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Metal Antiquities
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; $750.00 SALE PRICE $675.00
 


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.
JD98656. Lead bulla (tag seal), VF/Fair, light earthen deposits, raised bumps from exposure to an ancient fire that heated and expanded air bubbles within the lead, c. 5th - 6th Century A.D.; obverse seven branched menorah with tripod base; reverse lulav, uncertain Syriac inscription (obscure); very rare; $380.00 SALE PRICE $342.00
 


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

|Roman| |Antiquities|, |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; $320.00 SALE PRICE $288.00
 


Roman, Large Iron Borer or File, 1st - 3rd Century A.D.

|Roman| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Large| |Iron| |Borer| |or| |File,| |1st| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|
Another piece from the same group as this borer was dated by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to 120 A.D. with a probable range of 80 A.D. - 160 A.D. Testing was done using an innovative technique which measures the carbon isotope ratio of the trace carbon in the iron. This carbon comes from the wood used in the production of the iron which must be of essentially the same age as the tool itself. Results were published in the journal, Radiocarbon, Summer 2001.
AE61804. Roman borer, cf. Petrie, 'Tools and Weapons', pl. LXV, 40; 7 inches, indent at one end for attaching handle, $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00
 


Egyptian, Bronze Mirror with Wooden Handle, 18th Dynasty - Ptolemaic Period, c. 1550 - 30 B.C.

|Egyptian| |Antiquities|, |Egyptian,| |Bronze| |Mirror| |with| |Wooden| |Handle,| |18th| |Dynasty| |-| |Ptolemaic| |Period,| |c.| |1550| |-| |30| |B.C.|
AEA30996. Egyptian mirror; cf. Petrie, Objects of Daily Use, pl. xxvii, 40 (18th dynasty), length 27 cm (10 1/2"), width 14.8 cm (5 3/4"), original red, brown, and green polychrome pigment on gesso, ribbed handle is not firmly attached but slides on a bronze tenon; verdigris and minor bend in mirror, pigment and gesso chipped on handle; rare with handle; SOLD


Roman (Nemausus?), Bronze Phallic Amulet, 2nd Century A.D.

|Malloy| |Roman|, |Roman| |(Nemausus?),| |Bronze| |Phallic| |Amulet,| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.|
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.

"The Worship of the Generative Powers" by Thomas Wright (1866) discusses phallic worship, which appears to have flourished across the Empire, especially at Nemausus, modern Nimes in the south of France. At Nemausus the symbols of this worship appeared in bizarre fanciful sculptures on the walls of its amphitheater and on other buildings. An engraving from Wright's book, shown here, depicts a Roman bas relief found on a monument at Nimes, on which a penis forms the tail of a crested bird that sits upon a nest of egg-like vulvas. This amulet is likely related to worship at Nemausus.
Alexander's Empire
AS36085. Bronze erotic phallic amulet; 4 cm long; male figure (a squirrel?), arms together out front, standing on large erect phallus (the squirrel's tail?), Superb, very strange!; of greatest rarity; SOLD


5" Egyptian Bronze Figure of Osiris, 26th - 30th Dynasty, 664 - 342 B.C.

|Egyptian| |Antiquities|, |5"| |Egyptian| |Bronze| |Figure| |of| |Osiris,| |26th| |-| |30th| |Dynasty,| |664| |-| |342| |B.C.|
 
AB31065. Egyptian bronze figure of the god Osiris in mummified form wearing Atef-crown with Uraeus, height 13.0 cm (5"), Choice, braided beard curved at the tip, holding the royal regalia crock and flail; two-sided, loop on back; excellent detail, original patina; SOLD


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

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







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Catalog current as of Friday, January 28, 2022.
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