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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Roman Antiquities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman 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; $670.00 SALE PRICE $603.00


Roman-Byzantine, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Dropper Flask, c. Late 1st - Early 5th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |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 SALE PRICE $486.00


Lot of 100 Bronze Ancient Trilobate Arrowheads, Hellenistic - Byzantine, c. 300 B.C. - 1000 A.D.

|Metal| |Arrowheads|, |Lot| |of| |100| |Bronze| |Ancient| |Trilobate| |Arrowheads,| |Hellenistic| |-| |Byzantine,| |c.| |300| |B.C.| |-| |1000| |A.D.|
 
LT96894. Lot of 100 bronze trilobate arrowheads, mostly or all Hellenistic - Byzantine, c. 300 B.C. - 1000 A.D., c. 12 - 28 mm, some complete and intact, some with chips or bends, unattributed to type, no tags, from the same larger lot as the arrowheads in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00


Lot of 100 Bronze Ancient Trilobate Arrowheads, Hellenistic - Byzantine, c. 300 B.C. - 1000 A.D.

|Metal| |Arrowheads|, |Lot| |of| |100| |Bronze| |Ancient| |Trilobate| |Arrowheads,| |Hellenistic| |-| |Byzantine,| |c.| |300| |B.C.| |-| |1000| |A.D.|
LT96895. Lot of 100 bronze trilobate arrowheads, mostly or all Hellenistic - Byzantine, c. 300 B.C. - 1000 A.D., c. 12 - 28 mm, some complete and intact, some with chips or bends, unattributed to type, no tags, from the same larger lot as the arrowheads in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00


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; $340.00 SALE PRICE $306.00


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; $285.00 SALE PRICE $257.00


Lot of 3 Roman to Islamic Glass Weights or Jetons, 1st - 14th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Lot| |of| |3| |Roman| |to| |Islamic| |Glass| |Weights| |or| |Jetons,| |1st| |-| |14th| |Century| |A.D.||Lot|
From left to right:
1) Roman glass weight, c. 1st - 6th century A.D., 2.29g, blue glass, draped bust right / bearded head right.
2) Islamic glass weight or jeton, Egypt, c. 7th-14th century A.D., pale slightly yellow glass, 2.73g, Arabic inscription in three lines / plain
3) Roman glass weight, c. 1st - 6th century A.D., 1.34g, uncertain bust or head on both sides.
AS91061. Glass Lot, Lot of two Roman glass weights and one Islamic glass weight or jeton, ex Eric J. Engstrom Collection, the actual pieces in the photograph; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Roman, Conical Lead Bulla Seal, c. Late 3rd Century A.D., ANAK...

|Seals|, |Roman,| |Conical| |Lead| |Bulla| |Seal,| |c.| |Late| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.,| |ANAK...||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
 
AR83616. Lead bulla (tag seal), cf. Boersema-Dalzell 157 (very similar size and style with inscription ΠA−NΦV), gVF, weight 3.13 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 0o, obverse bare-headed, draped male bust right, ANAK... upward behind; reverse conical with rounded top, pierced for cord; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Eastern Roman Empire, Leo I (and Leo II?), 18 Nov 473 - Nov 474 A.D.

|Leo| |I|, |Eastern| |Roman| |Empire,| |Leo| |I| |(and| |Leo| |II?),| |18| |Nov| |473| |-| |Nov| |474| |A.D.||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
Leo II was Roman emperor for about one year, from 18 Nov 473 to Nov 474 A.D., when he was a child aged six or seven. He was the son of Zeno, the Isaurian general and future emperor, and Ariadne, a daughter of the emperor Leo I, who ruled the eastern Roman empire. Leo II was made co-emperor with his grandfather Leo I on 18 November 473, and became sole emperor on 18 January 474 after Leo I died of dysentery. His father Zeno was made co-emperor by the Byzantine Senate on 9 February and they co-ruled for a short time before Leo II died in November 474.
BZ85466. Lead bulla (tag seal), aVF, weight 2.229 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 45o, obverse two facing busts, cross above center; reverse monogram of Leo I (as seen on reverse of his bronze nummi, RIC X 681 - 693); $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Roman, Lead Conical Bulla Seal, c. 3rd - 4th Century A.D., Attis in Phrygian Cap

|Seals|, |Roman,| |Lead| |Conical| |Bulla| |Seal,| |c.| |3rd| |-| |4th| |Century| |A.D.,| |Attis| |in| |Phrygian| |Cap||bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
During the late Roman and Byzantine periods, lead bullae (singular, Bulla) were widely used to seal and identify the sender of correspondence and containers in shipment. An iron, pliers-shaped instrument, a boulloterion, was used to impress the designs on a lead bulla seal. After the cord was wrapped around the package or document and the ends inserted in a channel in the blank seal, the seal was placed between the disk shaped engraved dies on the jaws of a boulloterion. The boulloterion had a projection above the jaws, which was struck with a hammer to impress the design on the seal and close the channel around the two ends of the cord. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.
AR83608. Lead bulla (tag seal), Boersema-Dalzell 189, Leukel (1995) N67, gVF, weight 4.45 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, c. 3rd - 4th century A.D.; obverse draped bust of Attis(?) right, wearing Phrygian cap, pedum behind shoulder; reverse flattened conical back, pierced for cord; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00




  



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