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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Antiquities by Type| ▸ |Figures & Statues||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Figures and Statues
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)


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)


Northern Syria, Terracotta Flask with Fertility Goddess, Late 3rd - Early 2nd Millennium B.C.

|Terracotta| |Antiquities|, |Northern| |Syria,| |Terracotta| |Flask| |with| |Fertility| |Goddess,| |Late| |3rd| |-| |Early| |2nd| |Millennium| |B.C.|
In Excavations at Tell Qasile, Mazar reports finds of two anthropomorphic vessels depicting a fertility goddess. He discusses other fertility goddess vessels found from Egypt to Greece. Some are pierced through the breasts. He suggest they were filled through the top and an offering was made by pouring through the side holes, perhaps milk. The fertility goddess on this vessel does not resemble those on the vessels discussed and referenced and is not pierced through the breasts. It is pierced through a hole that might represent the naval or vagina.

This fertility goddess form with a "bird's beak" nose and annulet eyes and breasts is a type found in considerable numbers in many Northern Syria sites, dated from the 3rd to the Early 2nd millennium B.C. We do not know of another similar vessel.
AT23896. See Tell Qasile pp. 78 - 82 for discussion of "anthropomorphic" vessels, cf. Ladders to Heaven pp. 224 - 225, 184 - 195 for similar goddess figures, Choice, complete and intact but for small chips to base, tiny chips to rim; 3.9 cm tall, 3.5 cm to rim of vessel, early 2nd millennium B.C.; pink-beige terracotta, globular flask, flat bottomed trumpet base, short neck, everted mouth, rounded rim, goddess figure attached at side and shoulder with her head extending above the rim, she has a "bird's beak" nose, annulet eyes and breasts, collar or necklace, and arms at sides, goddess and vessel pierced through at her naval or groin; ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $850.00 (858.50)


Roman, Small Bronze Bull, cf. 1st - 3rd Century A.D.

|Metal| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Small| |Bronze| |Bull,| |cf.| |1st| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|
 
AB23906. Small Roman bronze bull, cf. BnF Bronzes 1159 (similar form but larger and more detailed), near Choice, nice green patina, missing three hooves, attractively mounted, bull standing, its tail form forming a loop, 36 mm (1 7/16") long, 33 mm (1 5/16") tall, ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton, FL); $450.00 (454.50)


Egyptian, 26th - 30th Dynasty, Wood Boat with Four Oarsmen and Fish Basket, 664 - 342 B.C.

|Egyptian| |Antiquities|, |Egyptian,| |26th| |-| |30th| |Dynasty,| |Wood| |Boat| |with| |Four| |Oarsmen| |and| |Fish| |Basket,| |664| |-| |342| |B.C.|
It was considered important to have at least one boat model in the tomb, often several, and the wealthiest were supplied with fleets. A fishing boat such as this would offer the owner a source of food and the ability to travel in the afterlife, most importantly the dead man would be able to make his pilgrimage to Abydos.
AEA31086. Egyptian funerary boat, 34.5 cm (13.5") long, 17 cm (6/3/4") high, suitable for the finest collection, near Choice, missing bow tip, stern attachment and possibly a sail, one figure missing arms, figures are not attached and arms loosely attached with wood glue (originally pegged and moveable); SOLD


Greek, Magna Grecia, Limestone Relief Frieze of Triton, 4th - 3rd Century B.C.

|Greek| |Antiquities|, |Greek,| |Magna| |Grecia,| |Limestone| |Relief| |Frieze| |of| |Triton,| |4th| |-| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.|
A large, impressive piece! Worthy of the finest collection.

From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AZ35502. Frieze of Triton; cf. Pierre Berge & Associates, June 2009, 161 (later date, marble sarcophagus with similar Tritons and Nereids, est. $300,000), Choice, 10 X 13 inches; Triton swimming right with male torso, lower portion of a very long fish body and an upturned tail, riding on him is a Nereid in a chiton with her right arm raised holding a long sail above; some wear but very attractive; SOLD


Egyptian Wood Sokar Hawk, Ptolemaic Period, c. 332 - 30 B.C.

|Egyptian| |Antiquities|, |Egyptian| |Wood| |Sokar| |Hawk,| |Ptolemaic| |Period,| |c.| |332| |-| |30| |B.C.|
Sokar was the Memphite god of the dead and patron of the workers who built the necropolis and tomb and ritual objects, and substances used in mummification. During the Late Period, the combined deity Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, was often represented as a wooden mummiform figure with the regalia of kingship, standing on a miniature sarcophagus, facing a small Sokar hawk at his feet. See Ptah-Sokar-Osiris in NumisWiki for a photograph of a complete piece.
AEA30964. Wood sokar hawk; 16 cm (6 1/4") long, 5.7 cm (1 3/4") tall, original gilding and red, black, and blue gesso pigment with some touch-up restoration; hole in the top of the head originally held a crown, now missing; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Babelon, E. & J. Blanchet. Catalogue des bronzes antiques de la Bibliotheque National. (Paris, 1895).
Badawy, A. Coptic Art and Archaeology:The Art of the Christian Egyptians from the Late Antique to the Middle Ages. (Cambridge, MA 1978).
Badre, L. Les Figurines Anthropomorphes en Terre Cuite a L'age du Bronze en Syria. (Paris, 1980).
Bailey, D. Catalogue of the Greek Terracottas in the British Museum, Vol. IV: Ptolemaic and Roman Terracottas from Egypt. (London, 2008).
Besques, S. Catalogue Raisonn des Figurines et Reliefs en Terre-Cuite Grecs trusques et Romains. (Paris, 1954-1992).
Besques, S. Figurines et reliefs grecs en terre cuite. (Paris, 1994).
Besques, S. Tanagra Collection des Maitres. (Paris, 1950).
Burn, L. & R. Higgins. Catalogue of Greek Terracottas in the British Museum Vol. III: Hellenistic. (London, 2001).
Casal, J.-M. "Mundigak: l'Afghanistan l'aurore des civilisations" in Archeologia, No. 13, Nov. 1966, pp. 30 - 37.
Chesterman, J. Classical Terracotta Figures. (London, 1974).
Comstock, M. & C. Vermeule. Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1971).
Grandjouan, C. The Athenian Agora, Vol. VI: Terracottas and Plastic Lamps of the Roman Period. (Princeton, 1961).
Harper, P. The Royal City of Susa: Ancient Near Eastern Treasures in the Louvre. (New York, 1993).
Hayes, J. Greek, Roman, and Related Metalware in the Royal Ontario Museum. (Toronto, 1984).
Higgins, R. Catalogue of the Greek Terracottas in the British Museum, Vol. I: 730 - 330 B.C. (London, 1954).
Higgins, R. Catalogue of the Greek Terracottas in the British Museum, Vol. II. (London, 1959).
Jones, F. "Heads and figures: a bequest" in Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 32, no. 1 (1973), pp. 4 - 9.
Karageorghis, V., G. Merker, & J. Mertens. The Cesnola Collection of Cypriot Art: Terracottas. (New Haven, 2018).
Kaufmann, C. gyptische Terrakotten der griechisch-rmischen und koptischen Epoche, vorzugsweise aus der Oase El Faijum (Frankfurter Sammlung). (Cairo, 1913).
Keel, O. Gott weiblich: Eine verborgene Seite des biblischen Gottes. (Freiburg, 2008).
Koldewey, R. Das Wieder Erstehende Babylon. (Leipzig, 1913).
Lafli, E. (ed.). Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Bronzes from Anatolia and Neighbouring Regions. Bar 3038. (Oxford, 2021).
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Muscarell, O., ed. Ladders to Heaven: Art Treasures from Lands of the Bible. (Toronto, 1981).
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Catalog current as of Saturday, January 28, 2023.
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