection No other form of hunting has been held in such high regard over the centuries as falconry, and to have a noble falcon perched on the fist became a symbol of persons of rank. Falconry reached its peak around the time of the crusades, and it was the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1194–1250) who brought back with him Asiatic hawks and their trainers. Frederick II became an accomplished falconer, writing a manuscript. The Art of Hunting with Birds, and he declared that falconry was the noblest of all the arts. From the early 13th century onwards the art of falconry Xourished for more than four hundred years in Europe as a fashionable sport amongst all social classes. The Prince and the Baron valued the falcon for its high pitch and lordly stoop, the yeoman and the burger set equal store on the less aristocratic goshawk and the plebeian sparrow-hawk as purveyors of delicacies for the table. Even the serf was not forgotten in the field and was allowed to train and carry on his fist the humble, but well bred and graceful kestrel.


[40] A Marquesas Islands Whale Tooth Man’s Ear Ornament Hakakai Carved with a Tiki Figure to the Tapered Spur Pierced with a hole for retention before the large oval disc Old smooth creamy patina Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 7 cm high, 8 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 2¾ ins high, 3¼ ins wide, 2 ins deep / 11.5 cm high – 4½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Belgian collection of Mrs Nelly Van Den Abeele Sold Christies Amsterdam 6th December, 1999, lot 568 Ex Private collection Paris, acquired by Gallery Flak, Paris e x h i b i t e d  : T A’Aroa. L’Univers Polynesien Brussels, 1982, no. 82 c f : Michael C.Rockefeller Memorial Collection Metropolitan Museum of Art New York contains a similar Ear Ornament 1979.206.1639a. Marquesas chiefs and men of rank adorned themselves for feasts and important ceremonies with ear ornaments in a variety of types, from large and imposing such as this example, to small and discrete. Known as Hakakai they were carved from large sperm whale teeth with the smaller examples sometimes made from boar’s tusks. Originally the teeth were obtained from the seasonal and occasional beach stranding’s of the whales, and were regarded as precious and valuable objects. Later in the early 19th with the coming of the European and American whalers, and the Sandalwood traders, the whales teeth became more plentiful as they were traded by the ships’ captains and crew in exchange for food and other supplies. The large disc is worn in front of the ear with the curved spur inserted through the earlobe which then projected behind the ear. A small stick placed through the hole held it in place. Both men’s large, and women’s small, Hakakai were carved with the enigmatic tiki figures, but these are not recorded or described before the early 19th century.


[41] A Rare Neapolitan Gold Pique Inlaid Tortoiseshell Snuff Box Finely Decorated with a Grand View of Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples with Shipping and the Lighthouse the sides adorned with Islands Castles Ships Birds and Insects Second Half of the 18th Century

s i z e   : 4.5 cm high, 7.5 cm dia. – 1¾ ins high, 3 ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection Hon. Mrs N. Ionides Sold Sothebys, London, 12th Oct 1964, lot 169 Ex Private English collection Published in Objects of Vertu, Howard Ricketts, London, 1971, pg. 62 In the second half of the 18th century Naples experienced a golden age. The British, including the English ambassador to the city, Sir William Hamilton, loved Naples, its people, its surroundings and its history. Vesuvius was then more active than at any time since antiquity and Hamilton observed and recorded it pyrotechnics with scientific acumen. At the same time the ancient city of Pompeii, engulfed in lava and ash in ad 79 was being rediscovered and Sir William’s collection of antiquities included objects from these early excavations. In 1772 he offered them to Parliament for sale and they entered the collections of the British Museum for the then considerable sum of £8400. This large acquisition had a significant and lasting impact on the British Museum’s collections and were important in the development of English classical taste.


[42] Interesting Collection of Ancient Fragments of Imperial Porphyry Found at the Ancient Roman Port of Ostia Antica Four sections from large architectural columns One section from a large basin Two sections of sculpted drapery one from a bust dressed with a Toga One small cylindrical column One section from a sarcophagus Eight large sections of floor or wall inlays 1st – 3rd Century ad

s i z e   : min: 1.5 cm high, 10 cm wide, 6.5 cm deep – ½ ins high, 4 ins wide, 2½ ins deep max: 17 cm high, 30cm wide, 6 cm deep – 6¾ ins high, 11¾ ins wide, 2¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection of the late Professor of Archaeology Livinius Decousemaeker, Bruges, Belgium, who worked in Ostia early 1920’s Thence by descent Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site situated at the mouth of the Tiber, Wfteen miles south west of Rome. It was the most important harbour and port of the ancient city. Trading in grain, wine, livestock and olive oil from across the mediterranean empire, Ostia fed over one million Roman’s. Today it is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magniWcent frescoes and impressive mosaics, but it is often overlooked in favour of the very crowded tourist sites of the Colosseum and Forum.


[44] Two Leather Cased Devotional Reliquaries: Bone Relic of St Alexander Set In Rock Crystal Inscribed to Reverse Ex Ossibvs Mounted in Silver with Pendant Red Wax Authentication Seal Cased in Green Silk Lined Leather Box South German

The Other Containing a Collection of Eighteen Bone Relics of DiVerent Named Saints Under a Mica Panel The Opposite Side with an Early Print of St Veronica’s Veil by T H Van Merle under a Mica Panel Netherlandish 18th Century

[43] A Spanish Gold Mounted Amber Pectoral Cross Set with a Star Burst of Old Cut Rubies and Diamonds the Figure of Christ Worn Smooth Through Devotion the Reverse Pierced with Star Shapes and Engraved with Foliate Designs A suspension loop to the top Contained in the original black leather cruciform shaped case studded with silver pins to form a cross Mid 17th Century

s i z e   : 9 cm high, 6 cm wide, 1.5 cm deep – 3½ ins high, 2½ ins wide, ½ ins deep / 10.5cm long, 7 cm wide, 2.5 cm deep – 4 ins long, 2¾ ins wide, 1 ins deep (case) Amber has long been believed to possess great amuletic properties and rubies to give a wearer special powers of foresight turning a darker or lighter shade depending on the greater or lesser misfortune to come. In Christian Catholic belief, rubies symbolise Christ’s passion and his blood shed for mankind. Diamonds were prized for their sparkle, lustre and magical powers as a defence against the arts of sorcery, to disperse vain fears, to quell quarrels and contentions and to help lunatics and those troubled with phantasms and nightmares (An Antiquaries Lecture 1676 A Description of the Diamond Mines) Diamonds worn by men were believed to give victory over enemies and those who wear them on their chest will be bold and daring in their transactions. As emblems of constancy, innocence and fortitude they were worn by women. Diamonds were especially valued for their reputed ability to frustrate all the maligne, contagious powers of poisons. Worn close to the heart and next to the skin they were considered particularly eYcacious.

s i z e   : 8 cm high, 4 cm wide, 1 cm deep – 3¼ ins high, 1½ ins wide, ¼ ins deep 7 cm high, 6.5 cm wide, 2 cm deep – 2¾ ins high, 2½ ins wide, ¾ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection c f : Dom Museum, Salzburg has a similar 18th Century Reliquary Amulet inv. no. vi/47 Saint Alexander died around 250 ad, the martyr of Alexandria. With his companion Epimachus he is described by Denys of Alexandria as having endured numerous agonies from scrapers and whips…. The lives and hardships suffered by these saintly early monks told personal story of the battle between good and evil, and were used to inspire the faithful to live a Christian life. Pilgrims who visited holy sites to venerate these saints wanted devotional relics for both a souvenir and as a focus for private prayer.


[45] King KoVee’s Asante Stool From the Benin City of Coomassie Komasi The Wooden Stool with Fine Old Smooth Patination and Several Tribal Repairs of Copper and Brass Rivets An old label beneath inscribed… King KoVee’s See: Life of Gen… First Half of 19th Century s i z e   : 28 cm high, 46 cm wide, 24c m deep – 11 ins high, 18 ins wide, 9½ ins deep

p rov e na nc e : Ex Private West Country collection General Garnet Wolseley was in command at the time of the 3rd Anglo-Asante wars 1873 – 74. This stool is said to have come from the King’s Palace in the capital Komasi when the city was sacked and then burnt to the ground as the Asante King refused to return and treat for peace with the British. In Africa stools and chairs are often signifiers of status being treasured by their owners and recognised by others not only as private and personal, but as a prestige object and indication of the status of the owner.


[46] An Interesting English or Scottish Sailor’s Work Watercolour of a Whaling Scene Entitled The Farbert Incident Lat 31.59.OS Long 157.0.0 89 Depicting a Stricken Sperm Whale with the Boat in its Jaws The TerriWed Whalers Trying to Escape Two Whaling Ships in the Distance with Two Small Boats Nearby Watercolour on Paper Circa 1889

s i z e   : 35 cm high, 47.5 cm wide – 13¾ ins high, 18¾ ins wide / 56.5 cm high, 68 cm wide – 22¼ ins high, 26¾ ins wide (frame) Whaling changed very little between the 16th and 19th centuries. Captain Chippendale who went on several long voyages in the last years of the 19th century describes what must have been the dramatic experiences of generations of whalers throwing their harpoons from open boats …. Eventually we had to take him on the weather side. Now, no whale-man will go on a big bull whale on the weather side if he can help it, as it is a very dangerous undertaking. When a bull sperm whale is struck he rolls to windward and on top of the boat, many times killing all or some of the boat’s crew and is always sure to roll the boat over. This last is just what happened to us …. ‘Sails and Whales’ by H.A. Chippendale.


[47] A Rare English Queen Anne Carved Ivory Teetotum Gambling Lottery Ball Each of the twenty four sides incised with the numbers 1 to 24 and dated 1708 beneath an engraved excise crown Early 18th Century / Circa 1708

s i z e   : 5 cm dia. – 2 ins dia. p rov e na nc e : From the deceased estate of a Danish Collector Gifted to him in Australia 1970’s By descent Private Danish collection 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 become an acceptable form of raising money for government funds under Queen Elizabeth I in 1568 – 69. It was started in order to raise funds for urgent repairs to the harbours and fortifications of England then under 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 and were 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 as they are today confined to monetary prizes, but embraced jewellery, paintings, tapestries, silver, books and even live deer in Syon Park.

[48] Fine Georgian Boxwood Half Block Model of a British Fourth Rate Two Decker Forty Two Gun Naval Warship with Stern Beakhead and Figure Head Details Late 18th Century

s i z e   : 5.5 cm high, 16 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 2¼ ins high, 6¼ ins wide, 1½ ins deep / 10 cm high – 4 ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection The art of making ship models can be traced back to many ancient civilisations, but it was not until the 17th century that fairly accurate scale models began to be produced in Europe for use as working three dimensional plans by shipwrights. These models give a unique insight into the naval architecture and ship decorations of their day. The second half of the 18th century was a high point in quality of craftsmanship and accuracy and models were often made as a means to sell a proposed ship to a navy committee or commercial buyer. Sometimes models were made as a souvenir or memento of a famous vessel.


[49] Rare Ancient Archaic Greek Matte Red and Black Glazed Terracotta Aryballos in the Form of a Duck Probably Corinthian Fine condition with no restoration 6th Century bc

s i z e   : 15.5 cm high, 10.5 cm wide, 19.5 cm deep – 6 ins high, 4 ins wide, 7¾ ins deep TL test certificate available p rov e na nc e : Ex Private European collection Sold at Auction 1992 Ex Private Belgian collection N.G. Brussels c f : A Duck Askos in Erenest Brummer collection, no. 689 5th Century BC Both Greek and Etrurian archaic workshops produced vessels in the shape of animals, birds, fruit, human forms or body parts, such as feet and hands, but the precise purpose of these vessels is unknown. They are often identified as containers for expensive perfumed oils and some scholars propose that they had a ritual function. They were definitely used as grave offerings and as such were highly regarded. Aryballoi were a popular export commodity throughout the Mediterranean, valued both for their contents of precious oils and for their ingenious forms.


[50] East Greenland Ammassalik Angakoq Eskimo Shaman’s Magical Mask Carved from Driftwood with Diagonal Lines to Represent Tattoos Ornamented with Seal Skin and Fur Strips the Mouth Inset with Bone Teeth the Eyelids Highlighted with Soot Late 19th Century

s i z e : 35 cm high, 20.5 cm wide, 13 cm deep – 13¾ ins high, 8 ins wide, 5 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Danish Private collection of Richard Bögrad (1897 – 1952) Geologist on the Sixth Knud Rasmussen Thule Expedition to Eastern Greenland 1932 Thence by descent c f : National Museum of Denmark Copenhagen has a very similar driftwood mask collected by Knud Rasmussen in 1930 inv. no. L.19.175 Knud Rasmussen (1879 – 1933) was a Danish arctic explorer and ethnologist born in Greenland of an Eskimo mother. In 1902 he began 30 years of exploration and studies of the Eskimo people and their culture. He believed that Eskimo and Native North Americans shared the same ancestry having originally migrated from Asia, and he sought confirmation of his theories. In 1910 he established a Thule station at Cape York, Greenland, which became the base for seven expeditions. He explored from 1921 to 1924 some 29,000 miles of the Arctic and was the first to traverse the North West Passage by dog sled. In 1932 he went on his last expedition from Thule to South East Greenland for ethnological and archaeological evidence and it was on this expedition that this mask was collected by the team geologist Richard Bögrad. In East Greenland among the Angakoq masks, such as this example, were used in ritual ceremonies and cult practices. They would use them to summon spirits and the mask had the power of metamorphosis helping the shaman to make contact with the ancestors and helpful spirits in the world above. The carved driftwood masks would also be worn after feasts by men in dancing and singing competitions. Sometimes these festivities would culminate with the staging of a fertility ritual known as Uaajeerneq. A masked dancer would attempt to make fun of the spectators. Distorting his voice he would often be dressed as a pregnant woman. This comedic performance was followed by a game called putting out the lamps and a long-awaited wife swapping ritual would begin. This took place when groups from other villages and settlements visited. Sleeping with another man’s wife was seen as a spiritual act to avert misfortune, but in practice it served to prevent inbreeding.


[51] A Fine Japanese Bamboo Water Dropper Carved with a Cicada or Scarab Beetle to the Rim Smooth aged yellowish brown patination resembling stoneware Edo Period late 18th – early 19th Century s i z e   : 5.5 cm high, 5 cm dia. – 2¼ ins high, 2 ins dia. Water vessels for the scroll painter or calligrapher take various forms depending on their function. The ink-stone requires a controlled amount of water and this dropper is of the type where the Xow of water could be controlled by placing a finger or thumb over the air hole. With this vessel a tiny amount of water could be deposited on the inkstone enabling the artist to thicken or water down the consistency of the ink as needed. Most of the objects used by artists or scholars in their studios were artfully conceived with layers of meaning. In Japan the cicada is associated with the summer season and for many the Japanese summer does not oYcially begin until the first songs of the cicada are heard.

[52] Unusual Japanese Boxwood Netsuke Finely Carved as a Group of Reishi Tree Fungus attached by a Linked Chain to a Bell-Shaped Personal Seal Signed Masanao Yamada Ise Silky smooth reddish brown patina Late Edo Period Early 19th Century

s i z e   : approx: 16 cm long – 6¼ ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex Private U.S.A. collection Reishi is a tree fungus known in China as Lingzhi and in both countries it symbolises longevity. A polypore mushroom with a distinct appearance it grows in various tropical locations in Asia. The first use of Ganoderma Luciduinor was recorded in the Eastern Han Dynasty in China and was referred to as The Mushroom of Immortality in the Book of Han. Known to have beneficial properties such as boosting the immune system, Reishi in Japanese means supernatural mushroom.


[53] English West Country Early Medieval Gothic Limestone Head of a King Said to be from the West Front of Wells Cathedral Somerset 13th Century / Circa 1230–55 ad

s i z e   : 26 cm high, 23 cm wide, 15 cm deep – 10¼ ins high, 9 ins wide, 6 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex collection late Professor Charles Reginald Dodwell, Pilkington Professor of History of Art and Director of Whitworth Gallery, Manchester University 1966–1989. The sculpture gifted to him during renovation work to the West Front of Wells Cathedral 1974 Thence by descent Begun in 1175 A.D Wells was the first English cathedral to be built entirely in the new Gothic style. Constructed from jurassic great oolite limestone, also known as Bath stone, the facade had a lightness enhanced by the honey-coloured stone which came from a local quarry about ten miles away in the village of Doulting. Used for all the fine sculpture, the facade has one of the finest collections of medieval carvings anywhere in Europe. The first building phase took about 80 years building from east to west, culminating in the magnificent West Front. About three hundred of its original medieval statues remain, several of them wearing crowns. Carved between 1230 and 1255 A.D they are not portraits, what these kings actually looked like was an irrelevance. It was the idea of a sainted royal king to whom worshippers and pilgrims could respond that mattered. The image of monarchy was represented purely by the symbol of the crown as it was the fact of kingship that was important to the medieval mind, not what royalty actually or really looked like.


[54] a. A Dutch Mollen Hood for a Peregrine Falcon of Leather and Red Felt Late 19th Century s i z e : 10.5 cm high, – 4 ins high /16.5 cm high – 6.5ins high (with base)

To spare the bird unnecessary agitation it is hooded. A procedure which initially is rather stressful for the bird. Frederick II Holy Roman Emperor (1194 – 1250) in his famous book on falconry The Art of Hunting with Birds advises practising the hooding procedure in a darkened room and gives instructions on how the hood should be held.

b. An Unusual Dutch Copper and Brass Tobacco Box the Lower Lid Engraved with Falconry Scenes Showing Men on Horseback with Birds on their Gloved Fists Another Riding with a Falcon Seizing a Heron and Two People Standing with a Large Falcon Perched on the Man’s Hand The lid to the top engraved with Hounds Hunting Stags and Hares a Squirrel in a Tree and with a Team of Horses Pulling a Coach The side to the front engraved with an Amorous Couple in Bed Enclosed in a Garden between a Man and Wife The back engraved with Numerous Swans on a Lake with a Man Fishing from a Small Boat Mid 18th Century s i z e : 3 cm high, 18 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 7 ins wide, 2 ins deep

Falconry techniques and knowledge have been traded between diVerent cultures throughout history, even those at war with each other. European Knights took falcons with them on the crusades and learned how to hood falcons from their enemy. In the early 12th century Persian falconer Usamah Ibn Muquidh complained that because his hunting land was now next to Frankish territory his falconry expeditions needed extra horses, attendants and weapons. A besieged Richard I sent an envoy to Prince Saladin to request food for his starving falcons. Saladin immediately delivered baskets of his best poultry for the falcons.


[55] A Bering Strait Thule Inuit Walrus Ivory Amuletic Carving Depicting the Head of a Singing Shaman Probably a clothing ornament Old polished smooth yellowish cream patina 18th Century or Earlier

s i z e   : 3.5 cm high, 2.5 cm wide, 2 cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 1 ins wide, ¾ ins deep Song was a major form of expression throughout all the lands of the Eskimo. It was always at hand ready to burst forth in practically every circumstance. Eskimos’ sang to pass the time of day. They sang while they worked and while they danced. They played games with songs. They calmed distraught children with songs. The shaman performed magic with songs, and songs were sung as part of their legendary stories. They dealt with almost every imaginable subject: blood revenge, warfare, animals, love, hunting triumphs & tragedies and human idiosyncrasies. Some songs were of ancient origin and constituted part of the common cultural heritage of many diVerent Eskimo groups. Others were composed for special events and many were created spontaneously. Songs could be personal property, belong to certain families or be the common property of an entire society. When the Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen asked an Alaskan Eskimo how many songs he had composed he replied: I merely know that I have many and that everything in me is song. I sing as I draw breath. (The Alaskan Eskimos. Report of the 5th Thule Expedition 1921–24 Vol X no. 3 p137. edited H.Ostermann and E.Holtved 1952)

[56] Rare Eastern Greenland Angakoq Eskimo Carved Cedarwood Hunting Visor Decorated to the Top with Amuletic Stencil Cut Whalebone Skeletal Patterns Fixed with Baleen Resembling an Abstract Two Eyed Seal’s Face 19th Century

s i z e   : 1.5 cm high, 14 cm wide, 9 cm deep – ½ ins high, 5½ ins wide, 3½ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Danish Private collection of Richard Bögrad (1897–1952) Geologist on the Sixth Knud Rasmussen Thule Expedition to Eastern Greenland 1932 Thence by descent When hunting both at sea and on land the visor was essential equipment to protect the eyes from glare. Tied to the forehead by means of a sinew thong threaded through the holes at the side, the visor would cut down the amount of light entering the eye and shade the face. Too much light reflecting back oV the snow covered landscape could cause the retina to be partially burnt by excessive ultraviolet radiation causing the hunter to be snow blind. The visor also served to propitiate success in the hunt through the use of amuletic designs carved in bone to the top. Mimicking the face of a seal it would enable the seal’s inua to be placated and allow the hunter to catch it.


[57] An Unusual Ancient Roman Bronze Handle Formed of Two Huge Opposing Thumbs Cast Independently to Lift a Hot Cooking Vessel or Ritual Wine Situla Old greenish brown patina with patches of red 1st Century ad

s i z e   : 9 cm high, 21.5 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 3½ ins high, 8½ ins wide, 1¼ ins deep / 24 cm high – 9½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private French collection Acquired Galerie Serres Paris Ex English collection The sight of an upraised thumb has come to symbolise harmony. However, the Latin pollice verso used in the context of gladiatorial combat was a thumb gesture used by the Romans to pass judgment on a defeated gladiator. Today it is assumed that thumbs down was the signal for the defeated gladiator to be condemned to death and thumbs up that he should be spared, but recent classical studies have shown that thumbs up may have signalled killing the gladiator whilst a closed fist with a wrap around thumb meant sparing them. The Romans like the Greeks before them had a fascination with the ornate decoration of handles. Cast in bronze they can be formed variously as snakes, lions, acrobats, gods and goddesses, hippocampi and horses, mastiffs and hound dogs, and knotty tree branches. A pair of bronze handles in the form of human hands were found at Pompeii and are thought to have been used on large bowls, stoves and equipment for heating liquids that warmed dishes and plates and were lifted up onto the table. This splendid example may have been used to lift a cooking pail which when placed over a charcoal fire became very hot and so a separate, independently cast, cool hand was of great value.


[58] A Northwest Coast British Columbian Kwakiutl CedarWood Club Finely Carved in the Form of a Leaping Salmon An old label to the blade inscribed Salmon Club Kwakiutl Indians N.W. Coast. A.6271 from Hubbs Coll.1932 With an ink accession No 6271 19th Century

s i z e: 48.5 cm long – 19 ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex collection William Hubbs Mechling, Anth­ro­pologist (1888 – 1953) He Studied the Peoples of N.W. Coast. Some of his essays are amongst the Meinhard Papers in the Manuscript Collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford Ex Private American collection The kwakiutl, now known as the Kwakwaka’wakw are a scattered group of tribes speaking related dialects and possessing certain cultural similarities that distinguish them from other peoples of the North West coast. The word Kwakiutl means beach on the other side of the river and strictly only applied to one of the four tribes from northeastern Vancouver Island who came together in a loose confederation in 1849. They regard their territory as their primeval home and trace their origins through the Numayms or lineages to mythical ancestors who, as Frank Boas of the American Museum of Natural History put it appeared in a specific locality by coming down from the sky, out of the sea, or from underground, generally in the form of an animal, took off his animal mask and became a person. Frank Boas wrote to his wife in November 1894 from Fort Rupert where he ate a remarkable feast with the Kwakiutl… the salmon were all cooked and placed on platters like those one can see in museums. Olachen, (a very greasy fish) oil was poured over them and we started eating. You should have seen me eating with a wood spoon and four Indians from a platter, with blanket over my shoulders – I don’t want to make a mess of my coat at these festivals and without something it is usually too cold… During the whole feast a colossal fire was maintained so that the roof started to burn several times and someone went up to extinguish it. That is part of a large feast!

[59] North West Coast Alaskan Tlingit Goat Horn Ceremonial Spoon Carved to the Handle with Zoomorphic Figures First Half 19th Century

s i z e   : approx: 17 cm long – 6¾ ins long / 17 cm high – 6¾ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Cotswolds collection With a penchant for conspicuous display, high ranking Tlingit families would own full sets of these totemic spoons which were used at grand feasts and ceremonial occasions. The number of spoons they had was determined by their wealth and the grandeur of the feasts they could afford to give. The mountain goat horn would be cut, boiled, opened out and carved to create the spoon. The figures have a mystic power which explores the gap that exists between nature as seen and the mythological past as it was envisioned. All of the beings depicted; raven, hawk, eagle, crane, heron, killer whale, dogfish, bear, beaver, sea otter, seal and half human composites were believed to occupy the space in the world next to ours, under the sea, beneath a river, or in a magical forest.


[60] A Rare Western Tibetan Horse Saddle as Used by the Kampa Horsemen The Wood Frame Inlaid with Green Stained and Plain Ivory and Copper Wire to Resemble Prunus Blossom the Borders Edged with Shagreen and Copper Strips Red lacquering to the underside Damages to inlay Old smooth patina to saddle 19th Century s i z e   : 41 cm high, 42.5cm wide, 56cm deep - 16 cm high, 16¾ ins wide, 22 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection of the late Sarah Charles

In the high mountains of the Tibetan plateau in Western Tibet the traditional Yushu horse racing festival takes place from 25th July to 1st August every year. Great feats of athletic competitive horsemanship take place with the Kampa spurring their mounts into a full gallop carrying ancient riXes which they twirl around their heads, bring down to a firing position and aim to blow a hole in a 9 inch square of white paper sticking out of the ground. Others do handstands bareback on their horses at great speed, or hang headWrst from the saddle trying to grab as many scarves as they can oV the ground as they race past. The Kampa are renowned for being the toughest and most warlike of the peoples of Tibet and they are the only ones to oVer any serious resistance to the Chinese liberation.


[61] A Private Devotional Italian Late Renaissance Passion Reliquary Consisting of a Fine Gilt Bronze Corpus Set Upon a Chased Gilt Copper Alloy Base containing a Relic of the Holy Thorn Beneath a Rock Crystal Panel A Memento Mori Golgotha Skull below Mid 16th Century

s i z e   : 48 cm high, 18.5 cm wide, 10.5 cm deep – 19 ins high, 7¼ ins wide, 4 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Netherlands collection A passion image, whether an altarpiece in a church or a small private devotional piece, could serve as the focus for prayer. A depiction of the suffering of Christ served as a reminder of the sacrifice he had made for the sake of humanity and the feelings of gratitude, pity or pious remorse it inspired in the devout were intended to deepen their love of God. Most Christian traditions have placed great importance on the role that the image, be it narrative, icon or symbol, plays in the process of meditation and contemplation, since looking upon representation of Christ is meant ultimately to lead to the imitation of Christ. Holy thorns are supposedly taken from the crown of thorns purchased by St Louis from Baldwin, the Emperor of Byzantium. The thorns were placed under rock crystal, thought to possess amuletic qualities and prized for its purity and brilliancy; A stone to the touch and yet like water to the eye.


[62] Two Rare Papua New Guinea Milne Bay Province Massim Peoples Ceremonial Turtle­shell Spatula Gabaela Carved to Both Sides with Elegant Symmetrical Designs of Frigate Birds Once Having Rows of Attached Red Spondylus Shells 19th Century

s i z e   : 28.5 cm high, 17 cm wide – 11¼ ins high, 6¾ ins wide and 27.5 cm high, 16.5 cm wide – 10¾ ins high, 6½ ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex Private German collection c f : New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection Inv no. 1979.206.1464 for a very similar ceremonial spatula These ceremonial spatula were not used for lime and betel nut chewing, but were of value as items of currency, display and trade. They were made on the Islands of the Louisiade Archipelago in Milne Bay Province and exchanged through­ out the Massim area as part of a highly organised network of trade relations known as Kula. Carried by young women of marriageable age in ritual dances Gabaela were used as an important part of their dowry. Together with greenstone axe blades and shell valuables, ceremonial spatulas were traded on inter island expeditions which were mounted every year. Men and women would sail together in outrigger canoes in search of lime sticks and other ceremonial items to fulfil their bride wealth or mortuary obligations.


[63] a. Unusual German Carved Ivory Double Sided Vanitas Rosary Bead Depicting a Skull to One Side and the Decayed Head of a Man to the Other

Old smooth silky patina 17th Century s i z e : 4 cm high, 2.5 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep – 1.5 ins high, 1 ins wide, 1¼ ins deep / 7.5 cm high – 3 ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex London Private collection

b. Unusual Spanish Memento Mori Janus Head Rosary Bead The Carved Bone Head of Christ with a Skull to the Reverse with a Fine Silver Filigree Pendant Mount 17th Century s i z e : 5.5 cm high, 2.5 cm wide, 2.5 cm deep – 2¼ ins high, 1 ins wide, 1 ins deep / 8.5 cm high – 3¼ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex London Private collection

The rosary was one of the most popular forms of sequential prayer and large single rosary beads were commonly used for private devotion by members of the wealthy classes of Europe. Normally attached to a string of rosary beads as well as being precious objects, they functioned as a focus for prayer and meditation. By the clergy they were used as visual stimuli to encourage mystical thought and as a preparation of union with God through contemplation of the bead the worshipper was drawn into a sort of religious microcosm in which the small scale of the carving helped to concentrate the mind. Meditation on death encouraged reflection on the vanity of worldly pleasures, the skull being used as a symbol of disdain for the world whilst the image of Christ demanded repentance and granted forgiveness.


[64] An Australian Aboriginal Western Desert Parrying Shield Wunda the Carved Wood Decorated with an Etched Abstract Design of Opposing Lines Coloured with Red Ochre White Clay and Charcoal Pigments Old smooth patination to handle on reverse 19th Century

s i z e   : 72 cm long, 11 cm wide, 6 cm deep – 28¼ ins long, 4¼ ins wide, 2¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private collection Ghent Belgium Used for parrying spears and other weapons, shields such as this were held in high regard by their owners and makers. The uneven line of the geometric zigzag decoration is the result of slow gouging to the wood with the incisor tooth of a possum. Australian Aborigines had a powerful attachment to their land and to everything that lived in it and this relationship is reflected in their art. The designs on their shields portray their landscape and, as with all of their artefacts, were made to communicate ideas to specific people or groups. The design therefore served as a vehicle through which a vision of the natural world was conveyed.


[65] Erotic French Pressed Burr Walnut Snuff Box the Scene to the Lid Entitled Les Mongagnes Françaises Jardin Beaujon with Tortoiseshell Lining Revealing a Secret Panel to the Base Decorated with a Priapic Birthday Party

Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 2 cm high, 8 cm dia. – ¾ ins high, 3¼ ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Suffolk collection French pressed walnut snuffboxes are amongst the most sophisticated of all antique wooden snuffs produced. An early example in the British Museum depicts the two great philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau in profile facing each other. The two men died in the same year and the box was sold as a sobering memento mori. This example however was made to give the effect of pleasure, titilation and amusement. Made in France between 1800 and 1820, the medallions which decorate these boxes were produced by pressing thin sections of burr maple or walnut between steel dies which gave a high relief design. The detail would be sharpened by subsequent carving if necessary and the medallion set into a turned wood lid which fitted a similarly turned body lined with tortoiseshell. Boxes were made with hidden inner lids, such as this example, which were then painted with lustful postures and licentious scenes. Carried by the rakes of the early 19th century they were sold in France, England, Switzerland and Germany.


[66] A Sicilian Trapani Baroque Carved Alabaster Group Depicting Saint Anne Seated on a Throne the Young Virgin Kneeling at Her Side Reading from an Open Book Inscribed: . INRI The Christ Child seated on Her FISA . IHS ♡ Mothers Lap holding a Rose Apertures to the top of their heads for silver crowns 17th Century

s i z e   : 41 cm high, 29 cm wide, 18.5 cm deep – 16 ins high, 11½ ins wide, 7¼ deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private SuVolk collection So varied and wide ranging was the output of Sicilian baroque art and architecture that it defies characterisation. The phrase groups together all kinds of distinct styles that have little in common with one another because most of the island was divided into feudal boroughs ruled by Lords and Barons who individually determined the art and architecture of their buildings and churches. This alabaster group sometimes known as the Saint Anne Trinity comprises three generations; St Anne, her daughter Mary and her grandchild, Jesus. In 1481 St Anne was included in the Roman Church calendar and her popularity and cult as a fashionable saint increased. This step was also intended to support the dogma of Mary’s immaculate conception, which means she was free of sin from the moment she was conceived. The belief in St Anne’s power of intercession was so great that some clergy feared her cult would eclipse that of the Virgin. The Reformation marked the beginning of a decline from which Saint Anne never recovered.


[67] A Heavy PaciWc Fijian Spurred War Club Vivia Gata with Rippled Wood Blade Fine old smooth silky patina Early 19th Century

s i z e   : 107 cm long – 42 ins long p rov e na nc e : Ex collection Charles Albert Madge (1874–1916) Thence by descent Fijian clubs of this shape and type are often wrongly called gun stock clubs because of their resemblance to muskets, but all of the basic forms were in use before firearms were first introduced to Fiji in the early 19th century, examples having been taken back to Europe and others recorded by early explorers. The great diversity and decoration of clubs produced in 18th and 19th century Fiji reflected an immense investment of artistic labour appropriate to their cultural significance. Despite the arrival of firearms in the 19th century, clubs continued to be produced and used in traditional welfare. Their enduring popularity among Fijian warriors highlights their symbolic as well as practical value.


[68] Fine Ancient Hellenistic Marble Head of Aphrodite Goddess of Erotic Love With Her Head Turned to Her Right Her Wavy Hair Parted in the Centre Bound in a Diadem and Falling in a Broad Plait with a Chignon Over the Nape of Her Neck a Thick Tress Behind Each Ear Pierced to Receive Jewelled Pendants 2nd – 1st Century bc

s i z e   : 8.5 cm high, 6.5 cm wide, 8 cm deep – 3¼ ins high, 2½ ins wide, 3 ins deep / 15 cm high – 6 ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection Acquired with a collection of Books from the Beckford Society in the 1980’s reputedly part of the Library of William Beckford at Fonthill Abbey Aphrodite was a Greek goddess born in the sea foam off Cyprus who became the irresistible embodiment of love and sex. The island has long been known as Love’s Island because it was her traditional birthplace. Owing to its position only forty miles from the coast of Asia Minor and adjacent to the great trade routes, Cyprus was a great melting pot of races and a fertile seed bed of religious systems. It was here that Greek art and culture transformed the Asiatic cults of Ishtar, Asarte, Ashteroth or Mylitta into the worship of Aphrodite. Much later, St Paul and St Barnabas were the first to preach Christianity here beyond the mainland of Asia.


[69] A Collection of Six Small Medieval Finial Figures Four of Gilded Cast Bronze and Two of Solid Cast Gilded Silver Probably from Reliquaries Shrines or Book Covers s i z e   : max: 7.5 cm high – 3 ins high / 12.5 cm high – 5 ins high (with base) m i n : 3 cm high – 1¼ ins high / 6 cm high – 2¼ ins high (with base)

a. A German Medieval Gilded Bronze Figure of Saint Peter Standing Enrobed Wearing a Bishop’s Mitre Holding a Crozier and a Book The back open with attachment loops 14th – 15th Century b. A Spanish Medieval Gilt Bronze Relief of the Mourning Virgin her Hands in a Gesture of Sorrow her Head Covered by a Veil Part of a Crucifixion Group Later mounted with a pin to function as a brooch 14th – 15th Century c. A Very Small German Medieval Gilt Bronze Finial Figure of Saint Simon Holding his Attributes of a Saw and a Book Probably from a Monstrance or Reliquary 15th – 16th Century d. A German Medieval Gilt Bronze Finial Figure of Saint John Holding a Chalice The back open with attachment loops 14th – 15th Century e. A Small Italian Medieval Cast Silver Figure of Saint John with Gilded Flowing Hair his Arms Outstretched 14th – 15th Century f. A Fine French Solid Cast Silver Gilt Three-Dimensional Finial Figure of Saint Martin of Tours Cutting his Cloak in Two with his Sword to Clothe the Shivering Half Naked Beggar He Found Outside the City Walls of Amiens Mid 16th Century p rov e na nc e : The collection of Six Figures from the Private Belgian collection of the late Mr Guy Onghena Thence by descent c f : A set of four small finial figures in silver gilt in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford Inv. no’s: WA 1888, CDEF 540, 41, 42, 43 The ravages of war, revolution and religion with their associated acts of iconoclastic vandalism have left only partial remains of a rich medieval European past. Of particular interest to the iconoclasts of the 16th century, especially in Britain, were the well endowed churches and monasteries many of which were the focus of pilgrimage and home to shrines and treasuries of immense wealth. These small figures escaped destruction as it was easier to break up metal objects to transport them to be melted down. Originally they were part of a much larger elaborate object from which they were wrenched and then lost in transit. They most probably came from the architectural canopies of reliquaries and shrines, croziers, monstrances and book covers. The figures have a quality and refinement that is difficult to achieve on such a small scale.

A

D


B

F

C

E


[70] East African Burundi Tutsi Peoples Archer’s Wrist Guard Ornamented with Tiny Pieces of Copper Pounded into the Wood Surface to Form a Delicate Design 19th Century

s i z e   : 10.5 cm high, 11.5 cm wide, 6 cm deep – 4 ins high, 4½ wide, 2¼ ins deep / 15.5 cm high – 6 ins high (on base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Belgian Private collection c f : A similar example is in the Collections of Smith­sonian Museum of African Art Washington D.C. Inv: 93–18–1 These archers wooden bracers or wrist guards were worn to protect the wrist from the recoil of the bowstring, but it appears that these warriors belonged to an elite force. The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. has an example which is described as being very rare and it is said that there are few extant examples. As they have been so carefully and skilfully crafted, they were almost certainly made for men of high rank. A photograph contained in René Collart’s Burundi: Trente ans d’histoire en photo’s 1900 –1930 shows a Royal Tutsi family with members wearing similar wrist guards decorated with copper inlays.


[71] A Rare Netherlandish Folding Communion Spoon and Three Tined Fork Carved Entirely of Ivory with Detachable Oval Bowl Decorated with Lamb of God Agnus Dei Sur­ rounded by a Halo of Flowers the Folding Stem of Square Section Supported by a Figure of the Magdalen with a Sliding Catch Decorated with Two Lion Masks Profusely Decorated with Flowers a Figurative Finial to the Top Depicting the Virgin Crowned Perhaps for use by a Priest when travelling Circa 1600

s i z e   : folded: 11 cm high – 4¼ ins high / open: 18 cm high, 7 ins high / 17.5 cm high –6¾ ins high (with base) c f : From Gothic to Art Deco the J. Hollander Collection of Cutlery Ghent, 2003 see pg. 53, no. 94 for a very similar example In the early Christian church everyone, clergy and laity alike, received Holy Com­ munion in the same manner; the consecrated Body of Christ, in the form of bread, in their hands and then placing it in their own mouth and sipping directly from the chalice. In time concern over the danger of crumbs being accidentally dropped on the floor or some of the wine, the consecrated Blood of Christ, being spilt led to the use of tongs with which the elements were mingled together and then placed carefully into the mouths of the communicants. By the 9th century the Church began to use the Communion spoon, sometimes known as a cochlear, Latin for spoon, for the same practical reasons and this practice remains in place today.


[72] An Ancient Egyptian Limestone Head of a Man Probably from an Anthropoid Sarcophagus Possibly depicting a Pharaoh Late Period / Ptolemaic Period 664–30 bc

s i z e   : 12.5 cm high, 9.5 cm wide, 5 cm deep – 5 ins high, 3¾ ins wide, 2 ins deep / 15.5 cm high – 6¼ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection Acquired from Millon, Paris, 2009 Purchased from a late 19th – Early 20th Century French collection In ancient Egypt, familial duty did not end with the burial for either the dead or the living. The living were expected to provide the spirit of the dead with oVerings of food and drink. In return, the dead were expected to watch over the living granting health to the children and wealth to the house. Life was an endless circle for the ancient Egyptians and alive or dead you had a responsibility to your family. The prime purpose of the tomb was a place to bury the body, but it was also a place to interact with one’s ancestors. The Egyptians strove to create and preserve the dream of eternal life rather than death. For them the only improvement in the afterlife was freedom from illness and unity with the Gods. Otherwise it was much like daily life, which they loved and so made tombs to preserve it in all its entirety. It is largely through the artefacts of death that we know what it was like to live in ancient Egypt.


[73] a. A Japanese Carved Ivory Memento Mori Netsuke in the Form of a Skull Himotoshi to the Base with Signs of Wear

Unsigned Old smooth creamy patina Late Edo Period Early 19th Century s i z e : 2.5 cm high, 3 cm wide, 4 cm deep – 1. ins high, 1¼ ins wide, 1½ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection

b. A Small Japanese Carved Ivory Okimono Vanitas of a Skull with Chrysanthemum Shape to Base

Meiji Period Late 19th Century s i z e : 2 cm high, 2 cm wide, 2.5 cm deep – ¾ ins high, ¾ ins wide, 1 ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection Skulls and skeletons have more than one meaning in Japanese art and culture. As in Christian religious teachings, Buddhism also stresses that all physical beauty deteriorates, that all life is transient, and so it is better not to be vain, but to seek spiritual growth instead. As well as acting as vanitas skulls and skeletons also represent ghosts in Japan. Some netsuke artists carved them to demonstrate their mastery of anatomy.


[74] A Fine French Renaissance Carved and Stained Boxwood Devotional Figure of the Virgin and Christ Child Manner of Germain Pilon (Circa 1525–1590) Traces of original gilding and polychrome The arms head and foot of Christ child missing Losses to the base and toes of one foot Second half 16th Century

s i z e : 30.5 cm high, 11 cm wide, 8.5 cm deep – 12 ins high, 4¼ ins wide, 3¼ ins deep / 36.5 cm high – 14¼ ins high (with velvet base) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private French collection Acquired Pierre-Richard Royer, Paris, Biennale, 2008 c f : Metropolitan Musuem New York, has a similar Gilt Bronze of the Virgin Mary in the manner of Germain Pilon, inv. no. 1998.437 Germain Pilon became Catherine de Medici’s favourite court sculptor known for his expressive and tender realism. He began training under under his father Antoine Pilon, a stone mason who worked on religious statues and tomb eYgies often in collaboration with others. He then entered the studio of Pierre Bontemps (1505–1568) a pre-eminent sculptor of funerary monuments. By 1555 Germain had became skilled in working with bronze, wood and terracotta and was providing models for Parisian goldsmiths. He is perhaps best known for his monument containing the heart of Henry II of France (1561 - 62) now in the Lourve Musuem. However, his tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici in the Abbey Church of Saint Denis Basilica which took him twelve years to complete, is a tour de force of emotional intensity. The expressive realism of his kneeling bronze figures on the top of the monument, the recumbent King and Queen, and the four virtues stationed at each corner of the monument are said to have so moved Catherine de Medici that she fainted at the sight of them.


[75] A Democratic Republic of Congo Wongo Kuba Peoples Wooden Palm Wine Cup Carved with Lozenge Motifs and Two Anthropomorphic Figures An old label to the inner rim Early 20th Century

s i z e   : 18 cm high, 12 cm wide, 9 cm deep – 7 ins high, 4¾ ins wide, 3½ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Belgian collection The Kuba peoples of the Congo have a preference for abstract decorative patterning, and the lozenge motifs used on this cup are based on their raffia textiles which are woven and embroidered with these particular designs said to be derived from representations of the lizard. These cups are used for palm wine which is still today a very popular and frequently served drink. In the 19th and early 20th centuries elaborately carved cups were regarded by the Kuba and Wongo men as highly prestigious possessions. However, they have gradually been supplanted by modern metal or plastic vessels.


[76] The Ancient Roman Marble Shoulders from a Portrait Bust of a Man Dressed in an Imperial Toga A Latin Inscription to the Pedestal tre… . vslid… domam 2nd – 3rd Century ad

s i z e   : 48 cm high, 51 cm wide, 27 cm deep – 19 ins high, 20 ins wide, 10¾ ins deep p rov e na nc e : Ex Private European collection Acquired Phillips Son and Neal Auction Rooms, London, 1968 Derived from an ancient tradition of making funerary effigies, portrait sculptures were one of the greatest artistic achievements of the Roman Empire. Each sculpture was placed upon togated shoulders or torso which was often representative of their position in life. The toga was the distinctive dress of the Roman citizen when appearing in public. Its use was forbidden to exiles and to foreigners. It was indispensable on all official occasions even in Imperial times when more convenient garments had been adopted for ordinary use. It consisted of a white woollen cloth of semicircular cut about five yards long by four wide, a certain portion of which was pressed into long narrow plaits. The broad folds in which it hung over were gathered together on the left shoulder and the part which crossed the breast diagonally was deep enough to serve as a pocket for small articles. The colour of the toga as worn by men was white, a dark brown or black coloured toga was only worn by the lower classes or in time of mourning. A purple stripe woven into the cloth in Imperial times was the distinctive mark of the emperors as well as the state priests when engaged in performing their functions. It was known as the Toga Praetexta, and another garment adorned with golden stars was known as the Toga Picta and this was worn by magistrates giving public games, by triumphant victorious generals and by the Imperial emperors on festal occasions.


[77] An English Medieval Carved Limestone Grotesque of a Long Tongue Poking Demon Probably a Cornerstone Late 14th – Early 15th Century

s i z e   : 21 cm high, 14 cm wide, 20 cm deep – 8¼ ins high, 5½ ins wide, 8 ins deep / 32 cm high – 12½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex English collection Reputedly acquired from the West Country Confronting anyone who cared to look up with a direct and malevolent stare, this tongue brandishing demon was carved and created to impart a warning to all believers, and as a defence against the forces of evil. His eyes are fashioned from cat-like slits to emphasise his demonic, other worldly status and the lowering brow and gape of the mouth with its curling tongue lend the sculpture an intransigent and brooding menace. The presence of these intimidating and grotesque images in churches has been called fighting fire with fire. The constant presence of death that permeated every quarter of medieval life made for a mixture of Christian and Pagan symbols and a willingness of the Church to absorb Pagan characteristics into Christian architecture. Having an apotropaic function, the cornices, corbels, capitals, gargoyles and finials were all used by the stonemasons to display their artistry. Beyond providing an agreed number of carvings of a particular type it seems that the masons had complete artistic license in determining the form and physiognomy of their carvings.


[78] A Fine Flemish Late Renaissance Bronze Statuette of the Risen Christ with Flowing Hair and Beard His Hand Indicating His Wound Signifying His Death and His Rising in Glory from the Tomb Hollow cast brassy brown natural patina with traces of old gilding His left hand once holding the banner of the resurrection Late 16th Century – Early 17th Century

s i z e : 22.5 cm high – 9 ins high / 30.5 cm high – 12 ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e : Ex European Private collection The moment of Resurrection is not recorded in the Gospels, but it is widely portrayed in the art of the Western Church. Christ emerges in glory from the Tomb, holding the banner of the Resurrection, a pole bearing a pennant with a red cross on a white background. His wounds are visible to confirm that he is the Jesus who died, and to glorify the suffering he endured. This elegant depiction of the risen Christ is unusual in its gentleness and avoidance of details suggestive of Christ’s physical suffering. His musculature is smooth and strong showing no signs of emaciation. His torso forms a sinuous curve and the loincloth falling in folds echoes the sway of His body. His Xuidly modelled arms and hands emphasise speech coming from His open mouth and His serene face, with unwrinkled brow, registers the agony is over.


[79] Rare Boxwood Roundel Finely Carved with a Detailed Scene of St George Slaying the Dragon Perhaps from the Side of Reliquary Casket From the Workshops of the Greek Orthodox Monastery on Mount Athos 17th Century

s i z e : 5.5 cm dia. – 2¼ ins dia. p rov e na nc e : Ex English Private collection c f : A similar boxwood roundel is held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, described as Slavic accession no. 30.95.210 bequest of Theodore M. Davis 1915 Mount Athos is in northeastern Greece, the Holy Mountain. It is the spiritual capital of the Orthodox Christian Church. The way of life for the two thousand monks who live there is practically unchanged since the order first arrived in the 9th century AD. In its heyday over forty thousand monks lived in the monasteries as religious hermits and recluses. Their day begins at sunset as they follow the Julian calendar which is 13 days behind our Gregorian one. Prayer takes place between 2am and 6am as this is the quietest and therefore the most effective time. Chanting is an essential part of their services and on feast days it can last for up to twelve hours. Women may not set foot on the Holy Mountain as it was consecrated as the garden of the Mother of God and so out of bounds to all other women.


[80] A Fine South German Double Sided Oil on Copper Domestic Devotional Altar Plaque Depicting the Legend of Saint Gertrude Set in a Silver Frame on a Silver Stand displaying a Burning Flame One panel showing Gertrude pierced in her Heart by the Arrow Christ has Shot from His Bow with Angels Supporting her Swooning Form The reverse portraying Gertrude in quiet contemplation writing and displaying the Sacred Heart of Jesus In Corde Gertrudis Muenietis Ine with a Sainted Halo and Angels above another by her side holding aloft a crozier 17th Century Circa 1670–90

s i z e : 10.5 cm high, 8.5 cm wide – 4 ins high, 3¼ ins wide / 20.5 cm high – 8 ins high (on silver stand) p rov e na nc e : Ex Liturgical collection of the Bar Convent, York Gertrude (died 1302) was a Benedictine nun and visionary called the Great. Nothing is known of her parents or place of origin. From the age of five she was educated in the nunnery of Helfta in Thuringia under Mechtild (died 1285) where she spent the rest of her life. At the age of twenty five she had a deep conversion and underwent various mystical experiences throughout the remaining twenty five years of her life. These were based on the Liturgy and many of her visions actually took place during the singing of the Divine OYce. Her piety expressed the contemporary insistence on devotion to Christ’s humanity. She is often regarded as the pioneer of the devotion, which later became very popular, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. From the time of the conversion, Gertrude lost interest in secular studies in which she had been well grounded and concentrated entirely on Holy Scripture, the Liturgy and the Fathers. Her own writings include Legatus Divinae Pietatis and the Book of Special Grace which contains the Revelations of Mechtild. Gertrude is regarded as one of the most important medieval mystics. She was never an abbess, although the title has been claimed for her by confusion with another Gertrude who was an abbess of Helfta when Gertrude entered as a child. She was never formally canonised, but her fame was diffused through the printing of her works in Latin in 1536. In 1677 Pope Innocent XI added her name to the Roman Martyrology, and in 1738 at the request of the King of Poland and the Duke of Saxony, her feast of the 15th November was extended to all countries.


[81] Rare Carved Cedar-Wood Equestrian Deified Ancestor Figure from Kafiristan North Eastern Afghanistan once known as the Hindu Kush The eyes of carved Quartz Pebbles Old smooth silky patina 19th Century

s i z e   : 45.5 cm high, 22 cm deep, 13 cm wide – 18 ins high, 8¾ ins deep, 5 ins wide p rov e na nc e : Ex Private Scottish collection c f : A similar later carved figure in the Collection of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum Exeter Gifted by Brigadier Howard a British Soldier who served in Afghanistan Circa 1920–33 and who was given the figure to prevent its destruction In the remote north eastern corner of Afghanistan lies Kafiristan the land of the infidels or pagans. This region of the Hindu-Kush was once the exclusive domain of a group of peoples related to the Indo-Europeans and who some believed were descended from Alexander the Great and his Macedonian invaders. Herodotus mentions them having a reputation for barbarity, Marco Polo describes them as crafty idolators with a peculiar language, and Timur invaded their valleys, but found the expedition unprofitable and soon left. It was much later in the last years of the 19th century that Sir George Scott Robertson wrote the Kafirs of the Hindu Kush (1896) and described the making and traditions surrounding the funeral eYgy figures. From his account and that of other British visitors to Kafiristan before the Muslim conquest the people worshipped one god known as Imra together with idols of ancient heroes whose intercession was believed to enable the attainment of union with the divinity. Later known as Zorastrians they did not bury their dead, but put the body fully dressed in a large coYn which was then placed on the side of a hill. Beside it a wooden eYgy, male or female, varying from a simple standing figure to one seated on a square throne or mounted on a horse, was placed. Occasionally these cedarwood sculptures were bigger than life-size, but the shape was always simple and conventionalised, with the eYgies of male ancestors given turbans. Small equestrian statuettes such as this were probably tallies for the life-sized eYgy set up on the grave of the deceased and would have been placed in a shrine. As a memorial to a chieftain the horse provided the hero with a ride into the next world. All of them were made as eYgies of deified ancestors and were once covered in polychromatic decoration. Sometimes they would be set up on the top of a pole outside a village in order to warn strangers against trespassing. The Kafir religion included a belief in a paradise known as Burry-Li-Boule which was reached by sacrifices to the gods and the exercise of hospitality. They observed four feasts a year and in the spring and New Year sacrificial offerings of goats were made. A practice similar to the Greeks and Romans. Robertson’s account of a famous shrine of Imra with eight huge wooden figures portraying the god wearing large circular headdresses with horizontal lines of carving, is of great importance as all traces of these temples and eYgies vanished in the ruthless invasion of 1896, and the subsequent complete subjugation of the Kafirs and the destruction of their ancient religion. This devastated area was renamed Nuristan, the Country of Light.


[82] A Fine and Elaborate Large South German Turned Ivory Cup and Cover Formed of Hemispheres and Extravagant Bulbous Lobed Shapes Attributed to Philipp Sänger or Senger (Active Copenhagen and Florence 1675–1704) Fine condition 2nd Half of 17th Century

s i z e : 38.5 cm high, 13.5 cm dia. (max) – 15 ins high, 5¼ ins dia. (max) p rov e na nc e : Ex Private English collection Gifted to the Father by his Uncle early 20th Century Thence by descent c f : A very similar cup and cover is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum inv. no: A41 - 1949, which is comparable with the signed cup and cover by Philipp Senger dated 1681 in the Victoria and Albert Museum inv. no: 74 - 1865. It is also similar to turned vessels in the Dresden Grünes Gewolbe. Sponsel IV. 1932. pg. 48 & 50 pls. 4 & 5 The elegant shape of this cup and cover recalls that of silver vessels, but was designed as a virtuoso work of art, not to function as a drinking goblet. Turned ivory vessels were made in most of the German princely courts during the 16th and 17th centuries as items of prestige. It became a fashionable pastime with some of the nobility producing works on a lathe themselves. However, most turned ivories were worked by professional artists often attached to the court such as Philipp Senger. Filippo Sengher or Philipp Sänger/Senger probably came from South Germany. It is known that he worked at the Court of Denmark, probably in the 1670’s as well as that of Tuscany, and was active in Florence from 1675 to 1704. He specialised in ivory turning and acted as tutor in turning to Prince Ferdinand de’Medici (1663–1713) the elder son of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de’Medici (1642–1723). He constructed a lathe for the Prince around 1679/81. He also served as a member of the court and by 1683 was a personal attendant to Cosimo III de’Medici. He acted as an agent for Prince Ferdinand buying pictures and works of art for his collection and paying other artists on his behalf. Although continuing a tradition begun in the renaissance of turning ivory works of art, these 17th century cups and covers illuminate the value of ivory as an exquisite material able to be made into technically demanding and unique collector’s pieces.


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Finch & Co - Visions and Visitations  

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