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Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Double |Balsamarium (Cosmetic Tube), 4th Century A.D.
This type was used to store eye makeup. One tube would have held kohl, a black paste made with powdered galena. The other tube would have held another color, perhaps made with an ochre clay (for red or brown) or powdered malachite (for green or blue).AG20799. cf. Yale Gallery 323, Oppenländer 680a, ROM Glass 458, Corning II 749, Choice, complete and intact, weathering and iridescence, double balsamarium, free-blown thick heavy pale translucent blue-green glass, 20.0 cm (8") tall, two tubes joined side-by-side and sharing a thick globular bottom, applied top "basket" handle attached to applied loop on each side; from the Robert H. Cornell collection, former dealer in Eastern antiquities for 40 years; $990.00 (€811.80)
Roman, Syro-Palestinian (|Samaria?), Snake-Thread Flask, Late 2nd - Early 4th Century A.D.
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.
A disadvantage of antiquity photographs is that they usually fail to adequately indicate size. This vessel, nearly 5" tall, is larger than most similar vessels of the period.AG63814. cf. Ontario Museum 309 (for similar ornamentation), Superb, complete and intact, a well made beautiful flask, some weathering, some iridescence, snake thread flask, 12.4 mm (4 7/8") high, funnel mouth with rolled rim, cylindrical neck, bulbous body, snake-thread ornamentation on the body, flat bottom; from a Florida dealer; $800.00 (€656.00)
Roman-Byzantine, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Dropper Flask, c. Late 1st - Early 5th Century A.D.
Thick enamel-like weathering, as seen on this piece, is common on glass found in the Levant and this piece is certainly from the Levante. This flask is, however, a bit of a mystery. There is nothing very similar in the large library of ancient and medieval glass references held by Forum. It resembles an aryballos, but lacks the handles which define that type. It probably was used like an aryballos, to store and dispense scented oil which was rubbed on the skin and then scraped off to clean the body. The date is uncertain. Weathering obscures the original color, making another mystery, but the only other a similar flasks we know are described as opaque black glass.AG20822. Isings -, et al. -; apparently unpublished but two similar pieces are known from the market (priced $2,500 - $3,000!), Choice, complete and intact, thick tan and brown enamel-like weathering, dropper flask, free-blown, amber(?) glass, 12.0 cm (4 3/4") tall, 8.5 cm maximum diameter, piriform body, very short narrow neck, broad flat folded in rim, round bottom with large pontil mark, not designed to stand on its own, attractive clear plexiglass three prong stand included; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; very rare form; $540.00 (€442.80)
Caesarea Maritima, Judaea / Syria Palaestina, 1st - 3rd Century A.D., Lead Half Italian Litra Weight
A nearly identical specimen, from the same mold, was found near Caesarea Maritima in 1949 and is listed in the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, Vol. II, Ameling, Cotton, Eck, et.al. on page 621. According to the authors, in Judaea, the term "litra" derived from the Roman word "libra" came to indicate local weight standards between the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. Therefore the word Iταλικη (Italica) was added whenever the Roman standard was intended. This weight is inscribed to indicate it is half an Italian litra. It is about 8 grams short of the standard but it probably originally had an handle attached that would have made it close to the appropriate weight. Around the end of the 3rd century CE, local standards were replaced entirely by the Roman system and the descriptive word Iταλικη was no longer necessary.AS96251. Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, Vol. II, p. 621 (nearly identical specimen from the same mold), VF, roughly oval shape, probably missing handle at the top, weight 153.5 g, maximum diameter 87x43 mm, obverse ITA/ΛIK/H H/MI Λ/ITPA (half an Italian litra) in six lines; reverse blank; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection; surface find 1974 Caesarea Maritima; very rare; $430.00 (€352.60)
Roman, Bronze Repousse Plaque with Centaur Holding a Bow, Lorica Sqaumata Armor Plate(?), c. 1st - 3rd Century B.C.
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; $360.00 (€295.20)
Ancient Near Eastern Cylinder Seals, From the Marcopoli Collection
Ex Libris Joel L. Malter.BK21981. Ancient Near Eastern Cylinder Seals, From the Marcopoli Collection by Beatrice Teissier, 407 pages, 643 seals, illustrated, hardcover, very good condition, international shipping at actual cost of shipping; $360.00 (€295.20)
Ancient Near Eastern Cylinder Seals, From the Marcopoli Collection
Ex Libris Alex G. MalloyBK21982. Ancient Near Eastern Cylinder Seals, From the Marcopoli Collection by Beatrice Teissier, 407 pages, 643 seals, illustrated, hardcover, dust cover wear, international shipping at actual cost of shipping; $350.00 (€287.00)
Roman - Byzantine, Italy, Bronze Acorn Steelyard Pendant Weight, c. 1st to 7th century A.D.
Steelyards with acorn shaped counterweights were in use from the 1st century A.D. to the late Roman and Byzantine times. This weight is close to a very light Byzantine pound (285g) (cf. Ballance et al. 1989, 134). See Waclawik, M. "A bronze steelyard with an acorn-shaped counterweight from the Paphos Agora" in Studies in Art and Civilization 20 (Krakow, 2016) (PDF Available) for a similar but larger (405.5g) acorn weight and steelyard. The article notes that another similar scale and acorn weight was found at Pompeii.LT96147. Bronze weight, Romano-Byzantine acorn steelyard pendant weight, 280.7g, 62mm tall, 33mm maximum diameter, part of loop missing otherwise complete and intact, light corrosion, light encrustation, $270.00 (€221.40)
Lot of 12 Roman Republic Lead Glans Sling-Bullets, 1st Century B.C.
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.LT96131. Lot of 12 large almond shape lead sling bullets, c. 50g, 33 - 44mm long, workshop made, cast in a two part mold, found in Spain, the actual sling bullets in the photo; $240.00 (€196.80)
India, Gandahara, Stucco Lion Head, c. 3rd - 4th Century A.D.
AS61807. Gandaharan stucco lion head, 6.2 x 4.2 cm; from Edgar L. Owen; $220.00 (€180.40)
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