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Antiquities
Roman Bronze, Figure of Perseus Holding Head of Medusa, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.

|Metal| |Antiquities|, |Roman| |Bronze,| |Figure| |of| |Perseus| |Holding| |Head| |of| |Medusa,| |c.| |1st| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|
King Polydektes commanded Perseus to fetch the head of Medusa. With the help of the gods, Perseus obtained the helmet of Hades, which made him invisible, a reflective shield, and a magical harpa sword. Stealing the single eye of the Graeae, he compelled them to reveal the location of the Gorgones. Perseus approached Medusa as she slept and beheaded her with eyes averted to avoid her petrifying visage. Invisibility protected him from her vengeful sisters. On his journey back to Greece, Perseus came across the Ethiopian princess Andromeda chained to a rock as a sacrifice to a sea-monster. He slew the beast and brought her with him back to Greece as his bride. He returned to King Polydektes and turned him to stone, before traveling on to his grandfather's kingdom to claim the throne.

Bronzes of Herakles are abundant in the many museum collections reviewed by Forum, but Perseus is missing from most. We did not find any figures similar to this one in the many references checked.
AB23901. Roman Bronze, Figure of Perseus Holding Head of Medusa; BnF Bronzes -, Morgan Bronzes -, ROM Metalware -, BMC Bronzes -, Louvre Bronzes -, Choice, green patina, intact except for missing blade and mounting peg on left foot, reverse bronze standing figure of Perseus, 13cm (5") tall, nude but for the Phrygian helmet of Hades on his head, holding Medusa's head by the hair in his right hand, his harpa (blade missing) in his left hand, stand provided; ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); rare; $2800.00 (2828.00)


Roman, Bronze Krater Handle Ornamented with Lions, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.

|Metal| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Bronze| |Krater| |Handle| |Ornamented| |with| |Lions,| |c.| |1st| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|
Click here to see the line drawing of Catalogue des bronzes antiques de la Bibliothque National no. 1446, a nearly identical handle in the Bibliothque nationale de France published in 1895.
AM23903. Roman bronze krater handle; cf. BnF Bronzes 1446, Superb, about as made with the addition of an an attractive green patina, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.; 12 cm (4 7/8") tall, on the upper part, which would have been attached atop the rim of the vessel: a lion's head faces inward, its back arching above, between two lions lying in opposite directions, on the lower part: acanthus and scrolls between two snakes with heads upward, ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $2500.00 (2525.00)


Canaanite Offering Vessel, Clay Kernos with Four Pedestalled Bowls, c. 1700 - 900 B.C.

|Holy| |Land| |Antiquities|, |Canaanite| |Offering| |Vessel,| |Clay| |Kernos| |with| |Four| |Pedestalled| |Bowls,| |c.| |1700| |-| |900| |B.C.|
In the typology of ancient Greek pottery, the kernos (plural kernoi) is a cult offering vessel, with a pottery ring or stone tray to which are attached several small vessels for holding offerings. The Greek term is also applied to similar compound vessels from other cultures in the Mediterranean, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and South Asia. Amiran photo 350, is a kernos from Megiddo, dated Iron I, 1200 B.C. 1000 B.C. It has a similar ring base. but with eight ornate vessels of various shapes attached. Amiran assumed it was used in the First Fruits offering and notes the form originated in the Mycenaean-Minoan world. Pande fig. 12 is simpler kernos with three small bowls on a ring (without the pedestals) from Mycenae, Middle Minoan III levels, 1700 - 1600 B.C. We do not know of another example with pedestalled bowls.
AL23895. Canaanite kernos, cf. Pande fig. 12, see Amiran photo 350, Choice, reconstructed, c. 1700 - 900 B.C.; 12.5cm tall, buff clay kernos, four shallow bows, each on an individual column pedestal, joined at the sides, holes in the walls connecting them, the pedestals on a ring base, ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); very rare; $2200.00 (2222.00)


Middle Elamite, Susa, Terracotta Fertility Goddess, c. 1500 - 1000 B.C.

|Western| |Asiatic| |Antiquities|, |Middle| |Elamite,| |Susa,| |Terracotta| |Fertility| |Goddess,| |c.| |1500| |-| |1000| |B.C.|
Susa was settled about 4000 B.C. and has yielded striking pottery finds from that prehistoric period. A rich production followed of objects for daily use, ritual, and luxury living, finely carved in various materials or fashioned of clay. Monumental sculpture was made in stone or bronze, and dramatic friezes were composed of brilliantly glazed bricks. Among the discoveries are tiny, intricately carved cylinder seals and splendid jewelry. Clay balls marked with symbols offer fascinating testimony to the very beginnings of writing; clay tablets from later periods bearing inscriptions in cuneiform record political history, literature, business transactions, and mathematical calculations.
AT23899. Elamite Terracotta Fertility Goddess; Harper Susa fig. 133, Superb, complete and intact, c. 1500 - 1000 B.C.; mold made, beige clay, 15.3 cm (6") tall, standing facing holding bare breasts in cupped hands, nude but for herringbone shoulder straps crossing between the breasts, earrings, torque necklaces, and bead belly chains, navel and the pubic triangle indicated, ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $1750.00 (1767.50)


Byzantine Empire, Levante or Alexandria, c. 5th - 6th Century A.D., Jewish Menorah Lead Token

|Holy| |Land| |Antiquities|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Levante| |or| |Alexandria,| |c.| |5th| |-| |6th| |Century| |A.D.,| |Jewish| |Menorah| |Lead| |Token||token|
The purpose of Byzantine era lead tokens is unknown. Many appear closely related to seals differing only by the absence of a cord or channel for attachment to a container or document. Many late Roman and early Byzantine seals have a figural type on one side and a legend in two lines in Latin or Greek on the other side. Seals with a menorah are known, usually with a blank globular reverse, but some also have a name on the other side.
JD98657. Lead token, personal token of Rodanos(?); Roma e-sale 53 (7 Feb 2019), lot 504 (same dies), VF, highlighting earthen deposit desert patina, weight 3.077 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 180o, c. 5th - 6th century A.D.; obverse Menorah of seven branches, flanked by lulav on left and etrog on right; reverse PO∆A/NOY in two lines across field, palm frond above; ex CNG e-auction 435 (2 Jan 2019), lot 401; extremely rare; $1600.00 (1616.00)


Roman Egypt, Silenus Head Terracotta Lamp, c. 2nd Century A.D.

|Oil| |Lamps|, |Roman| |Egypt,| |Silenus| |Head| |Terracotta| |Lamp,| |c.| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.|
The Getty Museum lamp is slightly larger and a little finer style, but this lamp is very very similar and certainly worthy of any collection. See it here.
AL23908. Silenus Head Terracotta Lamp; cf. Getty Museum p. 440, 600; Kestner Lamps p. 417, 405, Fantastic type in nice collectible condition, handle and tip of nozzle missing, a few small bumps and chips, soot marks, length 8.5 cm (3 1/8") long, c. 2nd Century A.D.; mold made, red clay, in the shape of the head of Silenus, with mustache, knit eyebrows, smiling, crown of leaves and fruit alluding to Bacchus, large filling whole at top of head, nozzle at chin, ribbon handle (missing), raised oval ring base; ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $1000.00 (1010.00)


Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Bottle, c. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Eastern| |Mediterranean,| |Glass| |Bottle,| |c.| |1st| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|
Our specimen is weathered making it in part iridescent and making the original color difficult to determine. Iridescence is a beautiful effect of ancient glass weathering, which distorts the original color and transparency of the glass with rainbow-like colors. The referenced Hermitage Collection bottle is described as clear pink-violet glass. It does appear this piece might have been the same color.
AG23897. cf. Hermitage Collection 355, Ontario Museum 222, Corning I 197,, Choice, very tiny chip on rim, areas of encrustation, weathering, iridescent areas, probably 1st century A.D.; glass unguentarium, 8.8 cm (3 1/2") tall, free-blown, violet(?) glass, squat piriform body, long cylindrical neck widening to body, rim everted and then folded in, flat bottom with no pontil mark; ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $700.00 (707.00)


Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Double Balsamarium (Cosmetic Tube), 4th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |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).
AG23900. cf. ROM Glass 458, Corning II 744, Princeton 426, Lightfoot NMS 262, Yale Gallery 321; 11.5 cm (4 1/8") tall, Choice, complete and intact, weathering with areas of iridescence, 4th Century A.D.; 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 bottom (made by folding a single tube), deep cleft between the tubes on one side, the other side filled, rim flattened, small handles applied from rim to side, single thin spiral thread decoration applied after folding; ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $700.00 (707.00)


Canaanite, Line-Painted Ware, Twin Pots, Early Bronze Age IB - II, c. 3100 - 2700 B.C.

|Holy| |Land| |Antiquities|, |Canaanite,| |Line-Painted| |Ware,| |Twin| |Pots,| |Early| |Bronze| |Age| |IB| |-| |II,| |c.| |3100| |-| |2700| |B.C.|
The referenced similar double pot was found at Tell es-Sultan. That pot, is ornamented with simple wide vertical stripes. Many criss-cross decorated vessels were also found at Tell es-Sultan. In the Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land, Negev notes criss-cross bands are also found at Tell el-Farah, Beth-Shean, and Beth-Yerah, dating to Early Bronze Age I and Early Bronze Age II.
AT23905. cf. Sala Tell Es-Sultan p. 262, Fig. 6.2 & p. 307, 7 (a bit cruder in form, thick vertical lines); see page 315 for vessels with criss-cross lines, Superb, complete and intact, 10 cm (3 7/8") long, 7.5 cm (3") tall, light brown connected twin pots of uneven size, v-shaped loop handle holed at the top, pots painted reddish brown criss-cross line decoration, ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); rare; $600.00 (606.00)


Roman Syria-Palestina, Jewish, Lead Bulla Seal, 7 Branched Menorah, c. 5th - 6th Century A.D.

|Seals|, |Roman| |Syria-Palestina,| |Jewish,| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |7| |Branched| |Menorah,| |c.| |5th| |-| |6th| |Century| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
A bulla (plural, bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place, a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, revealing the tampering. Bullae depicting a menorah are known but very rare and not well documented. Dattari-Savio p. 327, 3 is a 1901 rubbing of a very similar menorah sealing. Michael Still lists two menorah sealings in his thesis on Roman seals, 1696 with a Latin inscription reverse, 1765 with a Hebrew inscription reverse. The recently published catalogue of the Vossen collection by Gert Boersema and Bill Dalzell, has two Menorah seals, numbers 181 and 182, both with blank reverses. There are also a few examples known from auctions. A FORVM member posted a bulla of this exact type from his collection on the Classical Numismatic Discussion on the Forum Ancient Coins website. We received three examples of this type on consignment, all with the same fire damage, suggesting they were found together.
JD98655. Lead bulla (tag seal), VF, chip on reverse, light earthen deposits, raised bumps from exposure to an ancient fire that heated and expanded air bubbles within the lead, weight 4.679 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, c. 5th - 6th century A.D.; obverse seven branched menorah with tripod base; reverse lulav, uncertain Syriac inscription; very rare; $600.00 (606.00)




  







Catalog current as of Thursday, February 9, 2023.
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