Loading..

Product was successfully added to your shopping cart.





Masterworks

MASTERWORKS

Superb art for the discriminating collector . . .

 
  • Rome, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. An exceptional marble Cupid (Eros) figure, finely carved to depict the love god as a sensual male nude rather than the expected cherubic, portly form, presented in contrapposto with weight shifted to his left leg, his right leg advanced and slightly angled to the side, raising his left hip. Notice also how the figure's pelvis and thorax tilt in opposite directions, presenting a rhythmic sense of motion that suggests lifelike energy. Such calculated poses intended to conjure human vitality in sculpture were inspired by the works of Polykleitos and became the model to which sculptors aspired in Graeco-Roman as well as later Western European art. A well-modelled example, with skillfully delineated stomach and pectoral musculature and rounded buttocks - an elegant delineation of human physiognomy, despite the subject's divine, immortal existence as the legendary love god, poised to help couples fall in love through not-entirely-innocent interventions! Size: 19.75" H (50.2 cm); 26.125" H (66.4 cm) on included custom stand.

    Condition: A section from a larger work, though quite impressive on its own. Missing head and limbs. Losses to peripheries (at neckline, arms, and legs) and missing wings; note drilled holes on shoulders for previous attachment of wings. Hole through neck suggests head was carved separately as well. In antiquity, elements were oftentimes sculpted separately and fixed to the body with dowels. Surface wear with abraded area below right arm to chest, areas of earthen encrustation, and mineral deposits.

    Provenance: private Scottsdale, Arizona, USA collection; ex-Lord McAlpine collection

    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

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    Superb Roman Marble of Cupid / Eros

  • Magna Graecia, Adriatic Sea region, ca. 5th to 4th century BCE. A striking Chalcidian helmet comprised of hammered bronze, so named as this helmet form was initially depicted on pottery believed to derive from the Euboean city of Chalcis. The Chalcidian helmet was created in order to improve upon the Corinthian helmet, as its design allowed for better vision and hearing. In addition, it was much lighter and less cumbersome than other Greek helmets, and distinguished by curved cheek pieces. Custom stand. Size: 8.75" H (22.2 cm); 13.625" H (34.6 cm) on included custom stand.

    The design of Chalcidian helmets consisted of a hemispherical dome with a medial ridge, a contoured V-shape above the brow continuing as an occipital rib around the form, and pronounced brows as we see in this example; beneath this were a pair of cheek pieces and a continuous narrow, flared neck guard at the rear. Interestingly, Chalcidian helmets continued to be worn by warriors through the era of Alexander the Great; spear wielding Hoplites in particular favored Chalcidian helmets. Scholars believe that the Chalcidian helmet later developed into the iconic Attic helmet of classical warriors.

    Chalcidian helmets may be found in elite museum collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the British Museum.

    Condition: Losses to cheek pieces. Perforations at front and back presumably for former attachments. Reconstructed from about half a dozen pieces. Losses to cheek pieces. Signs of former iron attachments to sides. Weathered surface with encrustation. Nice green and russet patina on exterior, and on the interior and edges of cheek pieces - green, russet, but also bright blue (azurite) patina from the copper content of the bronze.

    Provenance: ex-private Manhattan, New York, USA collection; acquired at Antiquities, Sotheby's, London, 8 July 1991, lot 361

    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

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    Greek Bronze Chalcidian Helmet - Ex-Sotheby's

  • Magna Graecia, Western Italy, Paestan, ca. mid 4th century BCE. A ceramic fish plate of a classic pinax or pinakion (meaning tablet for its shape) form with three fish painted via the red-figure technique with added fugitive white and black details, the trio of sea creatures swimming around a central garum (fish sauce) recess with a concave red border. The perimeter of the downturned rim is adorned with a lovely band of laurel leaves; the entire dimpled disk form is elevated on a raised pedestal. Size: 7.25" in diameter x 1.75" H (18.4 cm x 4.4 cm)

    Fish plates were initially produced in Athens during the late fifth century BCE characterized by fish with bellies oriented towards the outside rim of the plate. While in Athens the palette was limited to a red clay fabric and black gloss slip with only rare uses of white overpainting, later examples from Greek settlers in Southern Italy (Taranto, Paestum, Capua, and Cumae) were more colorful with added white and yellow pigments. The South Italian fish plates also departed from Attic examples in that they were characterized by decoration in which the fish's bellies were oriented inwards towards the sauce cup at the center of the plate, as we see in this example.

    Paestum was located on the west-coast of the Italian peninsula and was the home of some of the oldest Greek Italic painted ceramics. The Greek colonist artists of Magna Graecia were very much influenced by the styles of Athens and the mainland of the early 5th century BCE.

    Another Paestan red-figured fish-plate attributed to the workshop of Asteas and Python sold for $10,000 at Christie's, New York - Sale 12256, Antiquities 12 April 2016, Lot 31. http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-paestan-red-figured-fish-plate-workshop-of-asteas-5984780-details.aspx

    Literature: I. McPhee and A.D. Trendall, Addenda to Greek Red-Figured Fish Plates, Basel, 1990, p. 41, no. 9d. A.D. Trendall, "Fish-Plates and Other South Italian Vases in Private Collections in Sorengo and Cureglia (Ticino)," in Quaderni Ticinesi, Numismatica e Antichita Classiche. XVII. 1988. p. 145, pl. 11.8.


    Condition: Small chip to rim and a couple of nicks to underside. Normal surface wear with some scratches and nicks as shown.

    Provenance: Ex private Manhattan, New York, USA collection; Antiquities, Sotheby
    Learn More

    Paestan Red-Figure Fish-Plate, Ex Sothebys & Christies

  • PRICE ON REQUEST

    Pre-Columbian, Mexico, Aztec, ca. 1450 CE. A finely carved translucent quartz eagle labret, a type of plug inserted through a piercing to adorn the lower lip. To the Aztecs, the eagle was the ultimate solar deity said to have been singed by the sun, and the sun was referred to as an "ascending eagle" or a "soaring eagle". In addition, the eagle was the emblem for one of their elite warrior organizations. Along with jaguar warriors, the eagle warriors associated themselves with the creatures of the sky and the underworld to signify their own military ferocity. Aztec rulers were likewise compared to eagles in order to emphasize their fearlessness and power. This labret represents an eagle head with a lofty hooked beak and a lively expression presenting wide open eyes and an open beak as if issuing a call. The extensive detailing on this piece is quite impressive. Notice the fine line markings highlighting its eyes, beak, and crest feathers - these recessed areas beautifully accented with red cinnabar. Size: 2.75" L x 1.25" W (7 cm x 3.2 cm); 6.625" H (16.8 cm) on included custom stand.

    This piece came in a case that resembles a leather bound volume with the inscriptions "AZTEC INCIAN PRE-COLUMBIAN GLYPH" on the front cover, "AZTEC INDIAN PRE-COLUMBIAN GLYPH MEXICO CA. 1450" on the spine, and "BOUND BY LILLIAN M. MC CHESNEY - DESIGNED BY HAROLD J. MAKER" on the back cover. The interior is lined in a green veleveteen fabric.

    Labrets, known as tentetl in Nahuatl, the Aztec language, were manifestations of political power. Interestingly, the Aztec title for the royal lord was huey tlahtoani, meaning "great speaker," hence, the adornment of the mouth was immensely symbolic. According to Patrick Hajovsky, a respected scholar of Aztec art, labrets were visual markers of the most eloquent speech deliverd by royalty and nobility. This labret, made from such a beautiful piece of quartz through which the celestial light shone, would have emphasized the ruler’s divine right to authority, and by extension confirm his position as the chosen individual who spoke for an empire. No wonder the insertion of a labret was an important component of a ruler’s accession ceremony.

    Condition: Some stable cracks and loss to the plug terminal where black mineral deposits are visible. Quite rare.

    Provenance: private S.H. collection, Santa Clara, California, USA; purchased from Arte Xibalba, Sarasota, Florida, USA, ex-John Deere (of tractor fame), acquired in the 1930s

    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.

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    Important Aztec Quartz Eagle Labret, ex-John Deere

  • Pre-Columbian, Ecuador, Jama Coaque (Jamacoaque) culture, ca. 500 CE. Perhaps the largest Jamacoaque sculpture we have ever seen, an animated figure depicting a dramatic transforming shaman, with wonderful remains of blue and red pigment on the surface, standing in a somewhat crouching position, as if engaged in a ceremonial dance, with hands or paws extended outward before his body with threateningly sharp claws. The figure's body is covered with a furry or feathery coat comprised of countless appliques, suggesting zoomorphic or avian characteristics. His visage is in a word - WILD - with bulging eyes, flaring nostrils, and a gnashing, toothy grimace. Furthermore, he is elaborately adorned with a highly decorated headdress, a grand 'beaded' pectoral, massive earrings showing openwork and applied details, a nose ornament that extends to the corners of his mouth, a fanciful loincloth, bracelets, legbands, and anklets. Size: 10" L x 15" W x 24.75" H (25.4 cm x 38.1 cm x 62.9 cm)

    This piece is certainly impressive for its size, but it is also unusual because it was created to be viewed in the round - from all sides and angles. Most Jama Coaque figures are smaller and not finished on the backside; this one, however, shows remarkable detailing on all sides including the back. Dress and ornament were identifiers of clans and ethnic groups and markers of rank among many ancient American peoples. Information encoded in elements of clothing and jewelry would have been understood by the members of those groups.

    Shamanic transformation - brought on in part by the ingestion of coca leaves - was a favorite subject depicted in Jamacoaque sculpture. This culture departed from earlier Ecuadorian pottery traditions such as the Valdivian or the Chorrera in that to the Jama Coaque society, it was important to represent the various statuses and occupations of individuals possessing specialized roles, especially shaman. This striking figure stands on its own as a work of art; however, it also brings to life the customs and beliefs of this ancient Ecuadoran culture.

    This piece has been tested using thermoluminescence (TL) and has been found to be ancient and of the period stated. A full report will accompany purchase.

    Condition: This figure has been reconstructed from multiple pieces with areas or restoration over the break lines. Two holes beneath lower lip - perhaps for attachments (ie a labret) or firing holes. A small divot to one eyeball and normal surface wear. A few tiny holes created for TL testing. Impressive remains of blue and red pigment on the surface. Areas of earthen and mineral deposits.

    Provenance: private S.H. collection, Santa Clara, California, USA; purchased from Contiki Gallery, Florida, USA

    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

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    Monumental Jamacoaque Pottery Standing Figure w/ TL

  • Russia, ca. 18th century CE. A portable iconostasis comprised of 15 folding hinged panels including a central double panel with 14 side panels presenting 4 finely painted registers, each icon neatly identified in handwritten Cyrillic. The uppermost register depicts half-length portrayals of patriarchs and prophets surrounding God the Father and the Son floating upon billowing clouds in the celestial realm on the central lunette; next, full-length saints engaged in intercessionary prayer; then a central register of painted icons commemorating feast days, each one with silvered bronze oklads, executed in repousse and pierced to reveal elements of the painted figures; finally, in the lowest register, a central panel depicting Christ the Savior Enthroned holding the gospel on his knees surrounded by a blue mandorla with faint monochromatic images of angels and a red rhombus with signs of the 4 evangelists occupying the corners, surrounded by smaller full-length panels depicting the Virgin, various archangels, and saints. Size: 61.625" L x 19.75" H (156.5 cm x 50.2 cm)

    An iconostasis is a wall of icons arranged in tiers according to strict theological and iconographical guidelines that traditionally separates the sanctuary and the nave of a church, symbolizing a visual synthesis of Orthodox Christians' spirituality and faith. It is meant to be read both horizontally and vertically. This example included not only beautifully painted icons rendered in rich jewel tones with fine-line technique, but also features thirteen icons embellished with bronze oklads. The oklad or riza, sometimes referred to as a revetment in English, is a metal cover (made of silver, gilded silver, or bronze, as we see in this example) that not only protects the icon, but also serves to honor or venerate the figure(s) depicted on the icon. Oklads are usually adorned with repousse work and pierced to reveal elements of the underlying painting.

    Condition: One icon on the rightmost panel has a small loss, and there are a few nicks and pigment losses here and there, but overall, the painted icons are in very good condition. One nail missing from central oklad. Minor tarnish to oklads as shown. Hinges show minor tarnish, but are all there and serviceable.

    Provenance: Ex- E. Tonsing collection, Ventura County, CA

    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

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    18th C. Russian Painted Wood Iconostasis, Bronze Oklads

  • Central Asia, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, Gandharan Empire, ca. 1st century CE. An absolutely stunning gray schist face of the Buddha, depicted here with a tremendous ushnisha (in the Gandharan tradition, just a topknot). The face is sensuously and realistically carved, with large, almond-shaped, downcast eyes, a long, thin nose, a symmetrical brow ridge, and a small mouth with a thin mustache above it. The mustache is slightly wavy, mirroring the wonderfully sculpted and lifelike hair. The Buddha has an urna, a dot on the forehead, symbolizing the third eye and the ability to see past the universe of suffering. Size: 6.85" L x 8" W x 13.5" H (17.4 cm x 20.3 cm x 34.3 cm); 16.75" H (42.5 cm) on included custom stand.

    This is an amazing and naturalistic carving from the period of Greco-Buddhist art. The Gandharan Empire made itself wealthy in part by controlling lucrative trade along the mountain passes between China in the East and the Near East and Mediterranean in the West; a great deal of this wealth went into local patronage of artisans and art. In the first century CE, Buddhism became fashionable amongst Gandharan elites, and the art produced at this time depicting the Buddha are some of the most striking Buddhist images from the past. Their artistic tradition also reflects the conquest of Alexander the Great and the introduction of styles from all sides, blended into a uniquely Gandharan tradition, which this Buddha exemplifies. For example, the hair of this sculpture and others from the same tradition were likely influenced by the Belvedere Apollo (ca. 330 BCE).

    Condition: Face is in excellent condition, with surface wear commensurate with age and a small chip from above the right (facing) eyebrow. Neck and back of head have slightly jagged edges as the head was once part of a larger statue. Light soil encrustation in the lower profile areas, especially around the hair and eyes.

    Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection, acquired at major gallery

    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

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    Lifesize+ Gandharan Grey Schist Head of Buddha

  • Egypt, Romano-Egyptian Period, ca. 30 BCE to 2nd century CE. An incredibly haunting plaster mummy mask, depicting a young man with lifelike features and enormous eyes. The man's gaze is wide and staring, with thick black outlines around his eyes in the Egyptian manner. He has delicately-painted eyebrows and a realistic nose and mouth. His slightly curled beard and straight hair are detailed and naturalistic. The skin tone is painted with a variety of colors rather than as a flat, single tone, lending the figure depth and realism. Unpainted plaster extends backward from his head and would have encompassed the upper portion of a sarcophagus. This face was modeled on the true features of the deceased, giving you an opportunity to visualize someone who died two millennia ago. Size: 8.25" L x 8" W x 9.5" H (21 cm x 20.3 cm x 24.1 cm); 12.5" H (31.8 cm) on included custom stand.

    Masks like this one reflect the profound change that the Greco-Roman world brought to Egypt. The naturalistic depiction of a person's face as a plaster mask replaced the stylized art of dynastic Egypt; hieroglyphs and other symbols painted on elaborate sarcophagi fell out of favor, and this mask would have been placed over a simple wooden coffin. These heads were reserved for the elite, who were buried in small chapels, usually mummified and with other members of their family and / or town.

    See a similar example that sold for $12,500 at Christie's New York in 2012: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/an-egyptian-painted-plaster-mummy-mask-roman-5567173-details.aspx

    Condition: Stabilized crack from ear to temple on one side.

    Provenance: private St. Louis, Missouri, USA collection; ex Atlanta, Georgia, USA collection, formed between 1970 and 1990

    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

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    Romano-Egyptian Plaster Mummy Mask of a Man

  • Palmyra, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 2nd to 3rd century CE. A finely carved Palmyrene limestone head of a youthful female beauty, her quixotic visage comprised of large almond-shaped eyes with generous upper lids, incised irises, and petite depressions for pupils, framed by elegantly arched browline that merges seamlessly with an aquiline nose, a bow-shaped closed mouth below, apple cheeks, and smooth facial planes - topped by an elaborate coiffure of incised wavy tresses adorned with a 'beaded' hair ornament or crown and lovely drop earrings. Size: 7.375" W x 10.875" H (18.7 cm x 27.6 cm); 15.875" H (40.3 cm) on included custom stand.

    A distinct regional version of Roman funerary busts emerged in Palmyra. The figures and their elaborate ornamentation exemplified an attractive fusion of Western and Eastern influences. This Palmyrene lady does not show evidence of paint on the surface; however, given the polychromy of the famous "Beauty of Palmyra" (ca. 190 to 210 CE, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen) it is possible that she was once considerably less subdued than she appears today. This said, it is also possible that she was not intended to be painted.

    Palmyrene sculpture was made from a stone that is largely nonreflective - usually limestone as we see in this example; however, the ancient Palmyrene sculptors excelled at sharp, angular chisel work that resulted in strong patterns which made for dramatic silhouettes and shadows. Just imagine this piece in its dark, shadowy tomb environment - lit by candlelight so that its intricate surface patterns would come to life as it were, the smooth facial contours contrasting with the darkness surrounding it - quite a vision indeed!

    A Palmyrene limestone female head sold at Sotheby's, New York in 2015 for $37,500. Follow this link for the listing - http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/antiquities-n09362/lot.27.html

    A Palymrene limestone male head sold at Christie's New York in 2008 for $32,5000. Follow this link for the listing - http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/a-palmyrene-limestone-head-of-a-man-5078832-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5078832&sid=b13c79c7-a0ec-4cd9-9dd2-211179252793


    Condition: Losses to chin, nose, lips, browline, neckline, headdress / hairline as shown. Verso shows a chisel pecking marks. Overall, a remarkable example.

    Provenance: private Denver, Colorado, USA collection, ex-Hisperia Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; acquired in 1964

    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

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    Important Palmyrene Limestone Head of A Female

  • West Africa, Burkina Faso, Dagaaba people / Dagari language speakers, ca. 1930 CE. A fascinating anthropomorphic wooden figure, representing some of the most abstract forms of African art from the early twentieth century. The figure is hand-carved, with an elongated triangle form. Its long legs meet at a small waist with a drilled, deeply convex cavitiy on one side and a form that suggests the figure is wearing a loincloth. Above the legs, the torso is long and cylindrical, towering over the rest of the figure, and topped by a phallic-looking, rounded head with a pointed chin and no other discernible facial features. The shapes of the feet and waist mirror that of the head. Comes with custom stand. Size: 2" L x 9.5" W x 36" H (5.1 cm x 24.1 cm x 91.4 cm); height on stand: 36.75" (93.3 cm)

    Dagari figures represent abstract ideals; hence their abstract forms. They are designed to look mysterious and brooding, because they commune with a world beyond human comprehension or even sight. Each figure like this one is carved to be kept inside a small chamber built into a family dwelling, placed upon an altar. Its role was to protect the home from any misfortune or illness. In exchange, it could demand offerings - food and sacrifices - and also demand additional figures to be placed beside it, leading to an accumulation of similar sculptures in the home. The proliferation of sculptures in turn demonstrated the wealth of the family.

    Condition: Encrusted patina from use and age. Small losses to bottom of feet.

    Provenance: private Boston, Massachusetts, USA collection; previously Group 2 Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

    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

    We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
    Learn More

    20th C. African Dagari Standing Wood Abstract Figure