FEATURED ITEM: Greek Terracotta Rhyton with Griffin Protome

Greek Terracotta Rhyton with Griffin Protome

Greek Terracotta Rhyton with Griffin Protome

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – www.Baidun.com

FEATURED ITEM: Greek Terracotta Rhyton with Griffin Protome

This Greek Terracotta Rhyton with Griffin Protome (as of 19 / July / 2017) is still available for sale from www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SI_GR_1031
Civilization: Hellenistic 500 B.C.E. – 400 B.C.E.
Size: L. 23 cm
Condition: Fine Condition
Price: Available Upon Request
Provenance: The Baidun Collection

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/greek-terracotta-rhyton-with-griffin-protome/
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Greek Terracotta Rhyton with Griffin Protome

This characterful Greek terracotta Rhyton dates from the Hellenistic period, 500 B.C.E. – 400 B.C.E. The Rhyton’s protome end is molded into the form of what appears to be a smiling Griffin whose head is at an angle that would have been comfortable to hold while in use. It has red painted slip over the terracotta to give it a warmer shade as well as an attractive shine. These type of vessels hail from the ancient Near East where more luxurious examples can be found made from precious metals.

Characteristics of Rhytons / Rhyta

A rhyton (plural rhytons or, following the Greek plural, rhyta) is a roughly conical container from which fluids were intended to be drunk or to be poured in some ceremony such as libation, or merely at table. They are typically formed in the shape of an animal’s head, and were produced over large areas of ancient Eurasia, especially from Persia to the Balkans. Many have an opening at the bottom through which the liquid fell; others did not, and were merely used as drinking cups with the characteristic that they could not usually be set down on a surface without spilling their contents.

The conical rhyton form has been known in the Aegean region since the Bronze Age, or the 2nd millennium B.C.E. However, it was by no means confined to that region. Similar in form to – and perhaps originating from – the drinking horn, it has been widespread over Eurasia since prehistoric times. Rhytons were very common in ancient Persia, where they were called takuk (تکوک). After a Greek victory against Persia, much silver, gold, and other luxuries – including numerous rhytons – were brought to Athens. Persian rhytons were immediately imitated by Greek artists as featured here with this Rhyton.

Origins of Rhyton / Rhyta

The word rhyton is the Greek neuter of rhytos “flowing,” from rhein “to flow,” plural rhyta (Wissowa, 1935, pp. 643-45). The word is often translated as “drinking horn,” primarily because of its appearance, due to its manufacture from the curved horn of a bovid. Early in prehistory the rhyton must have been developed out of such simple drinking horns. Later, the lower part of the horn was changed in form and was elaborated with a protome—the sculptured forepart of an animal.

The materials used for rhyta originally must have been the natural horns of animals such as oxen, cows, and buffalos, as well as possibly goats, ibexes, and others, but such rhyta have not survived archeologically. From the 1st millennium BCE, we find rhyta made of ceramic (Kawami, 1992; Haerinck, 1983). From the time of the Achaemenids, we find pieces in gold and silver, and from the time of Alexander the Great (Pfrommer, 1993; Giumlia-Mair and La Niece, 1998, pp. 139-45) up to the end of the Parthian period, examples in gilded silver.

Greek Terracotta Rhyton with Griffin Protome
SHORT URL: http://www.goo.gl/hKz9dW

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FEATURED ITEM: Hellenistic Bronze Face of Silenus Greek god of Drunkenness and Wine

Hellenistic Bronze Face of Silenus Greek god of Drunkenness and Wine

HellenisticBronzeFaceOfSilenusGreekGodOfDrunkennessAndWine

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – http://www.Baidun.com

 

FEATURED ITEM: Hellenistic Bronze Face of Silenus Greek god of Drunkenness and Wine

This Hellenistic Bronze Face of Silenus Greek god of Drunkenness and Wine (as of 28 / June / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SI_GR_1016
Civilization: Hellenistic 300 B.C.E. – 200 B.C.E.
Size: H. 6.5 cm
Condition: Two holes below the mouth. Surface with light punch marks
Price: $8,500 USD
Provenance: The Baidun Collection

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/hellenistic-bronze-face-of-silenus-greek-god-of-drunkenness-and-wine/
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Silenus Greek god of Drunkenness and Wine-Making

This bronze depiction of Silenus, Greek god of drunkenness and wine-press, dates to the Hellenistic period 300 B.C.E. – 200 B.C.E. He was companion of the wine god Dionysus, and from the 5th century B.C.E. the name Silenus was applied to Dionysus’ foster father, which thus aided the gradual absorption of the Satyrs and Sileni into the Dionysiac cult.

Here Silenus is depicted as an old satyr with a long mustache and a square beard with big curling hair locks. The face has strong features with chubby cheeks, snub-nose, fleshy lips, frowning brows, as well as pointed ears with ivy leaves set over both of them. The face is finely modeled with a strong and living expression. It is framed with a contour line at the border of the missing upper and back parts of the head.

Such a facial depiction was applied on a statue which was possibly made of other material. The punched surface of the face may indicate that it was plated or sheathed with silver or gold.

Classical Depictions of Silenus

A notorious consumer of wine, Silenus was usually drunk and had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated Silenus was said to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy: It was believed that he acquired arcane knowledge and was able to predict the future. Seilenos was, in essence, the spirit of the treading dance of the wine-press – his name being derived from the words seiô, “to move to and fro,” and lênos, “the wine-trough.”

 

Hellenistic Bronze Face of Silenus Greek god of Drunkenness and Wine
SHORT URL: http://www.goo.gl/yAV5L4

 

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FEATURED ITEM: Bronze Imperial Roman Bull Stomping Hoof

Bronze Imperial Roman Bull Stomping Hoof

ImperialRomanBronzeBull

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – http://www.Baidun.com

FEATURED ITEM: Bronze Imperial Roman Bull Stomping Hoof

This Bronze Imperial Roman Bull Stomping Hoof (as of 23 / June / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SI_RM_1085
Civilization: Roman, 200 C.E. – 300 C.E.
Size: H. 16 cm
Condition: Fine condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: The Baidun Collection, Ex German Private Collection, acquired in the 1980s

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/bronze-imperial-roman-bull-stomping-hoof/

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Bronze Imperial Roman Bull Stomping Hoof

This incredible Bronze Imperial Roman Bull statuette dating from 200 – 300 C.E. is decorated with two stylized markings on its flanks and one large ribbon across its torso. The bull’s powerful stance is accentuated by his head that is turned, as well as his front left leg that is raised in an aggressive stomping motion.  Additional decorations are present on the bull’s head in the form of decorous curls. This Bronze Imperial Roman Bull statuette was part of a composed relief depicting a procession that leads to the sacrifice of the bull which was performed for the welfare of the Roman empire.

For more than 5,000 years, bronze and other copper alloys have been essential materials used to create everything from life-size sculptures to objects of daily life such as weapons, jewelry, tableware, and as featured here: This incredible Bronze Imperial Roman Bull statuette. Similar pieces are found in museums such as the Met Museum in New York City, but few found are as majestic and powerful as this piece.

 

Roman Bull in Cult of Magna Mater (Great Mother of the gods) Cybele

The religious practices of the Roman Empire of the 2nd to 4th centuries C.E. included the taurobolium, in which a bull was sacrificed for the well being of the people and the state. Around the mid-2nd century C.E. the practice became identified with the worship of Magna Mater (i.e. the Great Mother of the gods, Cybele), but was not previously associated only with that cult (cultus).

After 159 CE all private taurobolia inscriptions mention Magna Mater. Public taurobolia enlisting the benevolence of Magna Mater on behalf of the emperor became common in Italy, Gaul, Hispania, and Africa. The last public taurobolium for which there is an inscription was carried out at Mactar in Numidia at the close of the 3rd century C.E. It was performed in honor of the emperors Diocletian and Maximian.

Roman Bull in Eastern Cult of Mithras

Another Roman mystery cult in which a sacrificial bull played a role was that of the 1st-4th century C.E. Mithraic Mysteries. The cult of Mithras was very popular throughout the Roman Empire and was followed especially by soldiers. It was one of several eastern cults that spread rapidly as a result of the Pax Romana (Roman peace) – others included the worship of Jupiter Dolichenus, Manichaeism, and of course Christianity.

Shrouded in secrecy, ancient mystery cults fascinate and capture the imagination. Like all Greco-Roman mysteries, the cult of Mithraic Mysteries was limited to initiates, and there is very little known about the cult’s beliefs or practices. In the so-called “tauroctony” artwork of that cult (cultus) – and which appears in all its temples – the god Mithras is seen to slay a sacrificial bull. The tauroctony should not be confused with a “taurobolium”, which was an actual bull-killing cult act performed by initiates of the Mysteries of Magna Mater, and has nothing to do with the Mithraic Mysteries.

Although there has been a great deal of speculation on the subject, the mystery that the tauroctony scene was intended to represent remains unknown. Like the other ancient “mystery religions” such as the Eleusinian mysteries and the mysteries of Isis, Mithraism maintained strict secrecy about its teachings and practices, revealing them only to initiates. As a result, reconstructing the beliefs of the Mithraic devotees has posed an enormously intriguing challenge to scholarly ingenuity.

Owing to the Mithraic cult’s secrecy, we possess almost no literary evidence about the beliefs of Mithraism. The few texts that do refer to the cult come not from Mithraic devotees themselves, but rather from outsiders such as early Church fathers who mentioned Mithraism in order to attack it, as well as from Platonic philosophers who attempted to find support in Mithraic symbolism for their own philosophical ideas.

However, although our literary sources for Mithraism are extremely sparse, an abundance of material evidence for the cult exists in the many Mithraic temples and artifacts that archaeologists have found scattered throughout the Roman empire – from England in the north and west to Palestine in the south and east. The temples – called mithraea by scholars – were usually built underground in imitation of caves. These subterranean temples were filled with an extremely elaborate iconography:  carved reliefs, statues, and paintings – depicting a variety of enigmatic figures and scenes. This iconography is our primary source of knowledge about Mithraic beliefs, but because we do not have any written accounts of its meaning the ideas that it expresses have proven extraordinarily difficult to decipher.

 

Bronze Imperial Roman Bull Stomping Hoof
SHORT URL: http://www.goo.gl/xXbxjW

 

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FEATURED ITEM: Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

Roman Marble Statuette Idol of Greek goddess Nike Presenting Herself Sexually

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – http://www.Baidun.com

FEATURED ITEM: Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

This Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike (as of 07 / April / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SI_RM_1060
Civilization:  Roman, 200 C.E.
Size: H. 21.5 cm
Condition: Tips of the wings and neck rejoined, otherwise in fine condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: The Baidun Collection

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/roman-marble-statuette-idol-of-greek-goddess-nike/
SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/4rmCKp

 

Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

Nike – The Greek goddess of Victory

Nike was a Greek war goddess who personified victory.  Her Roman equivalent was Victoria.  The Greek goddess Nike was variously described as the daughter of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal).

Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace (also known as “The Winged Nike“). Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins.

 

Equivalents in the Mesopotamian (Sumerian / Akkadian) Pantheons

The Greek goddess Nike is most likely a Greek adaptation of the Babylonian/Assyrian goddess Ištar (Ishtar), the Mesopotamian East Semitic (Akkadian (Assyrian and Babylonian)) goddess of fertility, love, war, sex, and power.  She is the counterpart to the earlier attested Sumerian Inanna who was the goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat. She was one of the most widely venerated deities in the ancient Sumerian pantheon.  Ishtar is the cognate for the later attested Northwest Semitic (Aramean/Canaanite) goddess Astarte (Ashtoreth),* as well as the Armenian goddess Astghik. Ishtar was an important deity in Mesopotamian religion which was extant from c. 3500 BCE, until its gradual decline between the 1st and 5th centuries CE with the spread of Christianity.

Equivalents in the Egyptian Pantheon

Among equivalents to- or influences upon- the Greek goddess Nike from the Egyptian pantheon, there are several candidates who are described as goddesses of war (in various capacities).  They are 1.) Bastet; 2.) Menhit; 3.) Neith; and 4.) Sekhmet.  The uniting of Egyptian cultures of Upper and Lower Egypt had also united deities that shared similar roles and usually the same imagery.  In Upper Egypt, Sekhmet was the parallel warrior lioness deity. Often similar deities merged into one with the unification, but that did not occur with these deities having such strong roots in their cultures. Instead, these goddesses began to diverge.

These Egyptian goddesses of war are:  1.) Bastet, who was the goddess of warfare in Lower Egypt, the Nile River delta region before the unification of the cultures of ancient Egypt; 2.) Menhit, whose name depicts a warrior status, as it means “(she who) massacres”; 3.) Neith, goddess of war and of hunting; and 4.) Sekhmet (or Sachmis – also spelled Sakhmet, Sekhet, or Sakhet, among other spellings, means “the powerful one”) is a warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing.

 

The Egyptian war goddess Neith ~ Nike

The Egyptian war goddess Neith (also spelled Nit, Net, or Neit) provides an interesting example.  There are possible (probable) linguistic similarities of the name Nike (pronounced “Ni-ke” or “Ni-kay”; “Nee-ke” or “Nee-kay”) with the name Neith (pronounced “Nith” or “Neeth”; “Nit” or “Neet”).

Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike

For the ancient Greeks – among their pantheon of gods and goddesses – the Greek goddess Nike (in the anthropomorphized form of a young, winged woman) personified victory in war.  In this outstanding example of ancient Greco-Roman art, the Nike portrayed here is represented standing here on a base with an inclined surface (perhaps on the summit of a hilltop or “high place” of worship) with her wings unfolded and outstretched upright towards the heavens.  She is dressed in a peplos fastened at her shoulder and tied with a cord just below her bosom.

The young woman’s pose, the movement of the peplos, and the position of the wings may indicate that she has just alighted on the ground.  The Nike portrayed here is standing in an upright position (almost at attention) while a strong wind blows from directly in front of her, therefore causing her peplos to cling against the front of her body (as well as lift the dress from behind as wind will do).

Upon first glance, the rendering of the face may seem a bit impersonal and idealized (indeed her traits recall several portraits of Faustine the Elder, the wife of Antoninus Pius).  The large folds of her peplos are reminiscent of the sculptures in the local style of the Levant (Syria and Jordan), whence this piece probably originated.

Roman Marble Statuette (Idol) of Greek goddess Nike
SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/4rmCKp

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FEATURED ITEM: Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – http://www.Baidun.com

FEATURED ITEM: Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

This Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish (as of 04 / April / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SI_RM_1103
Civilization:  Roman, Pompeii 3rd Period, 100 C.E.
Size: L. 31 cm x H. 36.5 cm
Condition: Fine condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: Ex. Private Swiss collection, Acquired 1980s.

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://www.baidun.com/roman-pompeian-wall-fresco-with-aquarium-like-swimming-fish/
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Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish

 

Fresco Wall Painting

The origins of fresco painting are unknown, but it was used as early as the Minoan civilization (at Knossos on Crete) and by the ancient Romans (at Pompeii). The Italian Renaissance was the great period of fresco painting, as seen in the works of Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Correggio and many other painters from the late 13th to the mid-16th century.

Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly-laid lime plaster.  Water is used as the vehicle (or medium) for the pigment, and with the setting of the plaster the painting becomes an integral part of the wall.

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco – 3rd Style (Period)

This extremely fine fresco is an exquisite example of ancient Roman art, originates from Pompeii in ancient Rome, and is of the 3rd Pompeian Style that was popular 20-10 BCE. This 3rd Pompeian Style (and Period) emerged and developed as a reaction to the austerity of the previous period.

It leaves room for more figurative and colorful decoration, with an overall more ornamental feeling, and often presents great finesse in execution.  This style is typically noted as simplistically elegant.

One who beholds this fresco today wonders if the ancient Romans were making a first proto-attempt to illustrate the conceived notion of an aquarium before the advent of modern glass and other technologies that would make the invention of aquariums actually possible in the 19th century CE.  It seems that the artist who painted this fresco was attempting to create a calm and relaxing environment for those who sat in the room whose walls were decorated with this fresco of swimming fish in an Aquarium-like motif – which was extremely innovative and insightful to have the foresight in his/her day 19 centuries before the advent and invention of glass aquariums.

Pompeii Destroyed by Volcanic Eruption of Vesuvius

On 24 August 79 CE, the city of Pompeii was destroyed by the violent eruption of the volcano Vesuvius.  The eruption destroyed the city, killing its inhabitants and burying it under tons of ash.  The circumstances of their destruction preserved their remains as a unique document of Greco-Roman life.  Pompeii supported between 10,000 and 20,000 inhabitants at the time of its destruction.  Fortunately for this Fresco, it also has survived and has remained intact in Fine Condition.  Provenance is excellent:  acquired in the 1980s, Ex. Private Swiss Collection.

The ruins at Pompeii were first discovered late in the 16th century CE by the architect Domenico Fontana. Herculaneum was discovered in 1709 CE, and systematic excavation began there in 1738 CE.  Work did not begin at Pompeii until 1748 CE, and in 1763 CE an inscription (“Rei publicae Pompeianorum”) was found that identified the site as Pompeii.  The work at these towns in the mid-18th century marked the start of the modern science of archaeology.

Mount Vesuvius erupted 24 August 79 CE.  A vivid eyewitness report is preserved in two letters written by Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus, who had inquired about the death of Pliny the Elder, commander of the Roman fleet at Misenum.  Site excavations and volcanological studies, notably in the late 20th century CE.

Just after midday on 24 August, fragments of ash, pumice, and other volcanic debris began pouring down on Pompeii, quickly covering the city to a depth of more than 9 feet (3 metres) and causing the roofs of many houses to fall in.  Surges of pyroclastic material and heated gas, known as nuées ardentes, reached the city walls on the morning of 25 August and soon asphyxiated those residents who had not been killed by falling debris.  Additional pyroclastic flows and rains of ash followed, adding at least another 9 feet of debris and preserving in a pall of ash the bodies of the inhabitants who perished while taking shelter in their houses or trying to escape toward the coast or by the roads leading to Stabiae or Nuceria.

Thus Pompeii remained buried under a layer of pumice stones and ash 19 to 23 feet (6 to 7 metres) deep.  The city’s sudden burial served to protect it for the next 17 centuries from vandalism, looting, and the destructive effects of climate and weather.

Roman Pompeian Wall Fresco with Aquarium-like Swimming Fish
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FEATURED ITEM: Papyrus Fragments of Egyptian Book of the Dead from Ptolemaic Period

Papyrus Fragments of Egyptian Book of the Dead from Ptolemaic Period

Papyrus Fragments of Egyptian Book of the Dead from Ptolemaic Period

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – http://www.Baidun.com

FEATURED ITEM: Papyrus Fragments of Egyptian Book of the Dead from Ptolemaic Period

This collection of Papyrus Fragments of Egyptian Book of the Dead from Ptolemaic Period (as of 13 / March / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference: MS_EG_1003
Civilization: Egyptian, Hellenistic Ptolemaic Period (c. 305 – 30 BCE)
Size: H. x W. Varying…
Condition: Fine condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: Baidun Collection

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Papyrus Fragments of Egyptian Book of the Dead from Ptolemaic Period

‘Book of the Dead’ is a modern term for a collection of magical spells that the Egyptians used to help them get into the afterlife.  They imagined the afterlife as a kind of journey you had to make to get to paradise – but it was quite a hazardous journey so you’d need magical help along the way.

Prior to the New Kingdom, The Book of the Dead was only available to the royalty and the elite.

The popularity of the Osiris Myth in the period of the New Kingdom made people believe the spells were indispensible because Osiris featured so prominently in the soul’s judgment in the afterlife. As more and more people desired their own Book of the Dead, scribes obliged them and the book became just another commodity produced for sale.

In the same way that publishers in the present day offer Print on Demand books or self-published works, the scribes offered different “packages” to clients to choose from. They could have as few or as many spells in their books as they could afford. Bunson writes, “The individual could decide the number of chapters to be included, the types of illustrations, and the quality of the papyrus used. The individual was limited only by his or her financial resources” (48).

From the New Kingdom through the Ptolemaic Dynasty (323 – 30 BCE) The Book of the Dead was produced this way. It continued to vary in form and size until c. 650 BCE when it was fixed at 190 uniform spells but, still, people could add or subtract what they wanted to from the text. A Book of the Dead from the Ptolemaic Dynasty which belonged to a woman named Tentruty had the text of The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys attached to it which was never included as part of the Book of the Dead. Other copies of the book continued to be produced with more or less spells depending on what the buyer could afford. The one spell which every copy seems to have had, however, was Spell 125.

Featured here are several papyrus fragments of the Egyptian Book of the Dead from Egypt’s Ptolemaic Era (305 – 30 BCE).  Examining Egyptian art during these 300 years reveals strong continuities in its traditions but also interactions with Greek art, whose forms and styles swept the world with Alexander’s armies. The encounter of the two cultures had many aspects and phases, and is easiest to comprehend by looking first at the new ruling class, its involvements and concerns, and then at religion and the arts in the greater land of Egypt.

Papyrus Fragments of Egyptian Book of the Dead from Ptolemaic Period
SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/KJ7JrV

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FEATURED ITEM: Egyptian Bas-Relief Pink Limestone Fragment with Two Female Figures

Egyptian Bas-Relief Pink Limestone Fragment with Two Female Figures

EgyptianBas-ReliefPinkLimestoneFragmentWithTwoFemaleFigures

Baidun Fine Antiquities – Since 1927 – http://www.Baidun.com

FEATURED ITEM: Egyptian Bas-Relief Pink Limestone Fragment with Two Female Figures

This Egyptian Bas-Relief Pink Limestone Fragment with Two Female Figures (as of 08 / March / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference:  SI_EG_1048
Civilization:  Egyptian New Kingdom. Early 18th Dynasty. Reign of Amenhotep I, 1525 B.C.E. – 1504 B.C.E.
Size:  H. 23 cm
Condition:  Excellent condition
Price:  Available upon request
Provenance:  Private French Collection, French Passport # 125189

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/egyptian-bas-relief-pink-limestone-fragment-with-two-female-figures/

SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/7Y4Neu

Egyptian Bas-Relief Pink Limestone Fragment with Two Female Figures

Carved Limestone Bas-Relief from the Egyptian New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty from the 18th dynasty of the Egyptian New Kingdom, this ancient Egyptian Bas-Relief (Bas Relief) was carved from a pink limestone and depicts two female figures, their left arms raised across their chest holding lotus buds. In their right arms they hold a stylized menat, a ritual object to foster fruitfulness and good health in women. Both wear long close fitting garments.

Inscribed Egyptian Hieroglyphics with Name ‘Nes-Noub’

A beautiful Egyptian hieroglyphics inscription above the figures gives the name ‘Nes-Noub‘ (Noub is also known as Chnoubis among other variants).  The style of the carving allows a fairly precise dating to the reign of Amenhotep I (r. 1514 – 1493 BCE) at the very beginning of the 18th Dynasty. Features such as the well defined nostrils, giving the nose a pinched appearance are typical of this period.

From Time of Pharaoh Amenhotep I (Amenophis I) son of Ahmose I

Amenhotep I, also called Amenophis I, was the son of Ahmose I (r. 1539 – 1514 BCE), the founder of the 18th dynasty (1539–1292 BCE).  Ahmose I completed the expulsion of the Hyksos (i.e. Asiatic rulers of Egypt), invaded Palestine, and re-exerted Egypt’s hegemony over northern Nubia, to the south.  He effectively extended Egypt’s boundaries in Nubia (modern Sudan)

FEATURED ITEM:  Egyptian Bas-Relief Pink Limestone Fragment with Two Female Figure

SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/7Y4Neu

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FEATURED ITEM: Egyptian Book of the Dead for Min-Her-Khetiu

Egyptian Book of the Dead for Min-Her-Khetiu

egyptianbookofthedead

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FEATURED ITEM: Egyptian Book of the Dead for Min-Her-Khetiu

This Egyptian Book of the Dead for Min-Her-Khetiu (as of 24 / February / 2017) is still available for sale from http://www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SC_EG_1001
Civilization: 18th Dynasty, c.1400 B.C.E.
Size: H. 14 x L. 33.2 cm and H. 15.5 x L. 88.8 cm
Condition: Fine condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: Baidun Collection

DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/egyptian-book-of-the-dead-for-min-her-khetiu/
SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/bZiqyl

Egyptian Book of the Dead for Min-Her-Khetiu

‘Book of the Dead’ is a modern term for a collection of magical spells that the Egyptians used to help them get into the afterlife.  They imagined the afterlife as a kind of journey you had to make to get to paradise – but it was quite a hazardous journey so you’d need magical help along the way.

Featured here are two fragments of an Egyptian Book of the Dead written for the Royal sandal-bearer of Isis, Min-Her-Khetiu:

The smaller papyrus sheet includes the painted figures of a woman and the dead man, their hands raised in adoration. Between them a column of hieroglyphs gives the name and title of the owner.  Seven columns of hieroglyphs in the center contain the opening of Chapter 7 headed ‘Chapter of Sailing in the Bark of Ra’.  Above this an accompanying vignette of a shallow boat containing the falcon headed Ra crowned with solar disc and flanked by wedjat eyes to signify health and security.  To the right four columns recounting part of Chapter 149,’The Fourteen Mounds’, the illustration above showing a pottery jar with liquid spilling from it.

The longer sheet carries thirty columns of Chapter 125 ‘The Declaration of Innocence’ with a scene showing standing figures of Anubis with the dead man to the left of a kneeling falcon headed god (Horus though he is labelled Thoth) supervising the weighing of the heart against Maat.  Two seated gods above the scales represent the 42 gods who witness the judgement.  Two of the three columns in the center are from Chapter 81a ‘Spell for becoming a lotus’ and on the right side of the sheet are ten columns from the beginning of Chapter 144 ‘Address to the Keepers of the Underworld’ with the paired figures of the horned guardian and reporter of each gate shown at the foot of the column.

Other fragments from the same scroll can be found in the Cairo Museum and the Papyrus Museum, Syracuse, Italy.

Provenance:

Previously Maurice Nahman, Cairo, acquired 1930s; The Schøyen Collection, Norway.

Exhibited:

Kon-Tiki Museet, Oslo, 2002-3

Published Literature:

Barbara Lüscher, ‘Der Totenbuch- Papyrus des Minherchetiu‘ in Studien zur Altägyptishen Kultur, Band 36, 2006.

Egyptian Book of the Dead for Min-Her-Khetiu

SHORT URL:  http://www.goo.gl/bZiqyl

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FEATURED ITEM: Biblical BOOK OF DANIEL Medieval Manuscript Folios

Biblical BOOK OF DANIEL Medieval Manuscript Folios

bookofdanielmedievalilluminatedmanuscriptfolio

BOOK OF DANIEL, from a folio Bible, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

This Book of Daniel Medieval Manuscript (as of 22 / February / 2017) is still available for sale from www.Baidun.com:

Reference: MS_BZ_1013
Civilization: Byzantine, Medieval, ca. 1400 C.E.
Size: H. 32 cm x W. 22.7 cm
Condition: Excellent condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: Baidun Collection
DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/biblical-book-of-daniel-medieval-manuscript-folios/
SHORT URL:  goo.gl/xW7udZ

The Book of Daniel is one of the most loved and treasured books in the Bible.  Not only is Daniel revered as one of the great ancient Hebrew prophets of old, but the Book of Daniel is seen as the key to deciphering the symbolism of the Book of Revelation in the New Testament.

Among ancient manuscripts, a manuscript of the Book of Daniel is considered to be a very special and rare treasure.  In this Byzantine manuscript from medieval times, a portion of the Book of Daniel is preserved in ten folios as it was written circa 1400 C.E.

Coming from Italy in the 2nd half of the 14th century CE, this book measures 320 x 227 mm and includes 10 leaves.  Each leaf/page has two columns of 48 lines written in black ink in a round gothic bookhand between four verticals and 49 horizontals ruled in plummet.  There are rubrics of red, letters of running headings and chapter numbers alternately red and blue, initials of red or blue with cusps and flourishing of both colors extending beyond the height of the text to open each chapter.

TWO ILLUMINATED FOLIATE INITIALS and HISTORIATED INITIAL WITH TEXT-HEIGHT ACANTHUS BORDER in pastel colors and burnished gold (tiny area of dampstaining at top of margin of first three folios).

20th-century half pigskin (slightly rubbed at extremities).

These leaves must once have been part of an extremely handsome and elegantly produced folio Bible. The delicate forms of the acanthus sprays, their twisting leaves turning from pale blue to pink and orange and from yellow to orange, point to an origin in Umbria, probably Perugia, around the middle to third quarter of the 14th century CE.

Serious collectors and connoisseurs of old bibles, old manuscripts, and specifically old bible manuscripts will certainly appreciate the value of medieval illuminated manuscripts such as this one of the Book of Daniel.  A rare manuscript treasure such as this one makes an outstanding addition to any fine book collection.

PROVENANCE:

The Reverend Anson Phelps Stokes (1874-1958): bookplate inside front cover. The noted clergyman in New York and New England, who also directed the philanthropy of his family’s foundation, had this manuscript as no 5 in the listing of his books, De Ricci and Wilson, Census, II, p.2276, where its acquisition from Goodspeed in 1935 and the presence of the Book of Job from the same manuscript, then in the Goodhart collection, New York were also noted. The manuscript passed from his son, the Reverend Anson Phelps Stokes II (1905-1986), Bishop of Massachusetts 1956-70, to the Episcopal Theological School, which in 1974 became part of the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.

CONTENT:

Book of Daniel ff.1v-10v, preceded by the incomplete prologue to Daniel (Stegmüller 494) and followed by the prologues to Hosea (Stegmüller 500 and 507).

 

BOOK OF DANIEL, from a folio Bible, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

SHORT URL:  goo.gl/xW7udZ

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FEATURED ITEM: Ancient Roman Bronze Statue (Statuette) of a Finely Detailed Roman Eagle

Ancient Roman Bronze Statue (Statuette) of a Finely Detailed Roman Eagle

ancientromanbronzestatueofromaneagle
This ancient Roman bronze statute (statuette) (as of 20 / October / 2016) is still available for sale from www.Baidun.com:

Reference: SI_RM_1090
Civilization: Roman, 200 C.E. – 300 C.E.
Size: H. 10.2 cm
Condition: Excellent condition
Price: Available upon request
Provenance: Baidun Collection, ex private collection, acquired before 1973
DIRECT WEB SITE LINK: http://baidun.com/ancient-roman-bronze-statue-statuette-of-a-finely-detailed-roman-eagle/

Ancient Roman bronze eagle statue (statuette) of a Roman eagle holding a crown in its beak showing finely detailed metalwork by the artist in the feathers, face and talons.  The wings of the metal eagle are slightly raised from its side and the legs are close together set on thick talons.

The majestic eagle, being one of the traditional Roman symbols, stands atop a bronze orb which represents the dominion of Rome over the world.  A simple crown of laurels hangs from the bird’s beak in a nod to the eagle’s close association with the royalty of ancient Rome.

The eagle, was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome, especially as the standard of a Roman legion.  A Roman legionaire known as an aquilifer, or eagle-bearer, was the standard bearer who carried this standard on Roman military conquests.  Each Roman legion carried one eagle.   The eagle was extremely important to the Roman army, beyond merely being a symbol of a legion.   A lost standard was considered an extremely grave occurrence, and the Roman military often went to great lengths to both protect a standard and to recover it if lost.

For example, see the aftermath of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, where the Roman army spent decades attempting to recover the lost standards of three Roman legions. That’s why they are relatively small size, since a standard bearer in circumstances of danger will wrench the eagle from its staff and conceal it in the folds of his girdle.

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