A MAGNIFICENT SEL
ECTION OF HISTORY
1 2 3
Male Dignitary 28297
The "Hunt" infant Hercules 34487
6 – 11
36 – 41
Highly decorated sickle sword (khopesh)
Bejeweled necklace with cross pendant
12 – 17
42 – 49
Head of Zeus
Monumental head of a Goddess or a Queen
18 – 23 50 – 55
The "Spencer Churchill" young Spearman 29124
24 – 29
56 – 61
Statuette of a Queen
30 – 35
Red-figure Kylix, attributed to Makron
62 – 67
Splashed glass bottle with two handles 3276
Aphrodite oinochoe 14104
98 – 103 68 – 71
Helmet of the Chalcidian type 27673
72 – 79
Plate decorated with a scene of Royal Hunting 28508
104 – 111
Head of Aphrodite 3235
80 – 85
Head of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III 32363
86 – 91
Bowl decorated with acanthus leaves and animal representations 19413
92 – 97
1 Male Dignitary Egyptian, Late Period, ca. 7thâ€“4th century B.C. Painted wood H: 59 cm (H: 23.2 in)
This large statuette is supported by a rectangular base carved form a single piece with the tip of the left foot. It portrays a man in a traditional striding pose. His left leg is placed forward, while both arms are held stiffly at the sides. Each hand is clenched around an enigmatic cylindrical object. The figure appears to be bald, although the presence of a wig cannot be excluded. His tanned skin is painted in red-brown, his eyes are highlighted with black pigment. The man is dressed in a short loincloth (the shendyt, provided here with a small flap), held by a thick waistband. The white, unpleated skirt perfectly hugs his buttocks and thighs, but is more rigid in the front. His face has a "smiling" expression, largely widespread in contemporary Egyptian representations, with the corners of the mouth slightly raised. Although it is not a real somatic portrait, the features are clearly marked (prominent nose, high cheekbones, full lips, weak chin) and, as often seen in the private iconography of the time, they are differentiated from the images depicting other individuals. Such statuettes most often represented a high-level dignitary or a priest; but, even the humblest tombs included wooden funeral furniture. These figures were placed in the serdab, the area specifically reserved for the statues of the deceased, and acted as an alternative resting-place for his/her spirit in the event of damage to the physical body. They would also receive the funerary offerings, especially foodstuffs. Wooden statuettes were often placed in the tombs from the late Old Kingdom onward, and all throughout the 2nd millennium. In the 1st millennium, this practice regained its impetus, especially in the Saite period, as attested by this outstanding example. CONDITION Complete and in very good condition; many chips, minor cracks in the wood; abundant remains of red, white and black paint.
PROVENANCE Formerly, UK private collection, acquired in the 1930s; thence by descent, private family collection, UK.
BIBLIOGRAPHY FAY B., Egyptian Museum Berlin, Berlin 1985, p. 116 (inv. No. 8813). PERDU O., Les statues privées de la fin de l’époque pharaonique (1069 av. J.-C. – 395 apr. J.-C.), Paris, 2012, pp. 298ff., nos. 28-30.
2 Highly decorated sickle sword (khopesh) Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, early 2nd millennium B.C. Bronze, gold, gilding, modern resin (for blade and hilt) L: 51.3 cm (L: 21.9 in)
A masterful rarity of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, this sword, whose distinctive shape resembles a sickle, was designed with a curved blade and straight base terminating in a tang to which the hilt with a gold knob was fixed. The intricate gilded decorations are made up of pairs of fighting animals: a ram attacked by a lion, a gazelle by a lioness/hyena; an ibex by a hyena/lion/lioness, a deer by a lion/hyena; an ox by a lion, and two fighting oxen. The details that outline the expressive poses of each animal are artfully incised and gilded and clearly stand out against the dark background of the bronze. The form and direction of the lines correspond precisely to the individual look of the animals (the notches depicting shorthaired fur; the irregular lines imitating the spots of the oxen skin and even bringing the sense of its contrasting colors). The abundant use of gold for the decoration suggests that this sword was a ceremonial item and belonged to a person of wealth and highest social rank. Historically, the shape combines the advantages of the battle-axe and the cutting sword. The type was used as a weapon in the Near East in the 3rd-1st millennia B.C.; the known finds come from sites in Mesopotamia, Levant, Anatolia, and Egypt. Scholars present different opinions of where the shape has originated, either in Mesopotamia or Egypt, but the diffusion of the shape could be the result of itinerant bronze makers. As for the chronology, two periods are recognized: the Middle Bronze Age II and Late Bronze Period, which are characterized by the difference in the ratio between handle and blade and the appearance. In the later period, the hilt was usually cast together with the blade. Although the blade is not completely preserved in this sword, it is clear that it was sharpened only on the outside while the inside kept a dull edge that was covered with gold sheet. There is a rib-like stem following the entire length of the sword that was cast for added strength. As a type, it corresponds to the swords classified as type 34 by R. Maxwell-Hyslop, and it is the Egyptian development of the weapon which they called khopesh, Ḫpš, loosely translated to mean "the animal's leg".
The earliest examples dated to the 3rd millennium B.C. are known as both actual and represented items. The images demonstrate that this specific form of a real cutting weapon was reserved for a ceremonial sword, a symbol of power. Mesopotamian cylinder seals present the gods, both male and female (Ishtar), as well as the rulers in ritual scenes, holding such swords. The excavations of the royal necropolis of Byblos revealed tombs which belong to the period corresponding to the Egyptian Twelfth Dynasty during the Middle Kingdom; tomb II contained a gold and bronze sickle sword with Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions indicating the name of the king Ibshemuabi (National Museum of Beirut). Beside the inscriptions, a few examples of sickle swords have engraved images. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s sword with the name of Adad-nerari I, king of Assyria, 13th century B.C., has a recumbent oryx below the hilt. Images of wild and domesticated animals are also important in ancient Egyptian art, many of which being associated with the cult of deities. They appear in temple and tomb murals and painted reliefs, or as figurines, in a number of scenes related to domestic life and farming, sacrifices and offerings, and hunt. The wild life of the desert, and especially the scenes of animals fighting, usually made part of the hunting iconography. Already during the Naqada Period III (ca. 33003100 B.C.), complex scenes of large "ceremonial" palettes depict hunters, their dogs and several wild animals. The decoration of this present sword is unique and does not find an immediate parallel: instead of a single image (a lotus flower, uraeus, or oryx) on known examples placed at the end of the blade or below the hilt; the entire surface of this sword is covered by complex scenes representing several fighting animals. Another rare detail is found in the scenes where there appear to be two different motives present: a peaceful "family" scene with a calf suckling a cow and an ox in the landscape marked by a tree; and a striking scene of a cow giving birth and a lion attacking the calf emerging from its mother. Giving birth is well attested in Egyptian art since the Old Kingdom; however, the attack of an emerging calf is rather rare. The last scene, although tragic, may reflect the Egyptian themes of nature’s fertility and abundancy. Considering the symbolical meaning of the entire composition, the owner of the sword would be thought as triumphant over the forces of chaos and uncontrolled wild nature.
CONDITION The sword is in excellent condition; the gilding and gold sheet is vastly preserved and the bronze retains an even brownish green patina with some red cuprite; there is some tarnish on the gold; the blade as well as the hilt were broken off, lost, and replaced by modern additions.
PROVENANCE French art market, Paris, until 1977; Ex- European private collection, acquired on February 26, 1977.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BONNET H., Die Waffen der Völker des alten Orients, Leipzig, 1926, pp. 85-96. JIDEJIAN N., Byblos through the Ages, Beirut, 1971, pp. 26-27, ﬁg.55. MASETTI-ROUAULT M.G., ROUAULT O., Une harpé à Terqa, in GASCHE M., HROUDA B., eds., Collectanea Orientalia: Histoire, arts de l’espace et industrie de la terre, Etudes offertes en homage à Agnès Spycket, Neuchâtel, 1996, pp. 181-198. MAXWELL-HYSLOP R., Daggers and swords in Western Asia: a study from Prehistoric times to 600 B.C., in Iraq 8, 1946, pp. 1-68. MAXWELL-HYSLOP K.R., Curved Sickle-Swords and Scimitars, in AlGAILANI WERR L., ed, Of Pots and Plans: papers on the archaeology and history of Mesopotamia and Syria presented to David Oates in honor of his 75th birthday, London, 2002, pp. 210-217. MUSCARELLA O. W., ed., Ladders to Heaven: Art Treasures from Lands of the Bible, Toronto, 1981, p. 37, pl. XXIII, pp. 246-247, no. 216. MUSCARELLA O. W. Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988, p. 340-342, no. 472. PATCH D. C., Dawn of Egyptian Art, New York, 2011, pp. 139-141, ﬁgs. 37, cat. 115. ROBINS G., The Art of Ancient Egypt, London, 1997, p. 69, ﬁg.64. SHALEV S. Swords and Daggers in Late Bronze Age Canaan. Stuttgart, 2004, pp. 55-60. STIERLIN H., L’or des pharaons, Paris, 1993, pp. 52-53. YADIN Y., The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands in the Light of Archaeological Study 1, New York, Toronto, London, 1963.
3 Head of Zeus Roman, 2nd century A.D. Marble H: 19 cm (H: 7.5 in)
The head belonged to a statuette as the under-life size of the depiction suggests. The curly locks of the hair and beard are deeply drilled forming a baroque frame for the face with the ideal classical features: the thin brows arching above the narrow almond-shaped eyes merge with the bridge of the straight long nose; the slightly-parted lips are surrounded by symmetrical locks of the moustache and beard. The crease across his forehead, the thick lids, the deeply drilled pupils, and downturned inner-canthi create a severe and penetrating gaze of the supreme god of the Romans. The head is crowned with a luxurious wreath of deeply carved oak leaves tied at the back. The additional drilled holes found among the leaves suggest that gold or gilded bronze pegs were introduced to radiate above the majestic head.
of a crown confirms the presence of such an attribute in the type. As a Roman sculpture, the type was assigned to Iuppiter Capitolinus, the major Jupiterâ€™s cult of ancient Rome. Pliny the Elder (Natural History 35.157) refers that the early image in the Capitoline temple was made in terracotta. Titus Livy (History of Rome 7, 3, 5) describes the Capitoline Triad inside the later temple: statues of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus, Iuno Regina, and Minerva in each nave. A few times the temple was destroyed by the fire; the one reconstructed by the Flavian emperors, Vespasianus and Domitianus, with three statues appears on the coins struck by Vespasianus. A later source records that at one time there was the chryselephantine statue of Jupiter seated on the throne in the central nave of the temple made by the sculptor Apollonius.
Because of its present condition, it is hard to say if the head belonged to a seated or standing figure. The enthroned Zeus/ Jupiter statue presenting the god in full power was one of the most popular types in Classical art. Also, the variant of the same iconographic scheme was Zeus/Jupiter seated on the eagle, the composition alluding to his dominance in the celestial sphere. The standing type represents the god as perfectly, built, athletic nude, sometimes partially wrapped in a himation, in a solemn stance demonstrating the symbols of power in his arms with a scepter or thunderbolt. The specific treatment of central locks of hair above the forehead as a kind of anastolĂŠ (distinctive locks raised and put back) and the symmetrical layout of locks in the beard link this head with the type known as Zeus Otricoli after the monumental marble head found in Otricoli and today in the Vatican Museums. Some scholars believe that the original of the type was created by the Greek sculptor Bryaxis in the 4th century B.C. However, the combination of the ideal forms of features with the strong chiaroscuro effect in the carving and the dramatic appearance (stressed by the furrows and parted mouth characteristic for the Hellenistic images) suggests the Classicizing early Roman Imperial creation. A variant in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, a marble head with holes in the hair prepared for the attachment
CONDITION Complete; the surface of the face retains its original polish; deposits and some earth in the locks; the surface of the upper part of the oak leaves is eroded and few tips of leaves are missing.
PROVENANCE Formerly, US private collection, Texas, acquired in 1984.
BIBLIOGRAPHY KRAUSEB.H.,TriasCapitolina:EinBeitragzurRekonstruktionderhauptstädtischen Kultbilder und deren statuentypologischen Ausstahlung im Römischen Weltreich, Trier University, 1989. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), vol. 8, Zürich, Düsseldorf, 1997, s.v. Zeus, no. 219; s.v. Zeus/Iuppiter, nos. 154, 436, 479, 480, 492.
4 The "Spencer Churchill" young Spearman Etruscan, late 6th century B.C. Bronze H: 10.8 cm (H: 4.25 in)
This statuette is one of the finest examples of ancient Etruscan sculpture in small scale. Although the naked youth is represented without the cuirass and helmet, the attitude of his arms suggest that he carried a spear rather than athletic tools. His right arm bent at the elbow is raised, the pierced fist is in the position for holding a separately made spear, while the left extended hand grasps a shield (now missing). The figure is striding with the left leg advanced. The composition is also close to the youthful figure of Herakles, popular among the Etruscan statuettes of the Late Archaic period; however, no attribute is presented in the piece to suggest the representation of the hero. The youthâ€™s lively face has a prominent chin, straight nose, and smiling lips. The impression of life is augmented by large, wideopened round eyes outlined by the arched long brows. The tightly curled hair indicated by rows of punched circles leave the ears open. The latter are rather large but have a perfect shape and almost decorative, scroll-like design. The nude body is modeled with good knowledge of the male anatomy, especially well observed are the abdominal muscles. The clavicle bones as well as his knees with the patellae and the toes are rendered similarly with special attention to detail. The muscles of the back, buttocks and thighs are represented as groups that form precise and powerful shapes which make all views of the figure impressive. This type of statuette was influenced by contemporaneous Greek representations of the young male figure, kouros. The present composition is highly interesting from the point of view of how the Etruscan sculptor is controlling the balance of the masses. Although he is still bound to the canonical kourosâ€™ stance with two feet firmly attached to the ground, the torso is leaning forward following the longer leg and thus giving the impression that the figure is moving. This young spearman, which is solid cast could have been attached to a large vessel, candelabra or utensil stand; or, most probably, the statuette was commissioned and brought to a temple as dedication to an important deity.
CONDITION Excellent condition; complete with no restoration or repair; spear and shield missing; minor scratches and chips on the bronze surface.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Spencer Churchill (1876–1964) collection, acquired from Mr. Charles Seltman, November, 1925; Christie’s, London, 21 June 1965, Lot 459; Ex- American private collection.
PUBLISHED Christie’s, London, 21 June 1965, Lot 459.
BIBLIOGRAPHY DE PUMA R. D., Etruscan Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New Haven, London, 2013, pp.71-71 nos. 4.30b, 4.31a, b; p. 82 no. 4.52a. HAYNES S., Etruscan Bronzes, London, New York, 1985, pp. 257-258, 276, 281, nos. 34-35, 83, 97. HUS A., Les bronzes étrusques, Bruxelles, 1975, pp. 78-81.
5 Elite Noblewoman Egyptian, Old Kingdom, Dynasty V, ca. 2686–2181 B.C. Painted Limestone H: 48.2 cm – W: 15.2 cm – D: 21.3 cm (H: 19 in – W: 6 in – D: 8.4 in)
This colorful noblewoman was sculpted from a single block of limestone. The woman is represented standing at attention with both of her feet parallel to one another. Her arms are held alongside her body, their open palms pressed against the outside of her legs. She wears a form-revealing, sleeveless white sheath, the staple of every aristocratic woman’s wardrobe, which is designed with a V-shaped bodice. The height of the back slab which forms an "L" with the integral plinth reaches to the level of the shoulders and end of the wig in a design which is attested during the Old Kingdom. This statue is remarkable for several reasons. It is one of the handful of representations of women dated to the Old Kingdom in which they are depicted alone and in isolation. Most statues of women created during that period intercalate the female image either into pair statue groups, in which the figure of the husband dominates, or into family groups in which she is shown with her husband and children. Statues of individual women, although attested, are rare and seldom in such condition.
On the basis of these parallels, this colorful representation of a powerful noblewoman is suggested to date to Dynasty V of the Old Kingdom.
CONDITION Complete; the slight loss of the tip of the nose and hair; chip on the arm reattached.
PROVENANCE Formerly with Michael Waltz, Hermes Antiken, Munich, until 1979; Ex- European private collection, acquired June 26, 1979.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BORCHARDT L, Statuen und Statuetten von Königen und Privatleuten im Museum von Kairo, Cairo, 1911, pp. 100-101 and 103. ZIEGLER C, Les statues égyptiennes de l'Ancien Empire, Paris, 1997, cover images and pp. 123-137, 218-219, 264, 270-271. Scientific Report 0517-OA-31N, CIRAM Laboratories, May 22, 2017.
The skin tones of women in the Old Kingdom are generally yellow, in contrast to the ruddy skin tones of men. Representations of women with ruddy skin tones are exceptional, which may explain why the Louvre chose to illustrate a contemporary of our aristocrat on the cover of its catalogue of Old Kingdom sculpture with a detail of the pair statue of Merseankih and her husband, Raherka. The purposeful choice of red for the skin tone of this noblewoman is symbolic because it connotes her importance by underling her elevated status in society as an equal of men. The black color of the integral plinth on which our aristocrat stands is also significant. During the course of the Old Kingdom those parts of statues which the sculptors wanted the viewer to ignore were painted black. In this case the black base was thought to disappear from sight so that the image of this powerful, full-figured woman would dominate the sensory perception of the spectator. She wears a shoulder-length wig, parted in the center and combed to each side which is frequently worn by women of the Old Kingdom. The detailed, two rows of curls at the end of the wig are exceptional. Of the fourteen coiffures depicted on representations of women dated to the Old Kingdom in the Louvre, only two exhibit variations of this detail.
6 The "Hunt" infant Hercules Roman, 1st century A.D. Bronze, silver, niello H: 14 cm (H: 5.5 in) â€“ D. of the pedestal: 4.8 cm (D: 1.88 in)
This artfully modeled miniature figure and its ancient pedestal are a true masterpiece of Roman bronze cast and inlay work. The composition presents the infant Hercules in his natural attitude: as he is walking, the right leg steps forward, the body receives a slight torsion, and the head is turned to its right following the general direction of movement. The position of the arms is similarly coordinated: the left arm is bent to hold the long lion’s skin (leontis) while the right, slightly bent, is extended and held the now missing attribute, the club. Both these attributes, as well as the three apples in his left palm, define the person as Hercules and remind us of the first and the eleventh labor from his future twelve deeds, the slaying of the Nemean lion and the stealing of the golden apples of immortality from the Garden of Hesperides. The proportions and chubby forms of the infantine body (puffy hands, cheeks, lower abdomen, and hips) are skillfully studied and rendered, and an ultimate precision was given to shape the details of the baby’s anatomy such as the fingers with tiny nails, genitalia, his parted lips, small nostrils, thin eyelids and short locks of hair. The paws of the leontis are tied into a double knot, known as "the Hercules knot". Several miniature and almost invisible hatchings indicate the hair on the lion’s face. The long curving locks of the leontis are remarkable features as well: arranged in a few vertical rows, each of them is carefully modeled exposing the chased strands. When seen from the back, the work produces the most impressive decorative effect based on the shine of the highly polished and smooth surfaces and the chiaroscuro of the individually modeled locks. The coloristic treatment is enriched by using silver to indicate the eye whites with deep holes in the centers to constitute the pupils; thus the color, light and shadow create an expressive gaze, upward and to the right. More silver was formerly inlayed for the two canines of the lion over the Hercules’ forehead.
It is worth noting that the figure is a solid cast installed on a hollow circular base. The shape of the latter is akin to the round altars originating from the late Classical period and has a similar architectural structure. The cylindrical body is topped with a molding of small beads over an egg and dart pattern. The lower band is bell-shaped and worked with an engraved kymation of acanthus leaves placed between bands of small beads. The cylinder is decorated by an inlayed ornament of eight-petaled rosettes which are linked by diamonds flanked by horizontal lines. This elaborate pattern of contrasting dark niello and shining silver increase the decorative effect and link the figure’s support to a jewelry box. Hercules has important infancy myths (one of them tells of his struggle with snakes sent to his cradle by the jealous wife of Zeus, Hera), and his representations as a baby became characteristic for Hellenistic art and remained popular in Roman marble sculpture, wall paintings, and bronze figurines. It could be that the iconography of the child’s figure with pathetic gaze, supplied with the attributes of the adult hero had a special meaning of supreme human skills and strength. This statuette could be equally made for a wealthy patron who used it in his home shrine, lararium, and a connoisseur who would appreciate the perfection of sculptural modeling and exquisite decorative qualities of work.
CONDITION Excellent preservation with a beautiful dark green patina; a few missing parts (club, two teeth and the right jaw of the lionâ€™s skin, some of the inlays on the pedestal); no restoration or repairs.
PROVENANCE Formerly, William Herbert Hunt collection; Sotheby's, New York, 19 June 1990, Lot 40; US private collection.
EXHIBITED Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, June 25 - September 18, 1983; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, October 19 - December 11, 1983; Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, February 1 - March 22, 1984; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, April 25 - June 10, 1984; High Museum, Atlanta, December 10, 1985 - February 9, 1986.
PUBLISHED VON BOTHMER, D., et al., Wealth of the Ancient World: The Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt Collections. Fort Worth, 1983, catalogue, no. 41; Sotheby's, New York, 19 June 1990, Lot 40.
BIBLIOGRAPHY HILL D., Ancient Representations of Heracles as a Baby, in Gazette des Beaux Arts 36, 1948, pp. 193ff. VERMEULE C.C., Greek and Roman Sculpture in America, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1981, p. 182, no. 149. VON BOTHMER D., et al., Wealth of the Ancient World: The Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt Collections, Fort Worth, 1983, pp. 12-123, no. 41.
7 Bejeweled necklace with cross pendant Byzantine, 4thâ€“5th century A.D. Gold, oriental pearls, emerald, sapphire, garnet, spinel, amethyst, colored glass. L. of necklace 47.5 cm (L: 18.7 in), D. of disk c. 2.2 cm to c. 2.3 cm (D: 0.86 in to 0.90 in) H. of drop shaped element 3.4 cm (H: 1.33 in), D. of circular elements with frame 1.3 cm (D: 0.51 in) H. of cross 6.3 cm, W. of cross 5.9 cm (H: 2.5 in â€“ W: 2.32 in)
This stunning bejeweled necklace is constructed of sixteen disks, two drop-shaped ornaments, eighteen circular elements with box settings, and a large extravagant pendant. The various components are made of sheet gold and connected to each other by threepart hinges. In addition, the drop-shaped elements are set with amethysts, the circular elements with various coloured inlays, and the cross with emeralds and garnets. With the exception of the small circular elements, all decorative parts including the cross pendant are decorated in an openwork technique called à jour or opus interrasile, embellished by a border of plaited wire and edged by strands of oriental pearls held in place by gold loops. The pierced disks are of two types: one features a design based on a hexagonal frame containing an ornament of six acanthus leaves, the other a quatrefoil foliate motif in a rhomboid frame. The interstices are filled with small rosettes rendered in relief as on the other, respectively, there are vegetal scrolls. Repoussé was applied to indicate naturalistic details, and a few single gold granules were attached to the surface in order to emphasize the decorative motifs. Stylistically as well as technically, the two dropshaped ornaments resemble the disks except that an amethyst has been inserted into an opening in the center with a running scroll rendered in opus interrasile forming a frame. Each of the small circular elements that alternate with the openwork decorated disks and drop-shaped pieces consists of a slightly concave broad frame with a raised edge as a mount. The shape of the mount is adjusted to that of the inlay, varying from circular to oval and square. Two of these small elements are hinged on one side to a pair of disks, on the other to the large pendant. With the lower arm slightly longer then the three other ones, the pendant is shaped as a Latin cross (in contrast to a Greek cross that would have
all four arms of equal length). It is assembled of five separately made parts, a square component in the centre with a claw setting holding a large pearl, and four flaring arms, each one decorated in pierced relief with the identical dense scrollwork around a single large box setting. Both vertical arms are set with a drop-shaped setting holding a garnet with the pointed ends towards the center, while the horizontal arms feature large oval emerald cabochons. The pearls surrounding the outer edge of the cross are larger than those around the chain elements, so that either only two or three alternate with gold loops. In type, style and technique the breast chain is a splendid example of the finest Early Byzantine jewellery. The elegance of the overall design, the sumptuousness, the choice of precious materials, and the various decorative techniques employed reflect the primary function of a personal ornament of that period as an expression of personal wealth and social status. The different decorative techniques applied are characteristic for Late Roman and Early Byzantine goldwork, but they are not often found together on one single piece. The lace-like surface was achieved by the Roman opus interrasile technique of making patterns in sheet gold by cutting out portions of the metal. Additional details were indicated in relief in a process callled repoussé. Plaited wire was attached by soldering. Mounted coloured stones in settings were used to achieve polychromy. Finally, strands of pearls were fixed to the outer edges, emphasizing its shape and giving the whole object a certain brilliance. Chain and pendant crosses are unique. There is only one other piece that combines disk shaped elements with a large pendant cross, a breast chain in the Römisch-Germanische Zentralmuseum in Mainz, Germany. Similar in concept, it lacks, however, the splendour and lavishness of the present piece. The chain in Mainz is formed of plain disks with a simple beaded border and,
alternately, of disks with pierced decoration. The opus interrasile designs show a greater variety than the present one but they lack the radiance achieved by the strands of pearls. The pendant cross of the chain in Mainz is set with a pearl in the center and various coloured inlays on all four arms. The overall effect is comparatively plain and – a noteworthy difference – the cross does not repeat the decorative scheme of the chain and was not necessarily originally part of the whole ensemble. Only three more chains formed of a series of pierced disks can be compared to the present breast chain: one found in Kyrenia on Cyprus consisting of gold disks with two alternating designs, trefoils forming a cross set in a rhomboid respectively quatrefoil with emerging floral scrolls. The second is a large body chain in the British Museum. That was part of the so-called Assiud hoard, a group of jewellery found in Egypt and dating from the third to the sixth century and divided between The British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Antikenabteilung, Berlin. Here, quatrefoils enclosing four cinquefoils in a symmetrical arrangement alternate with an octofoil containing symmetrical trefoils and spear-head motifs. The third parallel is made of gold disks with a similar design on a fragmentary chain in the Czartoryski collection in Poland. An unusual feature of the present necklace is the elongated, drop shaped ornaments integrated into the chain in a prominent position. The shape is generally used for pendants, either on neck ornaments or more often for earrings. It occurs in a number of variations. The closest parallel to the two elements of this breast chain is a single pendant in the British Museum. It consists of a drop-shaped frame decorated with pierced-work with floral finials surrounding an opening that holds an amethyst inlay and is fitted with loops on the edge to hold a strand of pearls.
The length of the present chain and the size of the pendant indicate that the cross is a so-called pectoral cross worn on the center of the chest and not just below the collarbones. By the 6th century, the tradition of wearing pectoral crosses was well established among women of rank. Size, artistic quality and material reflected the social rank of the owner and turned the symbol of a religious belief into a status symbol, a display of luxury and exquisite taste. The cross does not range among the earliest symbols of Christian belief. First examples of small pendant crosses, most likely worn as amulets, appear in the fifth century and only from the sixth century onwards do they become popular. The style, motifs and techniques of this pectoral cross are characteristic of Late Antique and Early Byzantine jewellery in general, but no other similarly constructed and decorated cross is known. Considerably later versions of gem and pearl encrusted crosses suggest that the type might have been more widespread than the rare evidence suggests. In fact, this cross might represent a prototype of the pearl encrusted crosses of the Medieval periods as illustrated by a middle Byzantine cross documented in the cathedral in Tournai in Belgium since c. 1225. It is tempting to attribute such a magnificent piece to an imperial workshop in Constantinopolis, the capital of the Byzantine empire, particularly as the use of pearls, emeralds and sapphires or amethysts was decreed by the emperor Justinian I (527 – 565) to be "solely reserved for the splendor and adornment of the sovereign…. with the exception of ornaments usually worn by women." But there is no evidence that allows us to determine the products of the imperial workshop, and most likely, splendid jewellery was made in all the major centers of the Byzantine empire.
CONDITION Excellent state of preservation; no restorations or repairs; one stone missing.
PROVENANCE Formerly, German private collection, acquired in the 1960s.
PUBLISHED PRICE, J., Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry: Exquisite Objects from the Cradle of Civilization, New York, 2008.
BIBLIOGRAPHY BALDINI LIPPOLIS I., L'oreficeria nell'impero di Costantinopoli: tra IV e VII secolo, Bari, 1999, pp. 96 f., nos. 4.1, 1 -8. BROWN K.R., The Gold Breast Chain from the Early Byzantine Period in The Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz, 1984, pp. 4, 13, 17-19, pls. 6, 17-18. BUCKTON D., ed., Byzantium, Treasures of Byzantine Art and Culture from British Collections, London, 1994, no. 97. CUYPER F. ed, La croix byzantine du Trésor de la Cathédrale de Tournai, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1987. DENNISON W., A Gold Treasure from the Late Roman Period, New York, 1918, nos. 12, 15, pls. XXXIX, XXXII, XL. DEPPERT LIPPITZ B., L'opus interrasile des orfèvres romains, in Outils et ateliers d'orfèvres des temps anciens, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 1993, pp. 69-72. GREIFENHAGEN A., Schmuckarbeiten in Edelmetall, Berlin, 1970, pp. 6970, pl. 51, 1. NIEMEYER B., A Byzantine gold collar from Assiût: a technological study, in Jewellery Studies 8, 1998, pp. 87-96. OGDEN J.M., SCHMIDT S., Late Antique Jewellery: Pierced Work and Hollow Beaded Wire, in Jewellery Studies 4, 1990, pp. 5-12. PIERIDES A., Jewellery in the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, 1971, pl. XXXVI, 1-2. RUXER M.S., KUBZAK, J. Bijouterie antique de l`ancienne collection Czartoryski à Cracovie, in Archeologia 26, 1975, p. 113, no. 18, ﬁg. 15. YEROULANOU A., Diatrita: gold pierced-work jewellery from the 3rd to the 7th century, Athens, 1999, nos. 36, 40, 41, 45, 129-134, ﬁgs. 57, 58, 226, 229.
(reverse of pendant)
8 Monumental head of a Goddess or a Queen Greek, Late Classical – Early Hellenistic, 4th–3rd century B.C. Marble H: 48.3 cm (H: 19 in)
This stunning and well preserved head of a goddess belonged to a colossal statue. Judging upon the roughly modeled shape of the part below the neck, the head was inserted into a cavity on the upper part of the torso. In ancient Greek practice, the monumental scale dictated the process of piecing, when the individual parts were carved separately. This is also seen from the back, its oblique narrow shape and flat surface were obviously prepared for the connection with another part of the head and neck, most probably covered by a veil (as exemplified in an overlifesize honorific statue from Magnesia ad Maeandrum; the face and neck were carved separately and inserted into a statue with the mantle draped as a veil over the head). The head was acquired (and presumably found) in Egypt, and there is a good deal to think that it was created there in ancient times. As Egypt does not have its own white marble quarries, it was the necessity to use any available block of marble. It could be that the figure and the drapery were executed in a stone of different type and color (limestone or veined marble), thus producing a strong decorative effect. However, one cannot exclude the possibility that the sculpture was brought to Egypt from Greece. The head on a long neck is slightly turned to her right. It has a perfect oval shape and a rather wide face with idealized features: the bow-shaped lips, a slightly upturned nose merging into finely arched brows, and large eyes outlined by heavy eyelids. The expression of the face is tranquil and solemn. Her wavy hair is parted in the center and arranged along the forehead line and then rolled up almost covering the ears. Such a fashion and especially the considerable volume of hair at the ears find the closest parallels in female representations in Attic sculpture of the 4th century B.C. The proportions of the face and its rather square shape are also related to the models typical to the Late Classical female figures. The head was surmounted by a carved diadem as it is indicated by its remains above the hair. The absence of any other attribute and the garment does not let us identify the image more precisely, which could be a goddess, such as Aphrodite, or a Ptolemaic queen. The Classical tradition had strong influence upon the artistic preferences of the Early Hellenistic rulers in Egypt.
CONDITION Excellent state of preservation with no restorations or repairs; nose intact; surface weathered especially on the proper left cheek; a slight dent above outer corner of proper right eye and shallow losses to edge of hair above both ears; back was worked ﬂat in antiquity; two small modern circular holes in back, used for securing head to mount, and ancient deep vertical channel in neck.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Laura Williamina Hohenlohe-Langenburg-Gleichen, Countess von Gleichen, born Seymour (1833-1912), England, acquired in Egypt; Ex- American private collection, 1912 or prior; Ex- Jonas Senter (1917-2001), New York, acquired at auction in the 1970s; Sotheby’s, New York, 9 December 2003, Lot 11; Ex- American private collection.
PUBLISHED BOULANGER A., Tête féminine provenant d’Egypte, in Revue archéologique 19, 1912, pp. 110ff, ﬁgs. 1-3; Sotheby's, New York, 9 December 2003, Lot 11.
BIBLIOGRAPHY KALTSAS N., Sculpture in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Los Angeles, 2002, pp. 182, 185, 191, nos. 360, 364, 379. SAVVOPOULOS K., BIANCHI R. S., Alexandrian Sculpture in the GraecoRoman Museum, Alexandria, 2012, pp. 110-114, no. 33. SMITH R.R.R., Hellenistic Sculpture, New York, 1991, p.86, ﬁg. 116, 1.
9 Red-figure Kylix, attributed to Makron Greek, Attic, ca. 490â€“480 B.C. Ceramic D: 21 cm (without handles) (D: 8.26 in)
This vessel, outstanding for its technical and artistic qualities, was decorated in the so-called red-figure technique (the background of the scenes is covered with black paint, while the figures remain in the orange-red color of the clay, as a sort of negative of the older black-figure technique). Kylikes are among the most important and commonly used forms in the repertoire of Greek and especially Attic potters. They were the wine-drinking cups par excellence at the symposia, the ancient Greek banquets; strictly reserved for men, the symposium was a social institution when eating and drinking for pleasure was accompanied by music, dancing or recitals, with the joyful presence of young women (heteres) and young men. This kylix belongs to the type C, which differs from the other largely widespread type at that time (type B) by its high and concave edge. The bowl of the vessel is supported by a disc-shaped foot and a cylindrical stem. The regular, low body terminates in a flared edge and a simply rounded lip. The two U-shaped handles are placed at the edge below the rim.
This vessel is a beautiful example of contemporary Attic production for its remarkable artistic and technical quality. Known for several decades, it was attributed by M. Padgett to Makron, one of the most famous and prolific painters in the early Classical Greek period. This hypothesis is reinforced by comparing this kylix with a fragmentary cup of the same type housed in Oxford, on which Makron also represented a symposium with four similar men reclining on a couch, including small details (for instance, the stripped cushions, the drinking vessels, the meander, etc.). Makron, who seems to have worked almost exclusively for the potter Hieron, was a specialist in drinking vessels, especially cups and sometimes skyphoi, which he decorated mostly with scenes of daily life generally associated with the Dionysian world, or with the sphere of the symposium or sports. The mythological scenes are rare.
The lower part of the vessel, the rim and a large inner portion are painted in black. The figural scenes unfold on the friezes between the handles and in the tondo inside the cup. The subject, clearly connected to the purpose of the vessel, shows five symposiasts quietly reclining on their klinĂŠs (banquet couch), discussing and gesticulating: one of the guests is represented in the tondo (maybe the organizer of the symposium), while the other four occupy the two external sides (forming two couples). Iconographically, they all look similar: adult males with a short hair and pointed beards, and red crowns encircling their foreheads. Their long himations (coat), with undulating folds, cover their left shoulder and their legs. They straighten their chest, leaning their left arm on two large striped cushions; the right arm is extended forward. In the left hand, two figures hold a skyphos, two others a rhyton (drinking horn), the last one holds a kylix, the archetypal drinking cup for symposiasts. Their legs are stretched or nonchalantly bent forward. One of the figures (the only man who turns his head backwards) is talking or reciting verses (his mouth is open), while the others are silent and appear to be listening.
CONDITION Complete and in very good condition, but reassembled from various fragments; some gap-ﬁlls and restorations.
PROVENANCE Formerly with Galerie Segredakis, Paris, ca. 1960; Ex- French private collection; Christie's, London, 24 October 2013, Lot 41.
PUBLISHED Christie's, London, 24 October 2013, Lot 41.
BIBLIOGRAPHY On Makron and his work, see: BEAZLEY J., Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, Oxford, 1963, pp. 460 ff. (see p. 467, no. 129 for the Oxford cup). BOARDMANN J., Athenian Red Figure Vases, The Archaic Period, London, 1975, p. 140, ﬁg. 308-318. KUNISCH N., Makron, Mainz/Rhine, 1977 (for the Oxford cup, see pl. 68, no. 198).
10 Statuette of a Queen Adorned with a crown, earrings, necklace and snake bracelets South Arabian, 3rdâ€“2nd century B.C. Alabaster and bronze H: 38.5 cm (H: 15.2 in)
This exceptional sculpture is the most complete alabaster statuette known, with bronze hair and jewelry preserved, from South Arabia. The standing female figure is wearing a crown, a necklace, earrings, and snake bracelets on each arm. She is most probably a person of high importance or a queen. She is adorned with a necklace which is carved in relief and the hair with crown, earrings and snake bracelets are made separately in bronze. The arms are bent at the elbows and projected forward. The woman is wearing a long dress, a kind of a chiton with a "V" shaped neckline and short sleeves. She stands firmly with both bare feet on the ground which shapes a kind of a small base. The headâ€™s simplified shape is distinguished by the two large shelllike ears adorned with bronze earrings; the hair, also made in bronze is intricately designed on the front with a crown and on the back with a long braid modeled with several short incised lines. The features, especially the eyes, are carefully indicated, so the expression becomes very prominent. Indeed, the large eyes have deep incised eyelids inlaid with dark material, probably bitumen; the eye whites were carved separately from shell or limestone and received additional carving for the pupils also filled with the same dark material. The incised thin brows set high above the eyes and the high cheek bones outline the eyes. The long straight nose has narrow nostrils, the thin lips are firmly pressed.
The art of South Arabia was produced as early as the 8th century B.C. by a number of ancient kingdoms located in the area of modern-day Yemen. Figurative and decorative art of the region includes indigenous types and styles that are, in earlier times, influenced by the arts of Egypt or Mesopotamia, and later by Hellenistic Greece and Rome. South Arabian art is well-known for its distinctive statues of human figures and sculptures of animals such as bulls, antelopes and ibexes. These were carved both free-standing and in relief, and usually made of alabaster or limestone. Ancient civilizations may have associated alabaster, a translucent and cream-colored stone, with sunlight. The ancient Arabian kingdoms flourished until the 5th century A.D. as a result of agricultural wealth and trade of precious commodities, most importantly frankincense and myrrh, with the civilizations of Egypt, the Near East, and the Hellenistic and Roman empires. Incense played a vital role in many ancient religions as well as in the domestic life of the upper classes. Other commercial goods, such as spices and fragrances, were produced in South Arabia, and the region played a key role in the trade of products from Africa, the Persian Gulf, and India.
The serene gaze and the outstretched arms characterize the person as a worshipping queen. The hands have a characteristic position: one palm is outstretched, another is pressed as it holds something (in some cases it holds a stylized sheaf of wheat, a symbol of fertility, or a bird). The notable contrast between the face, with its precise and detailed forms, and the body, which is characterized by shortened proportions and by a dearth of anatomical details, constitutes one of the traits that mark all South Arabian sculpture from this period. The great variety of human representations (masculine and feminine) in South Arabian art is remarkable; aside from statuettes (both seated and standing), one finds stelae in low and high relief and heads with long necks mounted on a base. Their exact significance is unknown. The fact that the great majority of these objects come from necropoleis and the frequent but by no means obligatory presence of inscriptions on their bases clearly indicate that they were portraits of the deceased, placed near the tomb. The inscriptions, in the South Arabian script, always document the name of the person represented and that of the clan that he/she belonged to. Among the statues found, there have also been portraits of kings, recognizable thanks to the inscriptions.
CONDITION Excellent state of preservation; bronze hair and adornments retain beautiful green patina; surface of the stone retains high polish with only superﬁcial wear and few chips to the edges; pupils and right ﬁnger missing; no restorations or repairs.
PROVENANCE Formerly, R.Z. collection, Montluçon, France, prior to 1970; Ex- Jean Lions collection, Switzerland, acquired ca. 1970.
BIBLIOGRAPHY CLEVELAND R.L., An Ancient South Arabian Necropolis, Objects from the Second Campaign (1951) in the Timna’ Cemetery, Baltimore, 1965. DE MAIGRET A., Arabia Felix: un viaggio nell’archeologia dello Yemen, 1996. Faces of Ancient Arabia, The Giraud and Carolyn Foster Collection of South Arabian Art, Baltimore, 2008, pp. 37-75; 102-115. Queen of Sheba, Treasures from Ancient Yemen, London, 2002, pp.192-201. Yémen, au pays de la reine de Saba', Paris, 1997, pp. 150-173.
11 Splashed glass bottle with two handles Roman, 1st century A.D. Purple, yellow, blue and white glass H: 16 cm (H: 6.29 in)
The vessel was blown in a purple glass adorned with "spots", which are completely embedded in the mass of the parison: these spots were probably yellow, blue and white. The spherical body of the bottle is supported by a slightly flattened and concave bottom that provides the container with good balance. The high, cylindrical neck ends in a wide lip with a vertical, thick edge. The two handles are not identical and are not placed at the same height of the shoulder and neck. They are made of a circular ribbon of purple glass and attached to the surface by means of a large "folded knob". Despite the current condition of the polychromy (certainly less bright and shiny than originally), this bottle is remarkable for its excellent state of preservation, and for its technical and artistic qualities. The technique of splashed glass was very popular in the early Imperial times, especially during the Julian-Claudian period; it tends to disappear in the last decades of the 1st century A.D. Certainly intended for the wealthy classes of society, such vessels would have been produced as an imitation of the famous "millefiori" molded vases, which were also luxury items: for a rather similar aesthetic and equally unique result, the manufacture of splashed vessels was simplified and accelerated thanks to the use of the blowing cane. The polychromatic spots were obtained by sprinkling seeds or opaque glass powder on a parison barely prepared by a slight blowing: because of the heat (the parison is first heated before the continuation of the blowing), the colored seeds then blend with the transparent glass, and form an unpredictable and very bright splashed decoration. During the final modeling, the spots modify their shape and "move" on the vase according to the movements that the glassmaker gives to the parison: they generally become larger and rounded on the broader areas (spherical body of the vase), stretched or even pointed on the neck, or spiraled when the parison is rotated. Polychromy is a key element of these vessels: the background is often blue (the most common color) and generally adorned with
white, red or yellow patterns; other vases are made of amber, transparent colorless or more rarely purple glass, as here. The most commonly used form was the small amphora, probably intended to contain wine or water. Various versions of one-handed bottles and small "balsamari" were also widely spread; the aryballes, the kanthares, the small jars without handles or the small bottles like our example are more rarely seen. Most splashed glass vases or fragments come from the western or central regions of the Empire, especially from sites located in the Alpine region (Northern Italy, Ticino, Vindonissa).
CONDITION Complete and in excellent condition; minor limestone deposits and traces of iridescent patina; slightly worn, matte surface; the colors of the spots slightly faded (especially the yellow, which is still visible on the neck); under the base, an old inventory no. B190 is written in black.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Benzian collection, Lucerne, Switzerland, prior to 1984; Sotheby's, London, 7 July 1994, Lot 134.
PUBLISHED 3000 Jahre Glasskunst, Lucerne, 1981, p. 75, no. 235; KLEIN D. - LLOYD W. (eds.), The History of Glass, London, 1984, p. 27 (color plate); Sotheby's, London, 7 July 1994, Lot 134.
BIBLIOGRAPHY On the technique of splashed glass, see: BERETTA M. - DI PASQUALE G. (eds.), Vitrum, Il vetro tra arte e scienza nel mondo romano, Florence - Milan, 2004, pp. 56-58, ﬁg. 16-17. BERGER L., Römische Gläser aus Vindonissa, Basel, 1960, pp. 33-34. FREMERSDORF F. Römische Gläser mit buntgefleckter Oberfläche, in Festschrift für Auguste Oxé, Darmstadt, 1938, pp. 116-121. Related splashed glass vessels: BIAGGIO SIMONA S., I vetri romani provenienti dalle terre dell’attuale cantone Ticino, vol. I, Locarno, 1991, pp. 235-240. HARDEN D.B. (ed.), Glass of the Caesars, Corning-London-Cologne, 1987, pp. 101-102, pp. 109-112, nos. 42-45. KUNINA N., Ancient Glass in the Hermitage Collection, St. Petersburg, 1997, pp. 107, 109, 149-152, 155.
12 Helmet of the Chalcidian type Greek, 4th century B.C. Bronze H: 25.5 cm (H: 10 in)
This remarkable work of ancient Greek armor is of the highest quality and preservation; the beautiful patina of the bronze and exquisite decorative elements applied by engraving and relief demonstrate a supreme workmanship. The helmet belongs to the Chalcidian type of which the oldest examples are testified by their depictions in black-figured vases also designated as "Chalcidian" and dated back to the third quarter of the 6th century B.C. The creation of this type responded the demand for a lighter armor which would allow the warrior more flexibility by providing a wider view and adding an ear aperture; it could be that the change in design was specifically developed for cavalry or infantry facing cavalry. The name of this type of helmet comes from Chalcidice, a region in Northern Greece, close to Macedonia. However, it may be that the production of helmets (same for the vases) did not originate from this area. It has been suggested that the western Greeks of Sicily and southern Italy contributed to the creation of it as most of the finds were made there. The historians of Greek arms and armor distinguish five major types among the helmets of the Chalcidian type. The present piece belong to the last one, its most characteristic feature is the hinged check-pieces (now missing). With a shallow curve at the brow, cutaway ear recesses and a curved neck-guard, this type is shaped with a domed crown with median ridge and carinated perimeter. The narrow, arrow-like nose guard is connected to the brow. The entire helmet except for the cheek-pieces was hammered from a single thick sheet of bronze. The paragnathides (cheek protectors) were attached by hinges: they would have been raised in a "pause" position to uncover the face when relaxing or lowered and fastened under the chin when fighting.
The crest was mounted on top of the helmet and held in place by an attachment system, of which the marks are still visible on the surface, and a hook at the back is still preserved. The cap is rounded and features a ridge that encircles the helmet and separates the upper and lower parts of the head. At the front, the decoration is composed of a relief that repeats the pattern of the eyebrows and two friezes of fine incisions. The upper frieze consists of languettes and the lower one of tiny locks of hair; they terminate in two palmettes, large and small, at the ear aperture on each side. At the back, the helmet descends low covering the neck, at the same time it is arched and flared outwardly to ease the movements of the warrior. Several holes line the lower edge indicating the place where the leather lining was attached to the interior of the helmet. Compared with its Corinthian counterpart, the Chalcidian helmet should be considered as its natural evolution to a lighter version; in the more recent types, like here, the paragnathides are articulated with hinges at the temples. The examples of the 4th century B.C. are most elaborate; the paragnathides decorated with figures in relief (most often with ramâ€™s heads), volutes on the temples, composite crests, etc., especially those found in the necropolises of the colonies of Magna Graecia and of the Italic cities. As for the depictions of the Chalcidian type in Attic vase painting, most frequently it is found as an attribute of Athena, the goddess of war.
CONDITION Complete with no losses to the shape other than the cheek pieces and crest being missing; surface retains beautiful gold and gray patina throughout; with some remains of soil deposits; an indentation ďŹ lled with soil on the right top side; one hole is torn at the lower left back edge; traces of ancient soldering and modern glue on the marks of the crest attachments.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Giancarlo Ligabue collection, Switzerland, collected before 1970; French art market, 2012.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Antike Helme: Sammlung Lipperheide und andere BestĂ¤nde des Antikenmuseums Berlin, Mainz, 1988, pp. 137-150. EVERSON T., Warfare in Ancient Greece: Arms and Armor from the Heroes of Homer to Alexander the Great, Sutton, 2004. SNODGRASS A. M., Arms and Armor of the Greeks, Baltimore, London, 1967, pp. 69-71.
13 Head of Aphrodite Greek, Hellenistic, late 4thâ€“early 3rd century B.C. Marble H: 38.7 cm (H: 15.23 in)
This impressive marble head was part of a monumental statue, a highly venerated image of a Greek goddess. Because of its size and availability of marble blocks, the head, most probably, was carved from two large pieces of stone (this is indicated by the shape of the back of the head, showing an almost straight surface prepared to join the second half which was carved separately). The condition of the sides and the back– a missing piece on the proper lower right side of the hair, two holes in the hair on each side by the ears, and a third hole at the back seemingly corresponding to one on the proper left side – suggests that the head damaged in antiquity was repaired about the same time. The monumental size and remarkable artistic quality of this work – which is a perfect example of the Greek artistic canon from the end of the Classical period and the beginning of Hellenism – plead in favor of an interpretation as an image of a goddess rather than as a portrait of a private citizen. The woman is represented young, the quality observed in the distinct lack of wrinkles; with her pensive expression and idealized features, which recall those of numerous female heads of this period. The perfectly oval face has harmonious proportions of the forehead, nose, and chin; and the clear delineation of the eyebrows above the almond-shaped eyes. The long, elegant neck marked by the "rings of Venus" is slightly turned to the left. The centrally-parted hair is organized in undulating curls that are then pulled back: the wavy strands of the hair treated by both the sculpting and incising of the stone create a beautiful chiaroscuro effect, which is contrasting with the smooth modeling that characterizes the skin of the face. The top of hair, the surface of which is barely modeled, was probably completed by a plaster element or could just be left unfinished if a diadem or wreath in precious metal (gold, gilded bronze) was added to complete the image of the goddess. Among the goddesses, the one whose iconography is closest to this work is certainly Aphrodite, but one can also look to Artemis or Hera. As for the type, one can also compare this sculpture to the head of Hygieia (the goddess of health) by Skopas from the Temple of Athena at Eleusis (Athens, National Museum, which is a little older, ca. 395-350 B.C.), or to the works of other master sculptors of the late 4th century, such as Praxiteles. For example, his famous Aphrodite of Knidos and the Brauron Artemis are close stylistic parallels.
CONDITION Surface weathered and covered with encrustation (especially on the proper right side of the neck and face); damaged are the lower eyelid of the proper right eye, tip of nose, lower lip, and chin; chips in places; three holes indicating ancient repair of the back of the head.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Nicolas Tano collection, acquired circa 1950; Ex- Henri Philippe Pharaon (1901-1993) collection, Beirut, acquired prior to 1972; Ex- Sleiman Aboutaam collection, Beirut, acquired in the early 1980s.
PUBLISHED SCHMIDT E., Ein weiblicher Kopf in Beyrouth, in Festschrift Luitpold Dussler, Munich, 1972, pp. 31-44., ﬁgs. 1-5. ZAGDOUN, M., Bulletin archéologique: La sculpture, la ronde-bosse hellénistique (1960-1987), in Revue des études grecques 104, 1991, p. 156, no. 117.
BIBLIOGRAPHY LULLIES R., HIRMER M., Greek Sculpture, Munich, 1957, no.199. RICHTER G.M.A., Handbook of the Greek Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Cambridge, 1953, p. 121, pl. 98b. SCHEFOLD K., Meisterwerke Griechischer Kunst, Basel, 1960, p. 260, no. 338. VIERNEISEL-SCHLÖRB B., Klassische Grabdenkmäler und Votivreliefs, Glyptothek München, Katalog der Skulturen III, Munich, 1988, pl. 23, no. 10. VON BOTHMER D., ed., Antiquities from the Collections of C.G. Bastis, Mainz am Rhein, 1987, p. 170, n0. 156.
14 Head of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III Egyptian, New Kingdom, ﬁrst half of Dynasty XVIII, ca. 1479–1425 B.C. Schist H: 16.8 cm – W: 13.2 cm (H: 6.6 in – W: 5.19 in)
This portrait captures the quintessential characteristics of a pharaoh whose handsome, masculine features are unsullied by the ravages of time and are presented in an image possessed of courageous strength and admirable determination. The finely polished surfaces of the cordiform face preserve all of the physiognomic features intact and unbroken. These include the almond-shaped eyes, delicately rimmed by plastic lids and framed above by gently sweeping paint-striped eye brows. The thinbridged nose, aquiline in profile, exhibits slightly drilled nostrils and is set off from the mouth by a lightly depressed philtrum. The lips, the upper thinner than the fleshier bottom, are closed and pursed into a gentle smile, the corners of which are drilled. The sightly forward-projecting chin supports a false beard, the undulating, vertical curls of which are gathered into a disc which is affixed to the bottom of the chin. The head is covered by the royal headdress, or nemes, articulated by alternating raised and lowered stripes, the latter consciously left in an unpolished state in order to create an attractive bi-chromatic effect. The ears, intentionally uncovered by the nemes, are symbolically large in order to emphasize the pharaohâ€™s ability to hear the petitions for justice addressed to him at court. The nemes is fronted by a uraeus, or royal cobra, which functions to protect pharaoh as an ever-vigilant guardian in keeping with the ancient belief that such serpents never sleep because they lack eyelids. The body of the uraeus is arranged in an S-shaped curve before it straightens itself out at the crown of the head. The identity of the pharaoh represented by this consummately sculpted head can be suggested by means of a rigorous stylistic analysis because it is not inscribed. In general the physiognomic features of the face suggest a dating into the first half of Dynasty XVIII of the New Kingdom when such a powerful idealizing visage dominates the portraits of the so-called Tuthmoside pharaohs, crystalized in images of Amenhotep II, Hatshepsut, and Thuthmosis III. One begins an inquiry into the identification of this schist portrait by first noting its salient features. The eyes are wide-open, but not exaggeratedly so, and are set into the head at a slightly slanted angle.The lower eye lid is not straight, but is rather somewhat curvilinear. The nose is strongly aquiline and projects into space. The fleshier lower lip exhibits a slight droop.
In order to determine the pharaoh represented, one begins with an assessment of the best preserved image of Amenhotep II in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. There are certain correspondences between this portrait of Amenhotep II and the schist portrait, but careful comparison reveals profound differences. In the portrait of Amenhotep II the eyes are larger and are set horizontally into the head. Their plastic brows are somewhat stiffer and less sinuous. There is no philtrum between the nose and the mouth. Both lips are horizontally aligned, the lower lip does not exhibit a droop, and their corners are less forcefully drilled. Hatshepsut, an Egyptian royal woman who ruled in her own right as pharaoh, was the step-mother of Tuthmosis III. Originally, the two ruled as co-regents. As a result, portraits produced during the time of their coregency shared stylistic characteristics, which thwart attempts to identify any image created at that time as a portrait of either one or the other. Portraits of Hatshepsut can be divided into two major typologies, the first of which is best represented by the so-called White Hatshepsut, named after the color of stone in which it is sculpted, in The Metropolitan Museum, New York. These images are characterized by what Laboury terms feline eyes , whereas the second type is characterized by large, wide-open eyes as seen in the portrait of Hatshepsut in The Egyptian Museum, Cairo. These are not the characteristics of the eyes of the portrait in schist under discussion with the result that it cannot be identified as an image of Hatshepsut. Images of Tuthmosis III change with his ascent to the throne as sole pharaoh in his own right. Among the best preserved portraits of pharaoh Tuthmosis III is his standing statue in the Luxor Museum, securely identified because his name appears in the cartouche, serving as a belt buckle, in the band securing his shendyt-kilt around his waist. To this can be added an interesting bust, in painted, indurated limestone, now in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. At some point in time after its creation, the face broke cleanly away from the head. The face, intact, was excavated at Thebes and the two were reunited for the very first time in Hildesheim, Germany, on the occasion of the special exhibition in 1987.
The two are obviously not clones of one another because Egyptian sculptural ateliers, although working under uniform patterns established by the crown, exhibit variations within a limited range of possibilities. The Luxor and New York/Cairo portraits are extremely close in style, despite the difference in material, because both are products of Theban ateliers. And their shared style is congruent with that of the schist royal portrait. Among their shared stylistic characteristics are the wide-open, but not exaggeratedly so, eyes set into the head at a slightly slanted angle. The lower eyelid is not straight, but is rather somewhat curvilinear. The nose is strongly aquiline and projects into space. The fleshier lower lip exhibits a slight droop. Closer still is a bust in The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, the stylistic correspondences of which are so congruent that they even include the philtrum. This schist image, although not inscribed, can confidently be identified as a portrait of the Egyptian pharaoh Tuthmosis III who ruled during Dynasty XVIII of the New Kingdom (about 1479-1425 BC). Although the events surrounding the period of his co-regency with Hatshepsut are debated, upon taking the throne immediately after her death, Tuthmosis III embarked on a series of ambitious military campaigns, primarily in the SyriaPalestine region where he re-established Egyptian suzerainty and neutralized any and all bellicose activity against Egypt. He led his armies across the Euphrates River and on the far bank erected a stela commemorating his victories. His military successes were recorded in the Hall of the Annals within the Temple of Amun at Karnak and the exploits of his commanding generals, such as the taking of the city of Joppa by Djehuty and the autobiography of Amenemheb, became legendary. Tuthmosis III is, therefore, justifiably known as the Napoleon of Egypt. His military exploits resulted in yearly tribute flowing into the coffers of the Egyptian treasury. That wealth funded his extensive building activities including extensive additions to the Temples of Amun at Karnak and at sites throughout Egypt such as Medamud, Esna, Dendera, and JKom Ombo. Toward the end of his life, he turned his attention to Nubia where he continued his extensive building program. He cleared an old canal, created during the Middle Kingdom, at the first cataract so insure the flow of African luxury products into Egypt.
Upon his death, his general Amenemheb recorded that Tuthmosis III completed his lifetime of many years, splendid in valor, might, and triumph… He ascended into the sky, joining the sun, his divine limbs mingling with him that begat him. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings in what is now numbered Theban Tomb 44 and his mummy resides in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. CONDITION Excellent state of preservation; proper right side of the headdress and ear are fragmentary with damage to the edges and superﬁcial wear to the surface; no restorations or repairs.
PROVENANCE Formely with J-L Domerq, Paris, prior to 1983; Ex- Cattaui collection, Switzerland, 1986.
PUBLISHED VON ZABERN P., Entdeckungen: Ägyptische Kunst in Süddeutschland, Mainz am Rhein, 1985; LEHMANN H., Forschung in den neunziger Jahren, in Donau-Kurier, Germany, Nr. 196, August 27, 1985; LEHMANN H., Ein ägyptischer Sommer an der Isar, in Nürnberger Zeitung, Germany, Nr. 199, August 29, 1985; LEHMANN H., Der Falkengott und kleine Konkubinen, in Badische Neueste Nachrichten, Germany, September 13, 1985.
BIBLIOGRAPHY DODSON A., Monarchs of the Nile, London, 1995, p. 88. EGGEBRECHT A., (ed), Ägyptens Aufstieg zur Weltmacht, Mainz am Rhein, 1987, pp.184- 185, no. 102 and pp. 186-187, no. 103. GRIMAL N., A History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford, 1992, p. 207. LABOURY D., How and Why Did Hatshepsut Invent the Image of her Royal Power, in GALÁN J. M., et al. (ed), Creativity and Innovation in the Reign of Hatshepsut, Chicago, 2014, pp. 79-83. SEIPEL W., Gott—Mensch—Pharao, Viertausend Jahre Menschenbild in der Skulptur des Alten Aegypten, Vienna, 1992, pp. 258-259, no. 92. The Luxor Museum of Ancient Egyptian Art—Catalogue, The American Research Center in Egypt, Cairo, 1979, pp. 50-1, no. 61. Scientific Report 0313-OA-73R-1, CIRAM Laboratories, April 24, 2012.
15 Bowl decorated with acanthus leaves and animal representations Greek, Hellenistic, late 3rdâ€“2nd century B.C. Silver with gilding D: 15.3 cm (D: 6.02 in)
This extraordinary vessel was cast in a mold, while a large part of the decoration and final additions were cold-worked after casting (carvings, engravings, incisions); the elements in very high relief were made separately and soldered. The decorated zone is covered with thin gilding that perfectly adheres to the silver surface. The thickness of the silver is important and, when lifting the cup, one is surprised by its impressive weight. The bowl is hemispherical and deep, with a slightly flared edge and a rounded lip; there are neither handles nor stem, nor foot, but the bottom of the vessel presents a beautiful six-petaled rosette carved in relief. The interior metal is perfectly smooth. The decoration is entirely comprised of the garland, which begins a few centimeters below the edge, and the base. By and large, the artisan followed a perfectly organized scheme, which observes a rigid and clear symmetry; one can nevertheless notice a nice touch of fantasy, thanks to the presence of the animals (a fox or a wolf, birds with spread or closed wings) incised on top of the decorated zone, just below the garland. The rest of the decoration is only based upon the vegetal kingdom. The composition is arranged into three wreaths of different types (especially acanthus leaves, the so-called "Seleucid", with rounded edges), which spring from the central rosette and form a star. The surface of the leaves, whose contours are in relief, is decorated with vertical ribs and grooves (acanthus) or with half-circles resembling birdâ€™s feathers. A splendid and rare detail - even for related silver cups - consists in the large acanthus leaves three-dimensional tip, completely detached from the containerâ€™s surface. Between the largest leaves, stems with circular flowers (rosettes), spirals and engraved small dots complement the decoration. Although these patterns can originally be found in the Near Eastern world, their arrangement and style are typically Greek. Besides the acanthus is the basic element of the so-called Corinthian architectural order, since it adorns the lower part of its capital. This shape (which also existed in gilded or mosaic glass) is similar to one of the most distinct classes of Hellenistic pottery, namely the so-called Megaran bowls: their decorative design has the same structure, with various vegetal motifs springing from a central
rosette. This shape, especially attested to by silver examples, is of course very rarely made of metal; its pattern may be simply incised, in light relief, or, like here, in very high, almost modeled relief. The convention of decorating metal vessels with vegetal elements that are three-dimensionally modeled is documented during the Hellenistic period also for lower and wider cups (the phialai), whose central medallion is totally detached from the interior (examples on display in the Metropolitan Museum, New York). Furthermore, there are other container forms whose iconography is based essentially on rosettes and chalices of acanthus leaves and water lilies (cups, jugs, alabasters). Among the related silver cups still preserved, one should mention in particular the three examples of Civita Castellana (Naples, Museo Nazionale), which are thought to have been manufactured in Pergamon or by a Seleucid workshop (Syria), the bowls of Munich and Toledo, produced perhaps in Egypt (Fayoum) and the pieces of the Nihavend treasure (in present-day Iran). These bowls were drinking vessels, which were part of what Romans will later call the argentum potorium, that is to say the dinnerware used at the most important banquets. Similar bowls may probably have served to make libations. We know, by Latin authors (Pliny, Plutarch, Cicero, etc.), that there has been a real passion for silver tableware among the wealthy and noble Romans, especially from the late Republican period on. Actually, in the 2nd century B.C., after the first victories against cities from Greece and Asia Minor, and mostly following the donation of Attalus III, King of Pergamon (in 133, he bequeathed his kingdom to the Roman people), significant testimonies of Greek and Oriental toreutics - now almost totally lost, except for a few exceptions - were transported to Rome, where members of the wealthier families could acquire them at auctions organized on these occasions. The three aforementioned cups, which were primarily part of an important treasure discovered in Civita Castellana in the 19th century, arrived perhaps in Italy during the 2nd century B.C. as Asian war loot, or after the donation of Attalus III (the rest of the treasure has been dispersed and melted after its discovery).
CONDITION Beautiful gilding preserved; the acanthus leaves incised near the center are blackened; traces of black oxidation partially cover the edge of the cup; some tarnish on the silver surface; no restoration or repairs.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Swiss private collection, 1970s; Ex- American private collection, New York, prior to 2007.
BIBLIOGRAPHY On silver bowls with decoration in relief or incised, see: AHRENS D. in Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst 19, 1968, pp. 232233, ﬁg. 5-6 (Fayoum). OLIVER A., Silver for the Gods: 800 Years of Greek and Roman Silver, Toledo, 1977, pp. 69ff. PFROMMER M., Metalwork from the Hellenized East, Malibu, 1993, p. 34 (Nihavend) and p. 55 (Fayoum). PFROMMER M., Studien zu alexandrinischer und grossgriechischer Toreutik Frühhellenistischer Zeit (AF 16), Berlin, 1987, pp. 110ff., Pl. 56-58. PIRZIO BIROLI STEFANELLI L., L'argento dei Romani, Vasellame da tavola e d'apparato, Rome, 1991, pp. 6-7, pp.53ff., pp. 251-252, n. 1-3 (Civita Castellana). On cups with central medallion in relief, see: MERTENS J.R. (ed.), The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece and Rome, New York, 1987, p. 80. Hellenistic glass bowls: TAIT H., Five Thousand Years of Glass, London, 1991, pp. 47ff. On Megaran bowls and silverware, see: L. BYVANK-QUARLES VAN UFFORD, Les bols mégariens: la chronologie et les rapports avec l'argenterie hellénistique, in Bulletin Antieke Beschaving, 1953, pp. 1-20.
16 Aphrodite oinochoe Greek, Attic, ca. 470â€“450 B.C. Ceramic H: 23.5 cm (H: 9.25 in)
This stunning plastic vase was crafted in many parts that were eventually put together before firing (the neck with the tri-lobed mouth, the handle, the face, etc.), and different techniques, perfectly mastered by the Attic potters, were applied: the top part of the vessel was wheel-made, the body (the face and the neck) were cast in a mold, and the handle was worked with a small rod. The terracotta itself is a reddish-beige; some traces of light red pigment are visible on the row of curls that frame the forehead. The polychrome effect is completed by the black paint and the white ground of the face and neck of the woman. The shape of the oinochoe is particularly well-suited to the creation of a plastic vase in the form of a human head. The head and the neck correspond to the body and foot of the vessel, while the rounded form of the shoulder can be made to resemble, without difficulty, the curve of the top of the human head in the manner of a small hat. The neck is large and cylindrical. The face is triangular and its features are very sweet and extremely refined: the line of the jaw, the chin, the nose, the lips, and the eyes are plastically rendered. The eyebrows, the shape of the eyes, and the irises are painted in black. The skin of the face is smooth and firm and without any expressive wrinkles: this is a representation of a young woman with strongly idealized features. Perhaps, as the scholars propose, these oinochoe in the shape of female heads represent Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. Two large conical earrings ornamented with concentric circles are the only jewelry this young goddess wears.
At the top of the head, the shoulder of the oinochoe is decorated with a small tongued frieze and a garland of laurel leaves. The low, flared neck ends in a tri-lobed spout. The handle, which is angular and vaguely triangular in profile, is high and in the form of an arc: its shape imitates those of vase handles in metal. At the end of the Archaic period and during all of the Classical period, the Greek potters made a number of important plastic vases in the shape of womenâ€™s heads and, less frequently, of Negroes, satyrs, even of Herakles; the shapes of the vases used were basically the oinochoe and the kantharos, but we also know of some aryballoi (in these cases some of the vessels are Janiform, that is, they have two faces). Vases in the shape of human heads are a well-known category of vessels that E. Buschor and J.D. Beazley had already classified at the beginning of the 20th century. The British archaeologist divided them by their type and by their style into fifteen different groups, that trace their development for over a century and that are often used today as a reference. This oinochoe presents a certain number of peculiarities that render it practically unique and that make it difficult to fit it into one of the aforementioned groups: the white color of the background, the ears in high relief, and the presence of the earrings. Despite this, there is no doubt that this vase dates to the beginning of the Classical period, probably from the middle decades of the 5th century. This hypothesis is supported by the rather strict features of the face, which are not Archaic. However, their shape, along with the style of painting, is also not wholly typical of the end of the century.
The hair right above the forehead is rendered as three rows of small plastic curls, while on the rest of the head, no other indication of the hairstyle is visible. Different motifs are painted on the head in a manner reminiscent of red-figure technique: right above the left ear there is an Eros, above the right a Nike. The two figures are in mid-flight and hold out their arms, as if they are holding a crown or some small strips of cloth (that were probably painted on in purple or white). The back of the neck is ornamented with a symmetrical motif composed of volutes and palmettes.
CONDITION The vase is complete and reassembled from fragments; the area around the eyes, the nape of the neck, and the left cheek have undergone small restorations; the surface was carefully cleaned and the paint, which is in excellent condition, retains its original luster.
PROVENANCE Formerly, Pittard-Mottu collection, Switzerland, end of 19th–beginning of 20th Century.
BIBLIOGRAPHY On this category of vases, se the list and the classes established by: BEAZLEY, J.D., “Attic Red Figure Vase Painters”, vol. II, 1968, pp. 1529-1552. BEAZLEY, J.D., “Charinos: Attic Vases in the Form of Human Heads”, in Journal of Hellenic Studies 49, 1929, pp. 38-78. BUSCHOR, E., “Das Krokodil des Sotades”, in Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, 11, 1919. For other examples, see: CROISSANT, F., “Collection P. Canellopoulos: Vases plastiques”, in Bulletin de correspondence hellénique 97, 1973, p. 205-225. CVA British Museum 4, pl. 44-5. Thermoluminescence Analysis Report N111J81, Oxford Authentication Ltd, October 4, 2011.
17 Plate decorated with a scene of Royal Hunting Sassanian, 5thâ€“6th century A.D. Silver with gilding D: 19.6 cm â€“ H: 3.7 cm (D: 7.71 in - H: 1.45 in)
This plate, outstanding for its solidity and weight, was forged from a melted silver bar. According to a standardized technique for Sassanian art, the decoration was half engraved, half rendered in very low relief; the background on the inner surface of the plate was slightly hammered and lowered, so as to allow the realization and insertion of the scene. Circular and shallow, the plate has a rounded rim, which is in light relief on the inside. It is mounted on a disk-shaped, pedestallike foot, which was soldered to the body after the polishing of the surface. An inscription in dotted characters is visible on the foot. Similar short texts appear on many contemporary silver pieces; they usually indicated the weight of the vessel and, more rarely, the name of its owner. Not only were these silver pieces therefore luxury items, but they had already at that time acquired an important market and exchange value. Stylistically, the representation is typical of Sassanian art: a little schematic, with abundant incised and engraved details and sometimes slightly compact proportions (the horse especially). However, it is characterized by an extremely formal precision and by rich details that make this plate an object of the highest quality. The inner surface of the plate, which has no subdivisions, no ground line, no landscape and no vegetal elements, is decorated with a royal hunt, one of the most celebrated scenes of Sassanian iconography. Following the customary popular imagery, the scene is composed of several figures, with the king at the center, mounted on his horse and in the company of two bears. As in other similar cases, it is thought that the artist thus gave a condensed view of the action, representing both the beginning and the end of the hunt, since the live animal standing upright before the sovereign (and which seems to bite at the arrow stuck in its shoulder in order to extract it) is the same as the dead animal lying under the legs of the horse (with its body pierced by arrows). The king, identified by his large crown, rides his horse at full gallop towards the right. He has dropped the reins and prepares to shoot a second arrow at the bear in front of him. He is dressed in the traditional garment of Persian horsemen: a long-sleeved tunic, richly decorated with undulating fringes, maintained by a
chest belt with small beads and a central medallion, and longfringed leggings. His weapons are suspended from different belts: a dagger, a long sword and a small quiver (now empty). The kingâ€™s face is framed by a beautiful curly beard and thick hair falls behind his neck. He wears earrings, a large pendant necklace and bracelets. Above a ribbon with small circles, the crown has a serrated band and is topped by a crescent ornament containing a spherical element decorated with vertical incisions. The royal rank of the rider is also highlighted by the rich trappings of his horse, rendered in a complete and accurate manner by the toreutic artist (bridles, reins, disk-shaped phalerae, decorative tufts, etc.). The same precise workmanship characterizes the treatment of the position and of the body of each bear (attitude, study of the anatomy, head, details of the coat, etc.). This plate has a very close and famous parallel (probably older), housed in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg: in that example, the bear stands upright behind the king, who is thus forced to boldly turn to capture his prey with a rope. The subject of the royal hunt became dominant on this type of precious tableware. There are many examples of hunting prey: bears, ibexes, lions, panthers, wild boar, and so on; sometimes, even several species are depicted on the same plate. The Sassanians ruled Iran from 224 A.D. (end of the domination of the Parthian kings) until the Arab invasion of 651 A.D. This period was a golden age for Iran in terms of art, politics and religion. The Sassanian Empire included almost all the Near East as it is still referred to nowadays: Iran, Iraq, Armenia, southern Caucasus, southern Central Asia, western Afghanistan, part of Pakistan, eastern parts of Turkey, Syrian territories, part of the Arabian Peninsula. Historians consider this period as one of the most important in the history of Iran: in many ways, it represents the achievement of the highest level of civilization in ancient Persia, just before the Muslim conquest and the consequent adoption of the doctrine of Muhammad. The cultural influence of the Sassanians extended
far beyond the borders of their empire, reaching Western Europe, Africa, the Near East and the Far East, and played a role in the rise of both the emerging Islamic culture and civilization and of the Byzantine, Asian and European art of the early Middle Ages.
CONDITION Excellent condition; complete with minor repairs; some fragments reglued or resoldered; mercury gilding visible in places; traces of green oxidation inside and outside.
PROVENANCE Formerly, English private collection, acquired in 1968.
BIBLIOGRAPHY GUNTER A.C. and JETT P., Ancient Iranian Metalwork in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992, nos. 13-15. HARPER P.O., The Royal Hunter: Art of the Sasanian Empire, New York, 1978. LOUKONINE V. and IVANOV A., Lâ€™art persan, Saint Petersburg, 1995, pp. 90-91, no. 61 (Hermitage).
Selection of objects Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam Project manager Alexander Gherardi, New York Research Phoenix Ancient Art, Geneva Antiquities Research Center, New York
Graphic design mostra-design.com, Geneva Photography Stefan Hagen, New York André Longchamp, Geneva Atsuyuki Shimada, Japan Printing Musumeci S.p.A., (Valle d'Aosta) Italy
Print run 800 English
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