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An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Nahkt-Amun, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1293 - 1185 BCE
EU2127Regular price $12,000 USD
Blue glazed faience shabti with features highlighted in black, with a long tripartite wig, large painted eyes, and wearing the dress of daily life, comprising a long kilt, a sheer blouse with elaborately pleated sleeves, and a triangular apron. The hands lie flat on the front, framing a vertical column of text naming the owner as Nahkt-Amun.
In the New Kingdom (1570-1070 BCE), during the reign of Tuthmosis IV (1419-1386 BCE) of the 18th Dynasty, the role of shabtis changed. They were then regarded as deputies for the deceased. Agricultural implements were now included as part of their iconography, either painted directly onto the figure or incorporated in the modeling. By the early 19th Dynasty a new type of figure was introduced alongside the other shabtis. These show the deceased wearing the dress of daily life with the characteristic short-sleeved tunic, kilt, and triangular apron. The number of shabtis placed in burials gradually increased during the New Kingdom and reached perhaps as many as 10 by the early 19th Dynasty with the number increasing still further thereafter. Wooden shabti boxes or pottery shabti jars were introduced as a means of storing the figures in the tomb and were often beautifully painted.
Dimensions: Height: 5.5 inches. (14 cm)
Condition: Small nearly invisible break/repair at ankles, surface loss to the back of the left shoulder, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Published: Damien Libert Paris Auction, February 16, 2012 lot #66.
Provenance: Private French collection of Mr. Brun, assembled before 1970, accompanied by signed provenance letter from Damien Libert, Art Loss Certificate No: S00057914, and a copy of the French export license.
An Egyptian Faience Amulet of a Recumbent Lion, Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332 - 30 BCE
EA2118Regular price $4,500 USD
With exceptional detail, a very fine pale turquoise glazed faience amulet in the form of a recumbent lion, on an integrated base, the front paws outstretched, the tail curling around the right haunch, a loop for attachment at the top.
Throughout Egyptian history, the lion played an important role in religious beliefs and was represented in Egyptian art since the earliest periods. As the lion was regarded as the mightily changing aspect of the sun, the funerary bier was quite often in the guise of a lion bed; a place of resting and rejuvenation for the returning sun. The lion is also depicted on the astronomical ceiling of the tomb of Seti 1, as a guardian within the place of eternity, and was one of the apotropaic gods. In Persian times, the lion was venerated as the god Mahes assimilated to Nefertem. The hoop on the spine for suspension recalls a protective spell against snakes when it is sewn on red linen. Overall, this lion amulet guaranteed its owner not only the animal's strength and courage but also its regenerative powers.
Dimensions: Height: 4 cm (1.57 inches)
Condition: Very minor chip to the left ear, very small loss to the right corner of base restored, neither of which detract, overall intact and in excellent condition.
Provenance: Ex. Charles Gillot Collection (1853 - 1903), France, thereafter a private Virginia collection, acquired in 2015.
Published: Christie's Paris, March 4-5 2008, lot 123; and Christie's London, October 7, 2010, lot 323.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Waibresaneith, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
EU2105Regular price $15,000 USD
Aside from the overall fine quality, perhaps the most striking feature of this large faience shabti is the unusual striated tripartite wig inlaid with a soft blue glaze paste. Shown mummiform, it is made from high-quality faience with light blue/green glaze as is befitting for an important nobleman. The facial details are in high relief, there is a plaited divine beard, and the hands, that cross over the chest, carry a pick and hoe for work in the afterlife. The right hand also holds a cord that suspends over the left shoulder to support a seed bag on his back. As is typical for Late Period shabtis, there is a wide dorsal pillar, and the figure stands on a trapezoidal base. Seven horizontal bands of incised hieroglyphic from Chapter VI of the Book of the Dead text wrap around legs naming the owner as Wa-w(a)-wer, whose good name was Wah-ib-re-sa-neith.
Wah-ib-re-sa-neith held many titles including Administrator of the Estates, Prince and Mayor, Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt, etc. His mother is Ta-hi, Sistrum player of Neith, Lady of Sais; grandparents were Hor-em-Khebit and Iset-Irdis. [Janes]. “ The illuminate one, the Osiris, the ‘Administrator of the Estates’, Wa-w(a)-wer, his good name, Wah-ib-re-sa-neith (son of), ...” [Janes].
1. Janes, pp. 156 - 157 no. 82 Wa-w(a)-wer DYN 26 Janes
2. Loffet, pp. 210 - 213 no. 68 Ouaou-our DYN 26 - 27
3. Decker, pp. 86 -87 Wa-ib-re-sa-neith - Wa-w(a)-wir DYN 26 Reign of Psammetich II – Ahmose II
Dimensions: Height: 7 1/4 inches (18.4 cm)
Condition: Intact and excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Ex Boston Private Collection, thereafter Virginia private collection, acquired from the New York trade in 2007. Probably from Sais (Janes).
An Egyptian Superb Azure Blue Glazed Wadj Amulet, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21, ca. 1069 - 945 BCE
EA2117Regular price $2,500 USD
Known in Egyptian as a wadj, this papyrus-column amulet is made from faience with a superb bright blue/green glaze, and has a pierced suspension ring at the top. Green fresh plant life represented youthfulness, new life and rebirth to the Egyptians, and the presence of this particular amulet on the body was to ensure that the deceased remained forever young, and was not injured. Both Chapters 159 and 160 concern a papyrus column of feldspar to be placed at the throat of the deceased: 'If it is sound, I am healthy; if it is undamaged, I am uninjured; if it is not struck, I am unwounded . .. my limbs shall not become dried out.'
A papyrus scepter was often carried by goddesses and the plant was the emblem of Lower Egypt and its patroness Wadjyt; hence its amuletic form not only guaranteed the wearer rejuvenation, it also linked them with the divine and in particular one of the great protective goddesses.
Condition: Professionally rejoined from two pieces, the amulet is complete and in very good condition overall. Superb bright blue glaze.
Dimensions: Height: 2 3/4 inches (6.9 cm)
Provenance: Private Virginia collection, acquired from Royal Athena Gallery, NYC, 2014, JME collection, NY, acquired Bonhams, London, Dec 1993, previously a private English collection, acquired in the 1930s.
A Maya Turquoise Lord-King Pendant, Classical Period, ca. 550 - 950 CE
PA2101Regular price $2,950 USD
Carved in low relief from veined turquoise, the pendant depicting the portrait head of a lord-king wearing a large elaborate headdress above a scowling face with glaring eyes, a wide, nose, pursed lips, and full cheeks, wearing a pair of ear spools, the back uncarved, a hole drilled bilaterally through the headdress for suspension.
Greenstone pendants of all types were worn vertically in some fashion, whether as a pectoral or in a diadem. This example was most likely worn as a necklace due to the horizontal drill hole that would have allowed it to be strung and hung around the neck as well as the uncarved back of the pendant.
Ref: Stone-Miller, Rebecca, Seeing with New Eyes, Atlanta: Emory University (2002), p. 30.
Doyle, James. “Ancient Maya Sculpture.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall
Provenance: Ex. collection of Ian Arundel, Los Angeles CA, assembled between 1960 - 1970, thereafter in the collection of R. Jerry Bock, Hawaii.
An Egyptian Faience Lotus Terminal, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1295 BCE
EJ1809Regular price $7,500 USD
A broad collar terminal in the form of a lotus, comprising of yellow, green, red, white, and blue glazed faience. Pierced for attachment.
Dimensions: Length: 5.2 cm ( 2 inches), Width: 4.8 (1.9 inches)
Condition: Broken right corner professionally rejoined, otherwise complete.
Provenance: Private collection of former French diplomat Noel Giron (1884–1941). Giron, (or Aime-Giron, as he called himself after his famous father, the poet and the editor of Le Figaro) was a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre, where he studied Egyptian, Demotic, and Coptic under Eugene Revillout. Giron also studied religious studies, history, classical philology, and modern oriental languages at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne. Giron originally planned to attend the Institut francais d'archeologie orientale and pursue an academic career, but he abandoned that plan and became a career diplomat in the French foreign ministry instead. He nevertheless maintained his scholarly interest in texts, especially inscriptions in languages as diverse as Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Nabatean, Persian, Phoenician, and Greek. Although scholarship was but an avocation for him, he published several scholarly works. He published Legendes Coptes in 1907, and although the bibliographic record of his publications does not show it, he remained interested in the indigenous language of Egypt for the rest of his life.
A Viking Green Glass Bead, ca. 9th - 11th century CE
RJ2142Regular price $550 USD
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Bead length: 3/4 inch (1.9 cm). The 18K gold modern chain is adjustable up to 18" (45.5 cm)
Provenance: Ex. Cyrus Collection, acquired from Edward Safani, (1912-1998), NYC.
A rare Mixtec Serpent Head Jade Bead, ca. 13th - 15th century CE
PJ2110Regular price $7,500 USD
Exquisitely carved from a single piece of jade into the cylindrical form of a serpent head, the long forked tongue, curved fangs, raised snout, hinged jaw, and wide staring eyes rendered in relief, all incised around the open "mouth" or suspension hole drilled through the length of the bead.
Similar effigy beads representing standing or squatting men were believed to have been worn or strung in the hair of mummy bundles as protective devices, and also may have doubled as important trade items (Stone-Miller 48).
Jade was one of the most highly prized materials throughout ancient Pre-Columbia. Jade beads first appeared in Olmec tombs around 1000 BCE in a distinctive blue-green tone. Apple-green jade began appearing in Mayan and Teotihuacan offerings in the first millennium CE, probably sourced from the Guatemalan highlands. Jade seemed to have diminished in the Post-Classic Period (ca. 900 - 1500 CE) and as a result, Mixtec and Aztec offerings were often of less brilliantly colored stone or were reworked from earlier Olmec and Mayan pieces (Dubin 246).
Ref: Dubin, Lois Sherr. The Worldwide History of Beads, London: Thames and Hudson (1987), pp. 246-50.
Stone-Miller, Rebecca, Seeing with New Eyes: Highlights of the Michael C. Carlos Museum Collection of Art of the Ancient Americas (2002), p. 48.
Dimensions: Length: 1 3/8 inches (3.5 cm), Width: 3/4 inch (1.9 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private Florida collection. Previously in the collection of Keith Finello, who had one of the finest private collections of Pre Columbian jade in North America.
A Roman millefiori Glass Bead, Egypt, Roman Period, ca. 1st Century CE
RJ2141Regular price $395 USD
Unlike most beads in which the decoration is applied over a solid color core bead, this millefiori glass bead is entirely made from a slab of millefiori cane slices fused together, wound around a rod, and formed into a ball. This technique results in considerable distortion of the original pattern. Each cane “flower” comprises alternating green and white petals around a center of yellow, and red. A lovely example!
Dimensions: Length: 3/8 inch (13 mm)
Condition: Surface wear to the body with both terminals showing signs of stringing. Intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Greenwich, Connecticut private collection, acquired from Black Rock Galleries, reference number # 130236 (part).
An Egyptian Faience Ball Bead Pendant, ca. 2141 - 2122 BCE
EJ2107Regular price $650 USD
This is an example of Middle Kingdom faience at its best! Although hand-made, it is almost perfectly round and the smooth glazed surface flirts between blue and green. Both these colors the ancient Egyptians particularly associated with magical representations of new life, rejuvenation, and rebirth. After 4000 years, this lovely bead has been strung once more for wearing as a pendant necklace with a modern, adjustable 14K solid gold chain. This adjustable chain allows you to wear the pendant at its longest length of 22-inches or shorten it to your preference depending on the outfit.
For related ball bead examples see, British Museum accession number: EA3084
Dimensions: Bead Length: 1 cm (0.39 inches). Strung on an adjustable 22-inch 14k gold chain.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Lenman/Stohlman collection assembled by the Washington D.C. socialite Miss Isobel H. Lenman (1845 - 1931), in the early 1900s on loan to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., between 1916 and 1921
A Byzantine Bronze Ring, ca. 5th century CE
RJ2108Regular price $350 USD
The flat oval bezel incised with a stylized cross pattern, with small diagonal dashes decorating the negative space.
Dimensions: US ring size 6 1/4
Condition: Intact and in very condition overall with good green-brown patination.
Provenance: Alex Malloy collection, acquired in the 1970s - 80s.
An Egyptian Faience Bes Amulet, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
EA2104Regular price $395 USD
Carved in deep blue-green faience, the protector god portrayed as a nude dwarf on an integrated base. His large feather crown surmounting grotesque facial features, with protruding tongue and the ears and mane of a lion, with bandy legs and hands hanging on either side of his protruding belly, standing on a plinth with a back pillar.
Background: This dwarf-like, protective deity was very popular in ancient Egypt. Known as early as the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2000 BC), Bes was venerated as a protector of the home, family, and childbirth, and for that reason figures prominently in domestic magic and amulets. His close connection to all aspects of fertility and sexuality is demonstrated by the presence of his image in the "Birth-houses", shrines associated with temples of the Late and Greco-Roman periods. He also had a special relation to the goddess Hathor and performed in her retinue as a musician and dancer.
Dimensions: Length: 2.3 cm (0.90 inches)
Condition: With a loss to the base, otherwise in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Ex Dr Joseph Touma, Virginia, acquired from Christie's in 1993.
A fine Olmec Jade and Gold Bead Necklace, Pre-Classic Period ca. 900 - 300 BCE
PJ2112Regular price $4,950 USD
A single strand necklace composed of ten long, tapered tubular jade beads interspersed by spherical or barrel-shaped jade beads. The jades vary in color from pale to medium to deep gray-green; many have a bluish cast. Modern strung on a wire strand, with 14K gold clasp and Pre-Columbian gold bead spacers of a later than Olmec date.
Dimensions: Drop Length: 16 inches (40.64 cm), 33 inches overall (83.82 cm)
Condition: Beads are all intact, and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private East Coast collection, acquired by the current collection in 1998. Ex. Merrin Gallery, New York.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti, Third Intermediate Period, ca 1069 - 712 BCE
EU2004Regular price $550 USD
of blue/green faience shown mummiform with a tripartite wig; arms crossed on the chest; the hoe still visible in the right hand in black pigment.
An Ushabti (also called shabti or shawabti) is a small figurine included in the grave goods of the dead. The figure was believed to magically animate after the deceased had been judged and would work for them as a servant or substitute laborer in the fields of Osiris. The "ushabti" is also named the: "follower", or " answerer ", because they "answered", for the deceased person, and performed all the routine chores of daily life, for them. Some tombs had the floor covered, with tens, or multiples, of ushabti figurines, produced in quantity, for the journey, of the deceased. As many as 365 ushabtis were placed in each tomb: one to serve for every day of the year.
Condition: Intact with heavy surface wear, in good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 3 1/4 inches (8 cm)
Provenance: Alex Mallory collection, acquired in the 1970-80s.
An Egyptian Green-Glazed Faience Jar, New Kingdom, ca. 1550 - 1069 BCE
EP2102Regular price $550 USD
This miniature green-glazed ceramic jar with a rounded body standing on a flat base with an everted rim and a black lotus flower decorating the lower body.
Dimensions: height: 1 5/8 inches (4.2 cm)
Condition: Surface flaking and minor losses to rim, overall intact and in good condition.
Provenance: Private Arizona collection, acquired in the 1980s.
An Islamic Green Glazed Star Tile, ca. 15th - 16th century
MT1813Regular price $850 USD
Glazed green, with eight symmetrical points, beautiful ring and rosette decoration around the base, and a hole in the center for a rod or pole.
Dimensions: Diameter: 10 1/4 inches (26 cm)
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: The Hauge Collection of Ancient & Iranian Art, assembled between 1962 and 1966. Foreign service brothers, Victor and Osborne Hauge, together with their wives Takako and Gratia, assembled their collection of Persian, Japanese, Chinese, and Southeast Asian works of fine and folk art while stationed overseas with the US government after WWII. In consultation with academics and dealers, the Hauges assembled over two decades of what former Freer art director Harold Stern described in 1957 as "without doubt one of the finest private collections in the world". Much of their collection was donated to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute culminating in an exhibition and published catalogue in 2000. The balance, including this object, was inherited by descent in 2016.
A Roman Bronze Oil Lamp Spout, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 1st century CE
RB2103Regular price $950 USD
Known traditionally as plastic ('plastic' meaning molded or modeled) lamps, oil lamps of this type were formed into fantastic shapes Their shapes were limited only by the makers' imaginations and were molded to represent anything from heads, hands, and feet, to gods, animals and mythological characters. This anthropomorphic spout is from such a vessel, depicting the head of Pan with a glaring expression, wide protruding nose, and large open mouth that was used as the wick hole, the back open for attachment to the body of the lamp.
Dimensions: Length: 1 3/4 inches (4.44 cm), Width: 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm)
Condition: Intact and in good condition overall. With good patina.
Provenance: Private Maryland collection, acquired in 2009, previously in a Dutch private collection.
An Egyptian Green stone Heart Scarab, Late Period, ca 664 - 332 BCE
EA2101Regular price $3,950 USD
The scarab’s association with the daily rebirth of the young sun god, Khepri, gave the beetle a prominent role in funerary contexts. In this example, the body conforms to the usual scarabaeus sacer; the eyes and head are deeply carved on the five notched shield (clypeus). The first segment of the upper body (prothorax) and wings (elytrae) are separated by incised lines, the legs (tibiae) to the side, are tucked underneath the body. As is to be expected, this heart scarab has no borehole and is uninscribed on the base.
Background: The heart scarab, which first appears in Dynasty XIII, played an important role in the funerary accessories of the deceased. Not only was it the medium for magical text, it was also a symbol of self-generation and rebirth. It provided the deceased wearer with the assurance that at the final judgment he would be found "true of voice" and accepted into the eternal afterlife under the rule of the god Osiris.
Many heart scarabs bear part or all of what is known as Chapter 30B from the Book of the Dead; a prayer to the heart of Isis, who was the mother of the deceased, not to bear false witness against the deceased when he is being judged before Osiris. The Book of the Dead also instructs that the heart scarab be made of the nemhef-stone, which has been identified as green jasper, serpentine, or basalt, and be set in a gold chase suspended from the neck. It appears the stone was chosen not only for its greenish color, which symbolized life, health, and regeneration but also for its weight. The heart could not weigh more than the feather of Maat, so a heart scarab of just the right heft would work in favor of the deceased.
References: Andrews, Carol, 1994. Amulets of Ancient Egypt, chapter 4: Scarabs for the living and funerary scarabs, pp 50-59, Andrews, Carol, c 1993, University of Texas Press.
cf: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number 15.3.217.
Condition: One small chip to top right, otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 4.5 cm (1 3/4 inches)
Provenance: Private Australian collection, acquired from the London trade in 1998.