Monday, 20 February 2017

Ancient Egyptian Sculpture at Sotheby's


$ 60k to $ 90k
The December 8th sale of Ancient Egyptian Sculpture and Works of Art totaled a strong $8,986,500, over the high pre-sale estimate. The top lot was the monumental Granite Figure of Sekhmet, which sold for $4.17 million.

Highlights included a fine small-scale basalt bust of King Tuthmosis III, an imposing over-lifesize fragmentary red granite head of King Amenhotep III from the last ten years of his reign, and an elegant steatite statuette of the Lady Iset , priestess of the god Sobek, dating to the early 19th Dynasty.

Black Basalt Head Of Tuthmosis III, 18th Dynasty, 1479-1426 B.C. $250k

Wood mask with inlaid eyes, 25th/26th Dynasty. $ 1.4m

Limestone mask, 30th Dynasty/early Ptolemaic Period. $200k to $ 300k

Granite enthroned figure of the goddess Sekhmet. $ 4.1m

Statuette of the Lady Iset , priestess of the god Sobek, dating to the early 19th Dynasty. $760k

A record for an ancient Egyptian work of art was set at Christie’s in 2012 when a 29 inch sculpture of the goddess, Isis, dating from the Late Period Dynasty, c 664 - 525 BC, sold for £3.7 million.
A 30-inch statue representing the god Sekhemka broke the world record for highest auction price of an Egyptian artwork in 2014. The statue was estimated to sell for $7 to $11 million, but sold for $27 million. The Sekhemka statue is a tomb model of a high official, wearing a short kilt and tight-fitting wig, surrounded by his wife, son and seven offering-bearers. He holds a papyrus on his knees on which are inscribed a list of offerings designed to serve the needs of the dead, including beer and cakes.

An Egyptian Green Peridotite Head of a Man

Egyptian blue-glazed steatite figure of Taweret, goddess of childbirth

Block statue of a man and the sacred baboon of Thoth, Egyptian, serpentine, 26th/30th Dynasty, 664-342 B.C. Sold for $856,000 in 2006

Sphinx of Egyptian queen, green porphry, Roman Imperial, circa A.D. 81-96. $5,234,500.

Egyptian steatite figure of Sobek

Djehuty-Mose (Tothmes), polychrome limestone ushabti, Egyptian 19th Dynasty,1292-1190 B.C. $1,314,500

Black granite or basalt relief fragment from the 30th Dynasty/Early Ptolemaic Period, reign of Nectanebo II /Ptolemy I, 360-282 B.C. $211,500 in 1998

Limestone figure of lion, 30th Dynasty/Ptolemaic Period, 380-30 B.C. $154,250 in 2001.



Sunday, 19 February 2017

UK cave opened for first time after 1,400 years

A discovery has been made in an unearthed Scottish Highlands cave. Archaeologists found a skeleton of a man brutally murdered. He was placed in an cross-legged position with stones holding up his legs and arms. He died between 430 and 630 AD, referred to as the Pictish period.
The bones were found in a cave in the Black Isle by a team of researchers based at the University of Dundee. They believe he suffered five blows which killed him – causing fractures to his skull and face. Forensic anthropologist Sue Black digitally reconstructed what he looked like.

Volunteers believe the cave was used for iron-smithing during the Pictish period. The discovery of the skeleton has baffled experts.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Spectacular Ancient Coins

A silver Tetradrachm, Thrace dates from 386-375 BC and depicts a Griffin preparing to spring on the obverse with a nude image of the god Apollo carrying a laurel branch and patera and accompanied by a stag. About $7,500

Gold octadrachm from the reign of Ptolemy II in Alexandria from 285-246 BC. Arsinoe II on the obverse, a double cornucopia appears on the reverse. $11,500.
Thrace - Tauric Chersonesus, Pantikapaion, (c.320 B.C.), gold stater, (9.13 gm), obv. head of bearded Pan to left, with animal ear, wearing ivy wreath, rev. horned griffin with curved wings standing to left on an ear of corn, right foreleg raised, head facing, holding spear in jaws. $33,000
Gold coin of Croesus - Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC until his defeat by the Persians. In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for a wealthy man. Croesus' wealth remained proverbial beyond classical antiquity: in English, expressions such as "rich as Croesus" or "richer than Croesus" are used to indicate great wealth to this day.

Ancient Roman Gold Aureus Coin of Emperor Augustus - 10 BC. $ 5,800
Gold Byzantine Solidus Coin of Jesus Christ & Emperor Justinian II. $8,000.00

Ancient Celtic AV Gold Remic Stater Coin from the Atrebates Tribe - 55 BC. $1,600.00
English Medieval gold sovereign struck under King Henry VIII. The obverse depicting the King, enthroned holding orb and sceptre, portcullis at feet, his cloak falling over his feet in folds, ornate pillars either side.
The legend reading:

HENRICUS DEI GRACIA REX ANGLIE ET FRANC DNS HIBM

"Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Lord of Ireland" - $19,500.00
Alexander the Great lifetime stater, 8.61g, official issue from Abydos, Asia Minor, c. 328-323 BC

Silver stater of Lokris featuring Ajax. Persephone is on the obverse.
Syracuse, 16 Litrae coin of Hieron II. (275-215 BC)

Sicily, Katane. c. 430-420. BC


Thursday, 16 February 2017

“Footprints of Buddha,” returned to Pakistan

In late April 2016 the US returned an ancient Buddhist stone sculpture to Pakistan, from where it was stolen in the 1980s. The 2nd Century piece was taken from the Swat Valley and eventually smuggled into the US.

A Japanese antiquities dealer was arrested for smuggling the $1.1 million sculpture into the US.

Tatsuzo Kaku, whose company — Tokyo-based Taiyo Ltd. — deals in ancient artifacts, was busted March 14, 2016 after he agreed to ship the 440-pound relic to New York.

The rare Buddhapada sculpture was stolen in 1982 from an archaeological site in the Swat Region of Pakistan.
In e-mails, Kaku admitted that he had purchased the Buddhapada in Pakistan in 1982 after the artifact had been illegally excavated and stolen. Kaku admitted to investigators that he knew it was illegal to buy or possess such material.

The footprint of the Buddha is an imprint of Gautama Buddha's one or both feet. There are two forms: natural, as found in stone or rock, and those made artificially. The footprints of the Buddha (Buddhapada) are one of the early representations of the Buddha in the anticonic (no statues) stage of Buddhist art. The Buddhapada are highly revered in all Buddhist countries. They symbolize the grounding of the transcendent.

According to Buddhist legend, after the Buddha attained enlightenment, his feet made an imprint in the stone where he stepped.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Arms, Armour, and Weapons


Rare German rapier from the 16th century

Halberd with wheel-lock pistol. Germany second quarter of the 17th Century. $ 22,000

Silver-encrusted khula-khud. $5,500

Very fine wheel-lock rifle with inlay decorations by Hans Ruhr. $21,900

Hunting crossbow, complete, lavishly decorated, Southern Germany, circa 1689 Estimated price: €10,000

Luristan Bronze Weapons circa 1000-600 BC. Swords, Daggers and Spear Heads.

Jade and silver mounted dagger. $7,600

Khanjar Dagger. Dated: late century.Indian. Steel, iron, rock crystal, gold.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

More Antikythera Treasure

A team of archeologists has salvaged a trove of 2,000-year-old treasures from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. Using state-of-the-art equipment and semi-robotic metal diving suits, the divers descended 55-metres below sea level where they retrieved ancient tableware, ship components, and a two-metre long bronze spear likely belonged to a life-sized warrior statue, all dating back to between 60 BC and 70 BC.
The Antikythera Treasures. In 1900, sponge divers discovered an ancient shipwreck just off the island of Antikythera. Another expedition in 1976 recovered the most significant part of the cargo. The massive haul of artifacts from the wreck included the Antikythera mechanism.

Coins and jewelry, glassware, pottery, statues, and even copper couch beds were found. One statue is a classical bronze statue made sometime from 340 to 330 B.C. named Statue of a Youth.
Analysis of the Antikythera Mechanism show it to be more advanced than previously thought—so much so that nothing comparable was built for another thousand years.

Researchers used three-dimensional X-ray scanners to reconstruct the workings of the device's gears and high-resolution surface imaging to enhance faded inscriptions on its surface.
By winding a knob on its side, the positions of the sun, moon, Mercury and Venus could be determined for any chosen date. Newly revealed inscriptions also appear to confirm the device could also calculate the positions of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — the other planets known at the time. The device's construction date was radiocarbon dated to around 150 to 100 B.C.