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Masterworks

MASTERWORKS

Superb art for the discriminating collector . . .

 
  • Greece, probably Hellenstic period, ca. 323 to 31 BCE. This is a larger-than-life-sized foot from a statue, complete with the lead weights inside its hollow feet, using for stabilization of the statue atop a plinth. The sandal has incredible detail, with each strap delineated; the shape of the ankle is also a fine, realistic touch. Since it is a fragment, this piece also offers us a fantastic look at the art of creating these immense bronze statues. It was made using the indirect method of lost-wax casting. First, the artist created a master mold from either clay, wax, wood, or, occasionally, stone. Molds were taken in several pieces from this master and dried, then reassembled into groups in a manageable size. These were lined with a layer of beeswax. This foot is built around an iron armature (which you can just see as you look down at the ankle); this was placed into the mold and clay (which you can also see) was poured around it. The clay would be build up in two or three fine-to-coarser layers. Eventually the mold would be broken away from the bronze and discarded, with the master mold remaining for use if something went wrong with the bronze casting.
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    Lifesize+ Ancient Greek Bronze Sandaled Foot

  • Russia, ca. 19th century CE. Four images of the Mother of God icon, each presenting a slight variation on the theme, with a Crucifixion between the lower pair, the severed head of John the Baptist between the upper pair, three angels enjoying the hospitality of Abraham above, and six saints occupying the side borders - all finely delineated in egg tempera and gold leaf on wood. Size: 10.5" W x 12.5" H (26.7 cm x 31.8 cm)
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    Exhibited 19th C. Russian Icon, Mother of God 4 Images

  • Ancient Egypt, Late Dynastic to Greco-Roman periods, ca. 712 to 30 BCE. An amazing, rare artifact from a culture whose enigmatic funerary rituals hint at a truly lost way of life, this piece is a painted and gessoed wood (probably sycamore based on similar examples) statuette depicting Ptah-Sokar-Osiris in his human-faced form standing atop a wooden box that represents a coffin. The box is constructed largely as a platform for the figure to stand upon. The lid of the box is a slot that slides out from the top of the box opposite the standing figure, and the handle is a figure of the god Sokar in his hawk form. Size when fully assembled: 17.25" L x 5.1" W x 25" H (43.8 cm x 13 cm x 63.5 cm)

    The figure has a separate headdress that slots into the top of the head; it is in the form of a sun-disc with two plumes.
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    Important Egyptian Ptah Sokar Osiris - 25" H!

  • Pre-Columbian, southeastern Mexico, Chontal, ca. 800 to 300 BCE. Huge greenstone standing "blind" figure showing very strong Olmec chacteristics, but clearly Chontal from the Guerrero region. He stands with legs slightly separated, hands to his chest with delineated fingers, face showing the strongest Olmec features with pouty lips, traingular nose and oval head. A remarkable figure to have survived intact. Custom stand. Size: 5.75" W x 21.25" H (14.6 cm x 54 cm)

    Condition: Intact and excellent with wear and staining commensurate with age

    Provenance: Exhibited at The Field Museum, Chicago, IL in the 1960s, ex-Nick Poolos collection, Adeon Gallery, Chicago, IL.

    All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

    A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all purchases.

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    Museum-Exhibted Huge Olmecoid Chontal Greenstone Figure

  • Greece, Athens, ca. 510 BCE. A graceful neck amphora adorned in traditional black-figure technique, the graceful form with an echinus mouth and tripartite handle, all supported by a torus foot, with hand painted scenes on both sides. Side A features Dionysos - god of wine, pleasure, ritual madness, ecstasy, and theatre - standing in profile, donning a patterned garment, with dots suggesting grape clusters, flowers, or berries in added fugitive white pigment, the drapery further delineated with incised marks. Dionysos holds a drinking horn, and is flanked by a pair of lovely nymphs gently bowing their heads toward the god and holding flowers in their hands. Side B features a nymph or Maenad standing in composite profile, flanked by a pair of Satyrs, who may be persuing or dancing with her. Quite an entertaining example! Size: 6.125" W x 9.75" H (15.6 cm x 24.8 cm)
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    Greek Black Figure Attic Amphora w/ Satyrs

  • Russia, ca. 19th century CE. Skillfully delineated in egg tempera on wood, an icon depicting Jesus astride a donkey descending the Mount of Olives, the city of Jerusalem before him, followed by a group of apostles while children lay cloaks at their feet and a few palm branches they have gathered lie on the ground. Note the Procession of the Palms is at once a triumphant and paradoxical scene, for those who hail Christ as king will soon turn and Jesus will be crucified. Size: 17.75" W x 24" H (45.1 cm x 61 cm)

    This festal icon was used for the feast celebrated on the Sunday before Pascha (Easter) and is known as Palm Sunday by Westerners. In Russia, this holiday is called Willow Sunday, as Russia has no palm trees. Curator Jeanne Marie Warzeski makes the following interesting observation, "The donkey's hooves seem to float above the earth, inferring a divine quality to its rider and foretelling his fate. City dwellers greet Christ with green branches, while a child spreads his garments on the ground in honor."
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    Exhibited 19th C. Russian Icon - Entry into Jerusalem

  • Russia, ca. 19th century CE. Finely painted in egg tempera, gold leaf and enamel, an icon of Christ Pantokrator, Lord of the Universe, holding an orb symbolizing the universe rather than a holy Gospel in his left hand, the fingers of his right hand giving benediction, arranged to form the initials of Christ’s monogram, IC XC. The icon is set in a decorative glass-fronted wood kiot of a fanciful shape with an ornately carved and gilded liner of high relief grapevines dripping with clusters of the fruit of the vine. Size: 22.75" W x 26.75" H (57.8 cm x 67.9 cm)

    The most accepted translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All Powerful" and the visage of Jesus certainly projects his omnipotence. This iconic depiction continues to be a central icon of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Christ gazes beyond the confines of the image, his visage finely delineated with graceful brushstrokes, a rendering aspiring to the naturalism sought in classical antiquity and the Renaissance, this in contrast to the large and relatively flat gilded nimbus and surrounding decorated arch and corners – resulting in a rich balance between naturalism and spiritual transfiguration.

    The wood kiot is a case that protects the icon from smoke and dust as well as temperature and humidity variations to some extent; however, it also serves to enhance and add ornament to the icon. This example in particular with its decorative shape and ornate carved and gilded liner bestows the icon with glorious splendor.
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    Exhibited 19th C. Russian Icon Christ Pantocrator, Kiot

  • New World, Mexico, ca. 18th century CE. Grand in scale, a skillfully carved and finely painted wood santo of Rose of Lima, the primary patroness of Peru who holds the distinction of being the first in the New World to be canonized. She is usually depicted wearing a Dominican habit and a crown of thorns or roses as we see here. She carries one of her chief attributes, and anchor, as well as a house as she provided shelter, stability, and care for the needy throughout her life. Size: 8.5" L x 10.25" W x 23" H (21.6 cm x 26 cm x 58.4 cm)

    Born Isabel Flores de Oliva in Lima in 1568, Rose of Lima lived her 31 years in voluntary penance and prayer, caring for the needy and living a life of extreme asceticism. Her nickname "Rose" arose from an incident when she was a baby - a servant claimed to see her face transform into a beautiful rose. She was confirmed by the Archbishop of Lima in 1597; this same Archbishop Tiribio de Mogrovejo later declared her a saint, and it was at this time that she formally took the name Rose. As a young girl she was admired for her beauty, but cut off her hair and smeared her face with pepper so that potential suitors would lose interest as she was more interested in tending to the needy. In emulation of St. Catherine of Siena, she took to daily fasting, and helped the hungry and the sick in her community by bringing them to her room (the house she holds may be a reference to this shelter) to take care of them.
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    18th C. Mexican Polychrome Wood Santo - Rose of Lima

  • Magna Graecia, South Italy, Campanian, Cumae B, Nicholson Painter, ca. 325 to 320 BCE. A monumental calyx krater of a pristine form w/ finely executed red-figure compositions; Side A, a couple rides a chariot drawn by two handsome horses, the female holds reigns in one hand and wields a whip in the other, the male holds a victory wreath in one hand, his sleeve covers his other hand; Side B - a pair of females, in Lady of Fashion style, flanks an offering pedestal, one presents a patera, the other a wreath. Size: 17.125" in diameter x 20.125" H (43.5 cm x 51.1 cm)

    Adding to the iconographical program are several characteristic decorative motifs including bands of wave and Greek key patterns, and beneath the rim, a graceful band of laurel leaves. Characteristic of Campanian wares, the terracotta is of a comparatively pale shade, and added/fugitive white and yellow pigments are used liberally to highlight jewelry, feet, handheld objects such as wreaths and grape clusters, ornaments on the horses, and general highlights.

    Unlike in Athens, almost none of the potters and vase painters in Magna Graecia signed their work, thus the majority of names are modern designations. The Cumae designation emerged around the middle of the 4th century. Its founder is regarded as the CA Painter and there are three main stages, Cumae A, Cumae B, and Cumae C. The general understanding is that from 330 onwards, a strong Apulian influence grew more visible. This vase appears to fall into the Cumae B group, its iconographical programs and style resulting in an attribution to the Nicholson Painter. The work of this second generation of Cumaean vase painters continues the traditions established by the CA painter, but is profoundly impacted by the Apulianizing Group - the figures are delineated on an ampler scale and are not disposed at varying levels on the surfaces of the vase.
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    Campanian Calyx Krater - Nicholson Painter, TL Tested

  • New World, Spanish Colonial, Mexico or Guatemala, ca. 18th to 19th c. CE. A hand-carved and painted santo depicting "La Purisima Concepcion" or "La Inmaculada," symbolizing the purity of the Virgin Mary who stands on a dark globe w/ a crescent moon pointing upward. This example depicts St. John's vision of the Apocalyptic Woman, a woman clothed by the sun (note the yellow and orange highlights of her robes), with the moon under her feet, and upon her head, a golden tin crown of 12 blue glass centered stars. Size: 12.375" L x 13" W x 48.5" H (31.4 cm x 33 cm x 123.2 cm)

    Saint John's vision of the Apocalyptic Woman first manifested in the 15th century, and "La Virgen del Apocalipsis" always included a serpent as part of the allegory, like we see in this example. Also consistent are Mary's demure attitude, her hands in a prayerful gesture, the sun's presence, and her feet on a globe. This composition derives from paintings by Spanish Baroque artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo, several of which were imported to Mexico in the 18th century.

    Santos played an important role in bringing the Catholic Church to the New World with the Spanish colonists. These religious figures were hand-carved and often furnished with crowns, jewels, and other accessories, usually funded by religious devotees, and were used as icons to explain the major figures - Mary, Christ, and the saints - to new, indigenous converts. Likewise, they served as a connection to the Old World for Spanish colonists far from home. Many of them were lovingly cared for over the years, with repairs and paint added as they aged, and played an active part for a long time in the religious life of their communities.
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    18th C. Spanish Colonial Wood Santo, Mary La Inmaculada