* A Hellenistic Gold Grape Cluster Pendant, ca. 3rd - 1st century BCE
GJ2104Regular price $1,750 USD
Of high karat gold, the thin gold hoop with a cluster of four grapes, each decorated with three granules at its base, set as a pendant with a modern bail and 18K chain.
Dimensions: Pendant length: 3/4 inch (2 cm), on a modern 16-inch chain of 18K gold.
Condition: Probably originally from an earring, the pendant is intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired in the 1960s and then by descent.
A Boeotian Terracotta Female "Pappades" Figurine, Archaic Period, ca. 570 - 550 BCE
GT008-PBRegular price $5,500 USD
Hand-modelled, the flat body splaying at the hem, with short, curving, upturned arms, a tapering recess in the upper surface, wearing a flaring polos with a large projecting volute, with dark brown painted geometric details, including a circular necklace.
The color of the clay and the painted patterns (still rooted in the Geometric period) are similar to those found on 6th century BC Boeotian vases, thus placing this figurine among the sculptural production of Archaic Boeotia. It belongs to the family of pappades: flat, polos-wearing figures with mouse heads or bird beaks. These figures are most often decorated with a central volute (in imitation of Boeotian libation vessels) produced in Boeotia between 625 and 550 BC. This figurine was created at the height of this period, (ca. 570 - 550 BCE) based on its similarity to figurines excavated at Rhitsona and in the Akraiphia necropolis (Boeotia, Greece).
Dimensions: Height: 8 1/4 inches (21 cm)
Condition: Complete, rejoined below arms with minor cosmetic retouching to the nose and top of the volute. Excellent remaining polychrome and a lovely example.
Provenance: Ex. Rhenish collection, acquired in the 1970s, thereafter private Virginia collection, acquired from Royal Athena, July 2015.
A Boeotian Terracotta Jointed Figurine, Archaic Period, ca. 5th Century BCE
GT1607Regular price $5,000 USD
This truly charming figurine belongs to a group that appeared in mainland Greece in the late sixth century B.C. It represents a girl wearing a short chiton, commonly called a chitoniskos; on her head is a kalathos, a boxlike headdress; her hair falls to the shoulders. The figurine is mold-made with only the front sculpted; the back is simply left flat. The articulated arms and legs are handmade and may originally have been attached to the body with metal pins. A hole on top of the head shows this figurine was intended to be suspended, enabling the articulated limbs to move freely. The movement of the limbs certainly lent vitality to the figurine, while adding a magical aspect.
Background: Although commonly referred to as a "doll,'' these figurines were brought to temples and sanctuaries as offerings to the gods and deposited in graves either as cherished possessions of the deceased, as gifts, or as protective devices. Occasionally they are shown holding crotala (castanets) in their hands, and the kalathos headdress helps identify them as ritual dancers. It is well known that song and dance were common features of Greek worship. In fact, several ancient authors refer to a specific dance, called kalathiskos, that was performed by young girls wearing short chitons and kalathoi.
cf: Muratov, Maya B. “Greek Terracotta Figurines with Articulated Limbs.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/gtal/hd_gtal.htm (October 2004)
Dimensions: Height: 6.3 inches (16 cm)
Condition: Loss to both hands and top of legs conserved, 19th century fragile stringing to arms and legs replaced with conservation material, good remains of original white slip so overall in very good condition. Presented on a museum quality custom mount. A truly charming example!
Provenance: Private Dundee, IL collector, with partial early 20th century identification label on back, thence by descent.
A Boeotian Terracotta Pappades Statuette, Archaic Period, ca. 6th century BCE
GT1608Regular price $4,950 USD
A handmade terracotta "Pappades" statuette of a goddess, of flattened form standing with arms extended and wearing a long embroidered dress and high polos with central circular ornament indicating her status as a goddess.
Such Boeotian plank figurines were dubbed 'Pappades' or 'priests' (Greek Παπάδες), by the Boeotian villagers, who were the first to find them in their fields. Many examples were excavated in Tanagra and Rhitsona in the 19th century. The interpretation of this type of figurine is difficult. Their frequent presence in graves permits the hypothesis that they were linked with the worship of the chthonic deities Demeter and Kore, goddesses related to fecundity and the harvest. Another theory is they represent in clay the "daidala", - wooden effigies dressed as brides - which, according to ancient literary sources were used in rituals on Mt Kithairon in Boeotia, to honour Hera, the wife of Zeus and patron goddess of marriage.
Dimensions: Height: 25.5 cm (10 inches)
Condition: Despite a crack in the front of the headdress, intact and in good condition overall.
Provenance: Major Harold De Vahl Rubin (1899-1964), grazier, art-collector and philanthropist, was born in Melbourne, Australia beginning his education at Broome, Western Australia, where his father owned a pearling fleet. After the family moved to London, he attended University College School, Hampstead (1908-15), and Eton College (1916). Commissioned in the 5th Battalion, Coldstream Guards, in February 1917, he served with the 38th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), and was promoted lieutenant in January 1918. He returned to civilian life in 1919. Left a fortune by his father (who had died in 1919), he set up as a pearl merchant in London in the mid-1920s. During the 1930s he expanded the family's pastoral holdings in Queensland and Western Australia, and began to collect paintings. In October 1941, he was again commissioned in the British Army and demobilized in 1945 with the honorary rank of major, working as an art dealer at 20 Brook Street, London.
Rubin returned to Australia in 1950 to run his extensive grazing interests which included Queensland Pastoral Estates and properties on the De Grey River in Western Australia. He lived at Toorak House, a mansion built by Sir James Dickson at Hamilton, Brisbane, but regularly visited his 17,000-acre (6880 ha) property Pikedale, near Stanthorpe, and kept a flat at the Astor in Macquarie Street, Sydney.
In 1959 Rubin facilitated the Queensland Art Gallery's acquisition of seven important European paintings from his private collection, comprising works by Picasso, Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and Vlaminck which were valued in all at £126,504. The most significant was Picasso's 'La Belle Hollandaise' (1905), painted in the years between the artist's 'blue' and 'rose' periods. Rubin was prescient in recognizing what he called its 'exquisite tenderness'. The painting is frequently requested for inclusion in major international exhibitions of Picasso's art.
Rubin was a man of eccentric habits, but he initiated many of the bizarre stories about himself, making it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. His city residences were filled with paintings, stacked face to face, as well as with live and stuffed exotic and domestic birds—'parrots, lorikeets, budgies, canaries, finches and sparrows'. He bought entire exhibitions of work by young painters; Robert Hughes, who became an art critic, benefited from his largesse.
He died of cancer on 7 March 1964, his wife and their son survived him, as did the son of each of his first and third marriages; the son of his fourth marriage predeceased him. The bulk of his art collection, which had once numbered four hundred works, including sixty paintings by (Sir) William Dobell, was sold by auction between 1971 and 1973: The Harold de Vahl Rubin Collection Part 1, Christie's Australia, Sydney, 4 October 1972, and the Harold de Vahl Rubin Collection Part II, Christie's Australia, Sydney, 2 October 1973.
A Campanian Calene Ware Guttos, ca. 350 - 300 BCE
GP2103Regular price $950 USD
Condition: Complete, with a few very minor rim flakes and a small chip to the foot rim that does not detract, the spout has been reattached with minor cosmetic restoration over the break line.
Dimensions: Height: 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm)
Provenance: Private Florida collection, acquired from Charles Ede, London, 11/6/2001.
A Canosan Terracotta Boar, ca. 4th century BCE
GT2101Regular price $950 USD
This charming boar figurine featuring an upturned snout, protruding ears, and a dorsal ridge portraying a mane, with only a hint of the lower body depicted above the rectangular base.
Pigs have a long history of involvement in Greek mythology and ritual. Associated with Demeter due to "the fast-growing body of the pig [which would] have been compared to corn growing and ripening" (Marija Gimbutas, The Goddess and Gods of Old Europe), pigs were often sacrificed at annual rituals such as the Eleusinian Mysteries and the festival of Thesmophoria to celebrate the goddess and the harvest. In later mythology, the role of the boar shifted to that of the antagonist; the Calydonian Boar and the Erymanthian Boar are two such examples who were depicted as mindless rampaging beasts in need of slaying.
Representations of boars mostly took the form of small terracotta figurines, used as sacrificial or votive objects in temples dedicated to Demeter, as funerary objects, and as children's toys. Workshops in Rhodes, Attica, and Boeotia were the major centers of production for these figurines.
Dimensions: Length: 9.5 cm (3.7 inches)
Condition: Intact and in very good condition, with traces of original polychrome remaining.
Provenance: Private English collection, Kent, UK, acquired in the 1990s.
A Cypriot Limestone Head of a Youth, Archaic Period, 600-500 BCE
GS1401Regular price $3,500 USD
This small carved limestone male head originally belonged to a figural sculpture. The conical cap, identifying him as an individual of high rank, appears at the end of the eighth century B.C. in the Levant and had reached Cyprus by the mid-seventh century B.C. It is characterized by a striated protuberance at the top and flaps at the sides that could be let down or fastened up by the ties ending in tassels. Depicted with relief carved almond-shaped eyes under arching eyebrows, and pronounced ears.
Background: With no marble on Cyprus, the Cypriot artist was confined to soft limestone, abundant in the central and southeastern parts of the island. So it is not surprising that the earliest sculpture appeared in the Golgoi area and gradually spread to other centers, such as Idalion, Arsos, and Kition, in the same limestone-rich region.
By the beginning of the sixth century B.C., the developing art of stone sculpture reached its zenith. During this period, the Phoenicians were actively present on the island, and they introduced elements of Egyptian art. This influence can be seen in a series of large and small male votaries, though local taste forms the iconographic basis of many Cypriot votaries and priests. A general characteristic of the Cypriot sculpture of this era was polychrome decoration, a feature also present in Greek sculpture. Black, red, and other colors are preserved on many examples in the MMA's Cesnola Collection, which possesses some of the finest examples of Cypriot sculpture from the sixth and fifth centuries B.C.
Bibliography: Karageorghis, Vassos, in collaboration with Joan R. Mertens and Marice E. Rose (2000) Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Condition: A few faded traces of red surface paint remaining. Scattered root marks on the surface. Ancient loss to the right tip of his nose and a minor flake on the base edge professionally repaired. Museum quality custom base.
Dimensions: Height: 3 5/8 inches (9.2 cm)
Provenance: NYC collection, acquired at Gorny & Mosch, Munich, 2005, ex. private Austrian collection, acquired in the 1930s; Prof. Goldeck, Germany.
A Cypriot White Painted Ware Milk Jug, Middle Cypriot II-III, ca. 1850-1650 BCE
GP1611Regular price $750 USD
The wide bowl with a handle attached to the lip, painted tan with interior and exterior decoration. Interior decoration is painted brown: design around rim, criss-cross lines that meet in the center, and four circles in each quadrant. The exterior rim is tan and sides and bottom are orange. Straight and wavy line patterns cross over the exterior, and circles are in quadrants (like interior). Handle is also painted with brown lines.
Dimensions: Diameter (with handle): 6 1/4 in (15 7/8 cm), height: 2 1/4 in (10 7/8 cm)
Condition: Surface worn in places, with crack to handle, possibly professionally rejoined otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: The William R. Crawford collection of Ancient Glass and Antiquities, acquired in Cyprus prior to 1972. This piece is accompanied by a copy of the export license issued to Mr. Crawford by Republic of Cyprus, Department of Antiquities. William R. Crawford, a retired American career diplomat and expert on the Middle East and Cyprus, was Director of Arab-Israeli Affairs at the State Department between 1959-1964, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Cyprus thereafter. In the 1970's, he was ambassador to Yemen and then to Cyprus and later became principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East and South Asian affairs. He donated part of his collection to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts prior to his death in 2002.
A fine Greek Earring for Eros, Hellenistic Period, ca. 2nd century CE
GJ801Regular price $2,750 USD
A delicately formed figure of Eros, the Greek god of love, graces the curve of this golden earring. It has been stabilized with a modern gold band, allowing it to be worn as a ring.
Condition: In fine condition.
Dimensions: US Ring Size: 5
Provenance: Paul Ilton private collection, acquired prior to 1958.
A fine Greek Gold Pendant, Hellenistic Period, ca 3rd century BCE
GJ905Regular price $4,950 USD
In the form of a disk with a raised central boss adorned with filigree and granulation, framed by bands of twisted and plain wire filigree and granulation, joined to a crescent, the tips both terminating in a three-petal rosette above inverted pyramids of granulation, the suspension loop fronted by a two-tiered rosette centered by a granule.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall. Very fine workmanship.
Dimensions: height: 11/16 in. (1.7 cm.)
Provenance: Vermon Pick private collection, acquired in the 1950's and then by descent.
A fine Greek Silver Ring Depicting Athena, 4th century BCE
GJ2108Regular price $4,950 USD
For a related example see: Marshall, FH, Catalogue of the Finger Rings Greek, Etruscan & Roman in the Department of Antiquities, British Museum (London, 1907) pl.XXVII, no.1050; and Spier, Jeffrey, "Ancient Gems and Finger Rings, Catalogue of the Collections, The J. Paul Getty Museum" (California, 1992) p. 145-152.
Condition: Minor age-appropriate signs of wear to the shank, the ring is intact and in very good condition overall. A lovely and wearable example
Dimensions: US ring size 7 1/2 Diameter: 17.89 cm JP=15, UK=O
Provenance: English private collection, acquired on the UK/European art market in the 1990s.
A fine pair of Greek Antelope Earrings, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd - 1st century BCE
GJ910Regular price $3,000 USD
Consisting of a circlet of gold wire, that tapers from an animal's head at the front end to a hooked point which passes through a loop below the animal's throat, the head intricately detailed and the loop textured with twisted wire.
Dimensions: Length: 2 cm (0.78 inches)
Condition: Delicate condition, eye inlays now missing, overall in very good condition.
Provenance: Vernon Pick (1903 - 1986) private collection assembled in Switzerland in the late 1950's and then by descent to Pick's nephew, Mr. Jim Hanson, Minnesota. Vernon Pick, a middle-aged electrician from Minnesota, turned uranium prospecting into a multimillion dollar proposition. After nine months of fruitless prospecting, Pick discovered uranium 75 miles southwest of Green River, in Emery County in Utah on June 21, 1952. He staked several claims and called them the Delta mines. In Utah, he proved up 300,000 tons of ore that Time magazine called “one of the richest finds in the Colorado Plateau.”. Two years later Pick sold his mine to international financier Floyd Odlum for $9 million and a custom-converted PBY airplane. Odlum renamed the mine the Hidden Splendor, but soon after his purchase the highly touted vein pinched out. Local wags then dubbed the mine "Odlum's Hidden Blunder."
A fine Thracian Armlet, ca 4th Century BCE
GJ201Regular price $1,500 USD
Silver armlet of sheet; a hammered circular metal strip contracting in width at each end with small hook terminals that fasten together.
Armlets such as this example were worn by the Thracians not only as decorative ornaments, but also as used as currency, votive offerings, and worn as insignia of rank. A wide spectrum of Thracian armlets were produced, this piece being one of the more modest examples. The most extravagant armlets were made of gold with several loops and fine engraving.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition, with some patina accumulation throughout surface.
Dimensions: Diameter at widest: 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), length of piece 12 inches (30.5 centimeters)
Provenance: Private NY collection, acquired from the trade in the 1970's
A Gnathian Ware Epichysis, ca. 4th century BCE
GP1808Regular price $1,250 USD
A gaily decorated South Italian Epichysis displaying the delicate, colored floral ornamentation on a black ground and refined shape typical of pottery from the Apulian site of Gnathia (modern-day Egnazia on the Adriatic coast). It was designed to hold small quantities of precious liquids and thus is usually associated with the dispensing of perfumed oils rather than as a drinking vessel.
Gnathian pottery reached the height of its popularity in the mid to late 4th century B.C. where the taste for this decorative style, which often imitated the kind of closely worked motifs seen on metal luxury vessels, led to its being imported throughout the Mediterranean, even as far as Egypt.
Dimensions: Height: 6 3/4 inches (17.14 cm)
Condition: Handle repaired otherwise intact and in very good condition overall. A most charming example.
Provenance: Private Californian collection, acquired from the London Art Market, prior to 1999.
A Gold and Garnet Intaglio Ring, Etruscan Revival, ca. 19th Century
RJ1704Regular price $2,000 USD
This beautiful nineteenth century 18 karat gold ring with the ring hoop in a wrapped wire pattern, the oval bezel with six granulation decorations around the rim. In the center is set a garnet intaglio in the Roman tradition, with a suit of ancient armor flanked by two cherubs and a laurel wreath in the corner.
Dimensions: US ring size: 6 1/4
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
A Greco-Roman Ribbon-Band Glass Bead, Late Hellenistic Period, ca. 1st century BCE
GJ2109Regular price $795 USD
Condition: There is heavy surface wear to the surface resulting in pitting and uppermost layer loss in one area, loss to both terminal areas indicating signs of wear. The bead maintains traces of iridescence and bright contrasts colors. Despite the damage, overall it is still in good condition and a most striking example.
Dimensions: Length: 1.45 inches (2.9 cm)
Provenance: Greenwich, Connecticut private collection, acquired Black Rock Galleries, reference number # 130236 (part).
A Greco/Achaemenid Bronze Arrowhead ca. 550-330 BCE set as a necklace
RJ1803Regular price $950 USD
A heavy silver chain necklace with smoky quartz terminals is the feature setting for this fine bronze socket arrowhead.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall
Dimensions: Necklace length: 10 1/2 inches ( 26.76 cm)
Provenance: Ex. private collection of S.H., Washington state, acquired from the English trade in the late 1990's.
A Greek Bronze Astragalus (knucklebone) Gaming Piece, Hellenistic Period ca. 4th - 2nd century BCE
GB1806Regular price $550 USD
This bronze weight in the shape of a knucklebone is referred to as an astragalus.
In ancient Greece, the word astragalus referred to the vertebrae and ankle bones (carpels and tarsals) usually from sheep. These bones, or astragaloi, were used as gaming pieces and are considered to be the precursors of dice. The term astragalus is used by historians and archaeologists to refer to games of chance played with the animal bones. (Century Unabridged Dictionary, 1889)
The astragaloi, called by Romans taxilli (singular: taxillus) were used for both gambling and decision-making. Although it has not been proven, these early forms of dice are thought to have been used in the “casting of lots,” or setting a course of action dependent on random chance. The most familiar instance is the Biblical story of the Roman soldiers casting lots for the robe of Christ at his crucifixion.
Tossing marked bones was a practice used not only by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but apparently dates back to our earliest ancestors. In The Origins of Randomness, Diane Mathios (2002) states, “Dice and astragali were also used in divination and soothsaying to make the wishes of the deity known."
See: Herod. 1, 94; Plut. De fort.Alex., 11,6; Hampe R. Die Stele aus Pharsalos, 107. Berliner Winckelmann Programm, Berlin 1951, p. 18; Peters B. G. Processing of bone in Ancient States of Black Sea. Moscow, 1986, p. 78-84, tbl. XVI, XVII; Becq de Fouquieres L. Les jeux des ancients. Paris, 1869, p. 51-54; Schmidt E. Spielzeug und Spiele der Kinder im klassischen Altertum, Meiningen, 1971; Davidson G.R. Corinth, vol XII, The Minor Objects. Princeton, 1952, p.222; Hesperia, XVI, 1947, p.241, pl. LXI; Delos, XVIII, pp 332f; Robinson, Excavation at Olyntus, X, pp. 502-504.
For a related example see Metropolitan Museum bronze astragalus, accession Number:X.229 (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/256765)
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions:length: 1 inch (2.5 cm), height: 1/2"
Provenance: Ex. Joel L. Malter Collection #1103 thereafter Paul Bessey Collection.
A Greek Bronze Cosmetic Vessel, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd - 1st Centuries BCE
GB1805Regular price $1,950 USD
The cylindrical body tapers to a pointed base decorated with three incised rings, straight neck with a wide flat rim, two circular handles applied at the shoulder for suspension.
Dimensions: Height: 6 inches (15.2 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Forming part of the Lenman/Stohlman collection assembled by the Washington D.C. socialite Miss Isobel H. Lenman (1845 - 1931), in the early 1900’s. Loaned and accessioned by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., between 1916 and 1921 where it was exhibited until her death in 1931. Thereafter, the collection was returned to her heirs and sold around 1937 to Dr. Martin Stohlman, remaining with the Stohlman family until 2011.