Thursday, 27 October 2016

Waitress accidentally breaks Townley Venus statue

A catering worker snapped the thumb off a priceless Roman statue during an event held at the British Museum. The caterer smacked her head on the marble hand of the world-renowned Townley Venus statue as she rose from bending down.

The British Museum described it as an “unfortunate incident”. Museum workers have reportedly managed to glue the thumb back onto the statue, which they describe as being fully restored.
The Townley Venus is a 2.14 m (7 ft) marble statue that dates from the first or second century AD. It is adapted from a lost Greek original statue, dating from the fourth century BC, and depicts the goddess Venus with her torso nude.

The statue was excavated at Ostia, a harbour city of ancient Rome in 1775.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Ancient Indian artifacts find their way home from Australia

Three more ancient artifacts have been returned to India from Australia. Most of the pieces in Australia have been acquired from the New York gallery of smuggler Subhash Kapoor.

It is more than four years since Subhash Kapoor was arrested and extradited to India. As recently as July 4, the National Gallery of Australia was talking about returning two of its artefacts following fresh evidence of links to the 68-year-old, once accused of “having created a black-market Sotheby’s”.
A sandstone stele of Rishabhanata from the 10th century
The highlight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to America were the return to India of over 200 stolen artifacts, many of them linked to Kapoor. In September 2014, then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott returned a 900-year-old Shiva sculpture. In October 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel returned a 10th-century Durga idol stolen from Kashmir.

Over 30 years, Kapoor is believed to have traded in hundreds of antiques, including statues and paintings, now believed to be stolen. His gallery, Art of the Past, was located at the heart of Manhattan’s art circle.


Subhash Kapoor

See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2016/06/us-returns-over-200-artifacts-to-india.html
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2016/05/mystery-of-missing-gods.html

Monday, 17 October 2016

Ancient Gold coins top $3.4 million CNG auction


Gold oktadrachm of Antiochos III circa 222–187 BC, Seleukid Empire. Sold for $77,350 in VF
Classical Numismatic Group’s sale 103 produced top results. Their September auction hammered $2,826,186 on a pre-sale estimate of $1,992,300, for a clearance rate of 98.30 percent.
Gold Stater. Kroisos, c. 561-546 BC. $ 71,000
Gold aureus of Pertinax. He reigned as Emperor for just 86 days in 193 C.E. before being murdered by his Praetorian guard. EF $56,525. A very rare Qing dynasty pattern gold liang made $49,980.
A superb gold medal of Charles II struck for presentation to naval officers who distinguished themselves in the 1665 Battle of Lowestoft. No more than five examples are known. $ 50,000

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Archaeologists find gold excavating royal Chinese tombs

Archaeologists digging in the royal Haihunhou cemetery in Nanchang City in eastern China have unearthed gold coins, gold sheets, gold ingots, and other relics from the Han Dynasty.

In addition to the gold coins, hoof-shaped gold ingots, jade pendants and 2,000-year-old goose-shaped bronze lamps were also found. Recent finds include 20 thin gold sheets.
The excavation site covers more than 43,000 square feet and is believed by researchers to be the tomb of Liu He. Liu He was the first Haihunhou, or marquis of Haihun State, a small kingdom in the north Jiangxi Province.

The cemetery has been subjected to archaeological exploration since 2011. More than 10,000 items have been discovered during the multiple excavations, with 110 of the items recovered put on exhibition at the Jiangxi Provincial Museum in Nanchang.

Turtle-shaped jade stamp

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Orchids Good as Gold

According to detectives it was a professional job and the thieves, who left no trace, knew exactly what they were after. Bearing all the hallmarks of an audacious art gallery heist this was the scene at Kew Gardens in 2014 where a rare African water lily was snatched. It is now thought to have been sold to an unscrupulous private collector on the growing black market for stolen plants.
The legal plant trade amounts to £9 billion a year worldwide. Dr Richard Thomas says: “There is a kudos in owning anything rare. Although it’s impossible to give precise figures for plants there is a limited but thriving black market involving fanatical but unscrupulous private collectors. If someone wants a species badly enough they will pay vast amounts of money.”
Monkeyface orchid

Hochstetter Butterfly Orchid
Rare and new discoveries of wild plants are most prized sending collectors into a frenzy and it’s feared that some species are being driven to the brink of extinction by over-harvesting.

One of the world’s rarest orchids was re-discovered in 2014 by British botanists on a volcanic island in the Atlantic. There were only 250 plants of the unique species on the island of Sao Jorge in the Portuguese Azores, making it the rarest in Europe.

Bee Orchid

Lady's Slipper orchids

The albino form of the Vanda sanderiana or the Waling-waling is a rare and prized plant for orchid collectors and breeders.

Bulbophyllum kubahense

Phragmipedium kovachii was first found in 2001 and is referred to as one of the most important natural history discoveries of the last decade.

Cypripedium calceolus. It receives round-the-clock police surveillance where it grows on a Lancashire golf course.

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum, an orchid that is on top of the endangered species list.
The contemporary orchid-breeding business in Taiwan and its main rival, the Netherlands, centers on the Phalaenopsis, or the moth orchid.

In Victorian Europe, orchid hunters, hired by wealthy collectors, sometimes killed each other in pursuit of new breeds.

Bornean slipper orchid

Shenzhen Nongke orchid took eight years to develop and in 2005, it was sold for about $ 200,000.
A new species of orchid found in Colombia has been named Telipogon diabolicus, because the heart of the flower has an eerie resemblance to a devil's head. There aren't many flowers of this kind in existence.

Researchers found a small patch of about 30 orchids between the borders of two Colombian departments. So far, this is its only known habitat.