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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman AntiquitiesView Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Antiquities

Roman Republic, Lead Glandes Sling-Bullet, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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According to the contemporary report of Vegatius, Republican slingers had an accurate range of up to six hundred feet. The best sling ammunition was cast from lead. For a given mass, lead, being very dense, offered the minimum size and therefore minimum air resistance. Also, lead sling-bullets were small and difficult to see in flight. In some cases, the lead would be cast in a simple open mold made by pushing a finger, thumb, or sharpened stick into sand and pouring molten metal into the hole. The flat top end could later be carved to a matching shape. More frequently, they were cast in two-part molds. Sling-bullets were made in a variety of shapes including an ellipsoidal form closely resembling an acorn; possibly the origin of the Latin word for lead sling-bullet: glandes plumbeae (literally leaden acorns) or simply glandes (meaning acorns, singular glans). The most common shape by far was biconical, resembling the shape of an almond or an American football. Why the almond shape was favored is unknown. Possibly there was some aerodynamic advantage, but it seems equally likely that there was a more prosaic reason, such as the shape being easy to extract from a mold, or that it will rest in a sling cradle with little danger of rolling out. Almond-shaped lead sling-bullets were typically about 35 millimeters (1.4 in) long and about 20 millimeters (0.8 in) wide. Sometimes symbols or writings were molded on the side. A thunderbolt, a snake, a scorpion, or others symbols indicating how it might strike without warning were popular. Writing might include the name of the military unit or commander, or was sometimes more imaginative, such as, "Take this," "Ouch," "Catch," or even "For Pompey's backside."
AW66458. Lead glandes sling-bullet; cf. Petrie XLIV 15-23; roughly biconical, c. 40 - 90 grams, c. 3 - 5 cm long, one sling-bullet randomly selected from the same group as those in the photo, ONE BULLET, BARGAIN PRICED!; $24.00 (21.36)


Roman, Syro-Palestinian (Samaria?), Snake-Thread Flask, Late 2nd - Early 4th Century A.D.

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Snake-thread ornamentation originated in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire in the second half of the second century and its popularity peaked in the first half of the third century. Snake-thread decoration was revived in the second half of the fourth century in the east and in the west near Cologne in modern Germany. Serpentine form trails may vary in thickness, may be the same color as the vessel (usually colorless) or brightly colored (common in the West). Ontario Museum 309, with similar subtle snake-thread ornamentation, is attributed to Samaria, 3rd to early 4th century A.D.
AG63814. Snake thread flask, cf. Ontario Museum 309 (for similar ornamentation), 12.4 mm (4 7/8"), Complete and intact, funnel mouth with rolled rim, cylindrical neck, bulbous body, snake-thread ornamentation on the body, flat bottom; from a Florida dealer; $1200.00 (1068.00)


Roman Bronze Vessel Handle, Ornamented With Bacchus and a Panther, c. 1st Century A.D.

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The Panther was the companion of Bacchus. The grapevine and its wild barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, were both sacred to him. This handle was once attached to vessel used for serving or drinking wine.
AI30971. height 8.0 cm (3"), excellent condition with a nice green patina, bronze vessel handle ornamented with a facing young head of Bacchus wearing an ivy wreath in his long flowing hair, panther skin tied at neck, the curving handle ends with a panther head; $675.00 (600.75)


Roman, Bronze Repousse Plaque with Centaur Holding a Bow, Lorica Sqaumata Armor Plate(?), c. 1st - 3rd Century B.C.

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Likely used in some legionary application; perhaps as a lorica squamata legionary armor plate segment.
AA59779. Roman, bronze repousse, 1.75 x 1.75 inches, c. 1st - 3rd century A.D.; sheet bronze hammered from behind in repousse technique to raise the figure of a centaur holding a bow, remains of two rivet holes where it was attached, tear on body, rare and interesting; from a New Jersey collection; $650.00 (578.50)


Roman, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Sprinkler Jug, c. 3rd A.D.

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This form is missing from the major references but we know of other examples from the market.
AG63811. Sprinkler jug, 10.5 mm (4 1/8"), complete, tiny chip in handle (visible in photo), possibly a small rim repair or just flaked weathering, thick yellowish brown enamel-like weathering, free-blow, yellow-green glass, pyriform body, tubular neck, slight funnel mouth, washer-like constriction at the base of neck, handle attached below rim and below neck, kicked bottom with pontil mark; from a Florida dealer; $580.00 (516.20)


Roman, Bronze Patera Handle, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.

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A patera was a plate used by Roman priests to make sacrificial offerings to the Gods. Paterae were thin and most often have been lost to corrosion leaving only the handle remaining.
AL59776. Roman, bronze patera handle, c. 1st - 3rd century A.D., 5.6", heavy fluted handle terminating in a collar from which a ram's head with curled horns emerges; from a New Jersey collection; rare; $560.00 (498.40)


Roman, Syro-Palestinian, Fusiform Unguentarium with Iridescence, c. 3rd - 5th Century A.D.

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Hayes' Ontario Museum catalog references many similar specimens, noting some are from Beirut. Our example is finer than most examples of similar form, many of which appear to be carelessly made. Hayes' dates the type 5th century or later. Perhaps the finer form indicates ours is earlier.
AG63806. Fusiform unguentarium, cf. Ontario Museum 461, complete, intact, much iridescence; 16.5 cm, spindle-shaped long tubular body, upper half is a neck narrowing slightly to folded and flattened rim, small shoulder at center, lower half is a narrow tubular body narrowing to a rounded point; from a Florida dealer; $530.00 (471.70)


Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Bottle, c. 3rd Century A.D.

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AG63812. Glass bottle, cf. Ontario Museum 150; 8.3 cm (3 1/4") tall, complete, crack down from rim, toes chipped (will not stand), free-blown, pale green glass, fire rounded rim with projecting roll below, long neck narrowing slightly to bulbous body, base ring of pinched toes, stand not included; from a Florida dealer; $360.00 (320.40)


Roman Greece, Barbotine Ware Amphora, 2nd Century A.D.

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From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.

Barbotine is French for a ceramic slip, a mixture of clay and water used for decorating pottery. In English the term is used for two different techniques but here we are only concerned with the technique used in the ancient world. Barbotine is piped onto the object much like cakes are decorated with icing, using a quill, horn, or another kind of nozzle. The slip is often a color contrasting with rest of the vessel and forms a design, a pattern, or inscription, that is raised above the main surface. The Egyptians used barbotine decorative designs. Specimens have also been found at Minoan Knossos on the island of Crete.

This example was found near Corinth. The style is certainly related to the Egyptian Barbotine ware but it may have been made in mainland Greece.

AE36060. Barbotine ware amphora, Athenian Agora -, ROM -; 5 inches high, Collectible condition, buff clay, ovoid body, wide tubular neck, strap handles, horizontal bands on neck, Barbatine rows of leaf shaped decorations on body; reconstructed, one section of rim, a small shoulder and part of one handle restored; rare; $300.00 (267.00)


Lot of 25 Roman Republic, Lead Glandes Sling-Bullets, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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LT85399. Lot of 25 Roman Republic, lead glandes sling-bullets, 2nd - 1st century B.C., no tags or flips, actual coins in the photographs, as-is, no returns, only $10 each; $250.00 (222.50)




  



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Catalog current as of Monday, September 25, 2017.
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Roman Antiquities