Monday, 31 July 2017

Expensive Ancient Statues at Auction


In 2002 the sale of the statue broke the world auction record for an antiquity sale (of that time) after selling for nearly $12 million at Christie’s London.
The Jenkins Venus: $11.7 Million. The Jenkis Venus, also known as the Barberini Venus is a copy of the Aphrodite of Knidos statue, which is was one of the most famous works of Praxiteles, an ancient Greek sculptor.


Considered the most important Cycladic idol ever to come to auction, the Cycladic reclining female figure with an estimated value of $3-5 million, was sold by Christie’s for a jaw-dropping almost $17 million in December of 2010.

Bronze Figure Of A Tapir: $12 Million. This bronze figure is a preeminent example of Chinese figurines of the 4th century B.C. The bronze figure portrayed a pig-like mammal that became extinct in China about 10,000 years ago.
The statue depicting Leda and the swan was discovered around 1775 in Rome, and is a Roman replica of a Greek statue from about 300 B.C. The statue was sold by Sotheby’s New York for over $19 million.

The sculpture, ‘Roman Bust of Antinous’, was sold by Sotheby’s in 2010 for almost $24 million.

Artemis and the Stag: $28.6 Million. Artemis and the Stag, was the highest priced statue ever sold at the time (2007).
Found near Baghdad, Iraq, the Guennol Lioness is a 5,000-year-old limestone Mesopotamian statue. The sculpture was described by Sotheby’s as “one of the last known masterworks from the dawn of civilization remaining in private hands.” The sculpture portrays an anthropomorphic lioness-woman and was sold for $57.2 million in 2007

$ 60k to $ 90k
On December 8, 2015 Sotheby's presented a sale dedicated to ancient Egyptian sculpture and works of art, the first auction of its kind in recent memory.

Highlights include 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 a monumental granite enthroned figure of the goddess Sekhmet, once the property of John Lennon

Black Basalt Head Of Tuthmosis III, 18th Dynasty, 1479-1426 B.C. $200k to $ 300k

Wood mask with inlaid eyes, 25th/26th Dynasty. $ 300k to $ 500k

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

Granite enthroned figure of the goddess Sekhmet. $ 3m to $ 5m

Statuette of the Lady Iset , priestess of the god Sobek, dating to the early 19th Dynasty. $600k to $ 900k

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.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

‘Alien boy’ found in 2,000-year-old Crimean tomb was a trainee Sarmatian fighter

An "alien boy" with a weirdly elongated skull found in a tomb in Crimea was in fact a trainee ancient warrior, say archeologists. Elongated skulls were traditional for the Sarmatian culture. The artificially elongated skull was a sign of a "true warrior".

The deformation process began early in childhood when the bones were still soft, and no surgery was needed. Special wooden planks were tied to the skull, pressing the bones and gradually altering the shape. The boy warrior from the second century AD is believed to have been aged between 18 months and two years old when he died.

DNA reveals fate of the mysterious Canaanites

When the pharaohs ruled Egypt and the ancient Greeks built their first cities, a mysterious people called the Canaanites dominated the Near East. Around 4000 years ago, they built great cities, yet they left no surviving written records, leaving researchers to piece together their history. One of those sources is the Bible’s Old Testament, which suggests a grisly end for many Canaanites: After the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, God ordered them to destroy Canaan and its people.

Ancient DNA recovered from five Canaanite skeletons suggests that they survived to contribute their genes to millions of people living today. The new samples come from Sidon, a coastal city in Lebanon.
Scientists found that the present-day Lebanese population is largely descended from the ancient Canaanites, inheriting more than 90% of their genes from this ancient source.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Hellhounds

A hellhound is a supernatural dog in folklore. A wide variety of hellish supernatural dogs occur in mythologies around the world. Some European legends state that if someone stares into a hellhound's eyes twice or more, that person will surely die.

Hellhounds often have fire-based abilities and appearance. They are often assigned to guard the entrances to the world of the dead, such as graveyards and burial grounds, or undertake other duties related to the afterlife, such as hunting lost souls. In European legends, seeing a hellhound or hearing it howl is an omen or even a cause of death. They are said to be the protectors of the supernatural.
In Greek mythology the hellhound belonged to Hades, the Greek god of death and the underworld. It's name in Greek mythology is Cerberus. It has three heads and guards the gates of hell.

The Bearer of Death is a term often used in describing the Hellhound. Hellhounds are said to be as black as coal with a smell of burning brimstone. They leave behind a burned area wherever they go.

Hades with Cerberus - Pluto Carricci painting
Hellhounds of myth is common across Great Britain and Western Europe.

In southern Mexico and Central America folklore, the Cadejo haunts travelers who walk late at night.

Amazing Historical Artifacts

Broadsword of Oliver Cromwell. Made in England c. 1650. This is one of the finest surviving swords of a type favored during the English Civil War (1642-51).

The association of this sword with English statesman Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) is consistent with the unusual inscription and heraldic arms of England and Ireland on the blade, and with the outstanding quality of the hilt's chiseled decoration. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Monomachus Crown – Hungarian National Museum, Budapest. The crown is engraved Byzantine goldwork, decorated with cloisonné enamel. King Constantine Monomachus ruled the Byzantine kingdom from 1042 to 1055 with his wife Zoe and her sister Theodora. It was probably made in Constantinople in 1042.

It was found in 1860 by a farmer while plowing. The objects passed to the local landowning nobility, who sold it in four transactions to the Hungarian National Museum between 1861 and 1870.
A Surviving Crate from the Boston Tea Party – The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Boston.

The Boston Tea Party was the spark in the powder keg for the American War of Independence. The rebelling colonials climbed aboard a ship carrying England’s most valuable commodity – tea, and threw it overboard in an act of open defiance. Two crates survived.

The Axe of Pharoah Ahmes – The Egyptian Museum, Cairo. This gold ceremonial axe was found among the treasures in the Tomb of Ahmes. It is funerary object that was not used in the life of the pharaoh. One of the sides of the blade is adorned with Nekhbet, vulture goddess and the guardian of Upper and Lower Egypt, and other deities who protect the pharaoh . The other side of the blade depicts the pharaoh tormenting one of his enemies as a symbol for sovereign power.
Corinthian Helmet and Skull from the Battle of Marathon 490 BCE – Royal Ontario Museum, Canada. A pivotal moment in Ancient Greek history, the battle of Marathon saw a smaller Greek force, mainly made up of Athenian troops, defeat an invading Persian army.

A fierce and bloody battle, with numerous casualties, it appears that this helmet (with skull inside) belonged to a Greek hoplite (soldier) who died during the fighting.

The story of the man who ran back to Athens with the news of the victory became synonymous with the long distance running event in the Olympics.
The Bullet that killed Lincoln – National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, USA.

On April 14, 1865, five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, Virginia, an actor named John Wilkes Booth achieved historical immortality by firing the shot that claimed the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Roman Iron Slave Collar 4 CE – The Museo Nazionale alle Terme di Diocleziano, Rome Italy.

The inscription on the collar reads – “I have run away; hold me. When you have returned me to my master, Zoninus, you will receive a solidus" (gold coin)

Blood Stained Cloak of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – Austrian Military Museum, Vienna. The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand plunged the world into the first World War.