Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Artemis Gallery Ancient Antiquities Auction

Polychrome gesso box, Egypt, 26th Dynasty, circa 662 to 525 BCE, with hieroglyphs on each of four panels, $40,000-$60,000
Artemis Gallery unlocks the mysteries of ancient times with an auction of important classical antiquities, plus ancient and ethnographic art.
Greek Illyrian bronze helmet, circa late 6th to 5th century BCE. $20,000-$30,000

22+ karat gold Burmese Buddha that dates to the 12th century. Seated in the Bhumisparsha mudra pose and delineated in fine detail. $20,000-$30,000.

Pre-Columbian ceramic figure of the Veracruz (Mexico) culture is in actuality a life-size ocarina. $40,000-$60,000
Wood mummiform sarcophagus depicting Falcon Bird Horus. Circa 664 to 332 BCE, this incredibly rare piece is cataloged with a $25,000-$35,000 estimate.

A rare 1st century cavalry officer’s bronze parade mask modeled in the likeness of its owner. Estimate is $80,000-$100,000.
Greek Cycladic marble female figure, circa 2500 BCE. Est. $80k-$100k.Enormous Early Byzantine (400 to 600 CE) liturgical table finely carved from a single piece of creamy white marble. $100,000-$300,000Chinese Han Dynasty terracotta horse, circa 206 BCE to 220 CE. Est: $75,000-$150,000Urartu bronze helmet, circa-8th-7th century BCE. Est. $250,000-$350,000

Greek Paestan red-figure bell krater, Magna Graecia, southern Italy, circa 340 to 330 BCE $6,000-$8,000
The carefully curated selection includes museum-quality pieces from Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Near Eastern, Asian, Pre-Columbian and Native-American cultures. Additionally, there are several important Celtic and Viking relics and gold jewelry items.
Viking 18K gold ring with central cabochon garnet and flanking emerald cabochons, circa 9th to 12th centuries CE, $20,000-$25,000

Large Ancient Roman marble head of a man, circa 1st to 3rd century CE $20,000-$30,000

Prometheus: The Creator of Man

In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, hero, and trickster figure who is credited with the creation of man from clay, and who defies the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity, an act that enabled civilization. Prometheus is known for his intelligence and as a champion. The punishment of Prometheus as a consequence of the theft is eternal torment. The immortal Prometheus was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, which would then grow back overnight to be eaten again the next day. Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles (Hercules).

Sunday, 28 April 2019

King Offa of Mercia

King Offa's coins featured the Islamic declaration 'No God but Allah.' This example is the only one known to exist.
King Offa of Mercia, who reigned between 757AD and 796AD, minted hundreds of Gold dinars featuring his name and the Islamic declaration of faith. The Anglo-Saxon moneyer who made this coin clearly did not understand Arabic. The Arabic inscription is upside down in relation to Offa’s name, and there is abundant evidence Offa was Christian, not Muslim.
This gold coin might have been one of 365 gold coins Offa reportedly sent to the pope in Rome. Offa may have chosen to mint the gold dinar because it was the dominant coinage in the Mediterranean in this period.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Aegina’s Sea Turtle

Aegina is a rocky island in the Saronic Gulf located about 25 miles southeast of Athens. It was settled around 900 BCE and was named after the daughter of the Greek river god Asopos. The inhabitants became expert merchants and tradesmen, dominating the shipping industry early in the sixth century BCE. Their success brought the island great wealth and power.

The first coins were thought to be made by the king of Argos, Pheidon. Coins with 'turtle' design are considered an important early trading currency.
Aegina became the first of the Greek city-states to issue coined money, starting in the mid-sixth century BCE. Their common didrachm “stater” coinage weighed about 12.6 grams.

Their status as the first international trade currency was aided by consistency of their designs, and their coins spread far throughout the known world.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Macrinus aureus makes $ 288k

AV aureus. NGC Choice AU ★ 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style. Rome, AD 218. $288kRoman emperor Macrinus reigned for about a year, from 217 to 218, before falling victim to assassination, a fate he shared with many of his peers.

One of three known gold aureus coins of the type for Macrinus was a highlight of a Heritage auction. At the same sale a Diadumenian aureus made $336k
Diadumenian, as Caesar (AD 217-218). AV aureus. NGC Choice AU ★ 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Rome, AD 218. $ 336k
Macrinus proclaimed himself emperor without awaiting confirmation from the Senate in Rome. This and reigning in soldiers’ pay made him very unpopular. The veteran soldiers revolted.

Marcus Opellius Diadumenian, ten-year-old son of emperor Macrinus (AD 217-218), was granted the rank of Caesar soon after his father had succeeded the murdered Caracalla. Coinage in his name was struck in all denominations, though his gold is extremely rare. Diadumenian was captured and executed in late June 218.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Ancient Greek murder victim unusual

About 2,000 years ago, a heavily muscled man was murdered on a Greek island. The killer drove a spear into the man's chest with such force that it left a nearly perfect circle in his sternum. Such an injury is rare according to researchers.

Archaeologists found the man's remains in 2002 while excavating a section of an ancient necropolis in Thasos, the northernmost Aegean island.
The ancient spear — known as a styrax, the pointed end of a thrusting spear — wasn't thrown at the victim from a distance. Instead, it was likely thrust inward at close range and with precision, possibly for an execution. An injury like that would have caused cardiac shock and arrest, likely killing the man within a minute.

A dental analysis showed that just before the man's death, his diet worsened, suggesting that he was a prisoner or captive in his last days.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Ancient ‘Texas Serengeti’ had rhinos, alligators, 12 kinds of horses

From 1939 to 1941 a federal agency that provided work to millions of Americans during the Great Depression put unemployed Texans to work as fossil-hunters. They dug up tens of thousands of specimens from sites near Beeville, Texas.

For the past 80 years the fossils have been stored at the University of Texas at Austin and virtually forgotten.
The fossil trove of nearly 4,000 specimens represent 50 animal species, all of which roamed the Texas Gulf Coast around 12 million years ago. Among the finds was a new genus of gomphothere, an extinct relative of elephants with a shovel-like lower jaw.
Other fossils include the American alligator and an extinct relative of modern dogs.
A paper describing the fossils and geologic setting was published April 11, 2019, in the journal Palaeontologia Electronica.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Metal Detectorists in U.K. land huge 14th century hoard

A 14th century hoard of 557 gold and silver coins has been discovered in Buckinghamshire. The haul includes a dozen gold coins from the time of the Black Death. It is one of the biggest hoards found in the UK in the last decade. The finders are four amateur detectorists taking part in a local metal detector rally. The finders were initially delighted to find a dozen silver Edward I and II coins. At the end of the day they had found 276 silver coins and nine gold nobles. The silver coins are believed to be from the reign of Edward I and II - 1272 to 1327.
The full gold nobles might be worth up to £10,000 each although condition may be an issue. The silver coins might be worth between £20 and £50.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Rare Byzantine gold coin found by schoolboys in Israel

A rare Byzantine gold coin has been found by a group of schoolboys in northern Israel. The coin was found along a stream in the Galilee region. The coin is a solidus minted by the emperor Theodosius II in Constantinople around 420–423 CE.

Theodosius II was named to the throne as an infant in 402 and ruled until 450 when he died in a riding accident.

A high quality (AU) Theodosius II solidus would expect to make at least $ 1500.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Evolution of Lipstick

While there is no evidence, historians say it’s likely that lipstick evolved from prehistoric times when humans started to smear plant juices on their faces for religious ceremonies.

As early as 2500 BC, and certainly by 1000 BC, Sumerian men and women in southern Mesopotamia invented and wore lipstick. They are thought to have crushed gemstones and used them to decorate their faces, mainly on the lips and around the eyes. Egyptians also adopted this fashion craze. According to records, they mixed a red dye extracted from seaweed with iodine and bromine mannite, which can be highly toxic.

Over time a safer lipstick made from crushed carmine beetles and ants was used.
In ancient Greece only prostitutes were allowed to flaunt scarlet lip paint. This led to the first known law related to lipstick, which dictated that prostitutes could be punished for improperly posing as ladies if they appeared in public without their designated lip paint. In ancient Rome both genders used lipstick to distinguish social class and rank. Around 1000 AD famed physician and chemist Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi perfected a formula for solid lipsticks. These perfumed sticks became the basis for today’s cosmetics.
For the next 1,000 years lipstick was both revered and despised. During the Middle Ages religious groups condemned makeup for “challenging God and his workmanship.” In the 1500s, English pastors denounced lip painting as “the devil’s work,” but that didn’t stop Queen Elizabeth I from using a mix of cochineal, gum Arabic, egg white and fig milk to produce crimson lips that became the rage. In 1770, Britain passed a law that condemned lipstick on the grounds that “women found guilty of seducing men into matrimony by cosmetic means could be tried for witchcraft.”
It wasn’t until the late 1800s that lipstick started coming out of the closet. Famed actress Sarah Berhardt shocked the world by daring to apply lipstick in public. By 1912, suffragettes marched down the streets of New York proudly wearing their bright red lipstick. Red lipstick became the 'it' symbol of female rebellion.

According to various studies and surveys, the average woman today will use 9 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime and nearly half say they own more than 20 at any given time. Lipstick has truly arrived.