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Masterworks

MASTERWORKS

Superb art for the discriminating collector . . .

 
  • Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989), Vermeer de Delft La Lettre, signed in pencil on lower right, also signed in plate, numbered 91/350, an original lithograph on Arches paper (with watermark) published by Sidney Lucas, 1974. Vermeer's La Lettre is one of six works from the "Changes in Great Masterpieces" series. Master Dali has given us a most original and provocative concept. His contention is that most of us "look" but do not actually "see" the details in a work of art. For this reason Dali has honored six great paintings by selecting these masterworks to which he has made specific changes to tantalize the viewer into studying and comparing the original with his composition; a representation of the original painting also appears for this purpose. To further give us an example of Dalinean wit, he has provided a "remark" on each graphic in the form of an original lithograph relating to the actual subject. A superb limited edition lithograph signed in pencil by the artist and in excellent condition. Size: 29.25" L x 30.75" W (74.3 cm x 78.1 cm)

    "Changes In Great Masterpieces" is composed of six lithographs in which Dali reinterprets five paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Raphael, and Velasquez (two by Velasquez). Dali considered these paintings to be the most important European masterpieces of the 17th Century. In typical Dali fashion, he also included himself in his pantheon of great master painters. The final, sixth work in the suite is his reinterpretation of his own masterpiece, "The Persistence of Memory".

    Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech, Marquis of Dali de Pubol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989) was a Spanish surrealist artist of Catalan ethnicity born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. One of the most famous artists that has ever lived, Dali was a prolific creator working in many mediums such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, writing, multi-media, photography, and filmmaking to name a few. He had a famously eccentric personality, and with his exceptional skill as a draftsman and his unusually imaginative view of the world, Dali captured the attention of the public wherever his work was displayed. He created his own personal philosophy which he called paranoid critical - a state in which one could simulate delusion while still maintaining one’s sanity - which influenced the Surrealist movement. Dali’s world of tapping into the unconscious using symbolism filled with themes from religion, death, eroticism, and decay has fascinated even those who were not frequent art lovers. Dali was a great showman and loved being adored by his public. But needless to say, he had the talent to sustain his popularity even after his death.

    In January 1965 Master Salvador Dali appointed Sidney Z. Lucas, New York City art publisher, to be his exclusive publisher in North America of hand signed graphics, including original lithographs like this piece. As Dali's first North American publishers of original lithographs, the Lucas Gallery began a personal collaboration with Dali that lasted from 1965 to 1974.

    Condition: A limited edition lithograph signed in pencil by the artist - also signed in the plate - and in generally excellent condition.

    Provenance: private Lucille Lucas collection, Crested Butte, Colorado, USA

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    Signed Dali "Vermeer de Delft La Lettre" - 1974

  • Pre-Columbian, Peru, Chancay culture, ca. 1300 to 1470 CE. A huge, colorful textile, made of cotton and camelid fibers, and decorated with six panels: two hummingbird gods, one front-facing lord figure, two panels of crouched jaguar-like figures, and a feather-headdressed attendant, holding a weapon. Each figure is within a border, most of them delineated by repeated triangles. Each figure has a similar face, with large, round, white eyes, marked by a black dot to delineate the pupil. The figures clearly follow a set iconographic pattern, with the jaguars and hummingbirds nearly identical in form. Size: 30.5" W x 28.5" H (77.5 cm x 72.4 cm); size of custom frame: 38.75" W x 39" H (98.4 cm x 99.1 cm)

    The people of the early cultures in the Andes buried their dead in bundles with woven textiles like this. These often have repetitive, almost fractal patterns, often placed inside of frames, and with color sequences designed to make the viewer look across them diagonally. The red color is probably from cochineal, a bright red insect, while the yellow and white would have come from various plants. The dry, cold climate of the Andes preserved these textiles. As time went on, their designs changed - from ca. 1300 CE onward, motifs began to emphasize anthropomorphic figures rather than geometric abstractions. The iconography of these textiles remains unclear, but some scholars have advanced the theory that figures shown face on (like the one at the top of the strip) are gods and figures shown in profile (as in the bottom left facing) are their attendants. This particular example is in better condition than many held by museums!

    Condition: Incredible level of preservation. Colors are only slightly faded. This piece has not been examined outside of frame, but it appears to be in overall excellent condition.

    Provenance: ex-private Sneed collection, Florida, USA; ex-private Palm Beach, Florida, USA collection, acquired in the 1980s

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    Framed Chancay Painted Textile - Masterpiece!

  • Pre-Columbian, Peru, Moche II, ca. 300 to 400 CE. An incredible and rare mold-made ceramic figural vessel in the form of a kneeling warrior with incredible stone inlays - lapis and turquoise on a bracelet and at his waist, with lapis and a white marble-like stone for eyes. He holds a staff made of 14 karat gold wrapped around a copper wire, topped with a cylindrical mace head made of amethyst. His body is painted a deep, earthy red color and white, creating a striped shirt and helmet. Two spool-like projections jut from the forehead, each with a spotted surface, perhaps meant to simulate inlaid decorative disks, the skin of a jaguar, or possibly a hallucinogenic mushroom. The helmet is held in place with a strap and has an incised band made to look like a woven leather strap around the forehead. Size: 5.45" L x 4.7" W x 6" H (13.8 cm x 11.9 cm x 15.2 cm)

    His face is lifelike, with a large nose and a serious, close-lipped expression. He holds a round shield at his knee that is made to look attached to his wrist, so that his carefully depicted hand is seen resting in relief against his thigh. The kneeling warrior was an important motif for the Moche during this early part of the Moche period. For example, it is believed that over twenty similar warrior figures were found in the high status tombs at Loma Negra, in the Piura River Valley. Others have been found throughout that region. The decoration on his helmet, shield, and shirt most likely relate to which clan he was from, and when originally made, the people who saw the figure would have known his clan, rank, and other identifying details. The creation of this figure and his eventual burial in a tomb tell us that the glorification of war and warriors were essential parts of Moche culture. This figure represents someone who knew that to lose in battle meant not only losing face, but also the very strong possibility that he would become a sacrificial victim, his body dismembered and possibly flayed to please the gods. The presence of stone and metal inlaid and accessorizing this particular figural vessel makes him very rare indeed!

    Condition: Upper part of spout/handle has been repaired and restored, with overpainting along the restoration lines. The gold staff is fully present but the gold sheet is partially torn. Otherwise in excellent condition, with incredible remaining pigment and all stone inlays in place.

    Provenance: ex-private Gill collection, Florida, USA; ex-private Meisenheimer collection, Bel Air, California, USA; ex-Splendors of the World, Hawaii, USA

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    Masterpiece Moche Pottery Warrior w/ 14K Gold & Lapis

  • Classical World, Etruria, ca. 500 to 450 BCE. An incredibly rare, tall, bronze candelabrum with impeccable provenance. It is composed of a tripod base formed of three lion paws, with incised palmettes at the juncture of the legs, a rosette flange at the join to the fluted shaft, and a tongued flange at the upper end. All of that surmounted by a spool from which project four branches, each terminating in a lotus blossom. The finial standing atop the center of the spool is a nude, athletic young man, shown standing in contrapposto with his weight on his left leg, his arms held out at his sides. He holds an object in each hand - perhaps weights. He has short, cap-like hair and his body is muscular and well-defined. Size: 9.75" W x 38.75" H (24.8 cm x 98.4 cm)

    This candelabrum was likely made at Vulci, one of the most important and wealthy cities in ancient Etruria. Tall wax candles similar to ones we use today would have been stuck onto the four prongs. Similar examples have inscriptions to the gods below their finials. The Etruscans were famous for their small-scale bronze figures, and looking at this lifelike and well-modeled fellow, it is easy to see why. Athletes were common subjects for Etruscan artists, and finials like this one represent some of the limited evidence we have about Etruscan athletics, which seems to have differed from that of their Greek contemporaries - but, lacking written sources, we can only reconstruct it from limited artwork. Interestingly, the lotus flowers are also a common Etruscan motif, and are a testimony to Egyptian and Phoenician connections - as well as to the Etruscan knowledge of the Odyssey and the famous story (in the Classical world as today) of the lotus-eaters.

    See a similar example at the Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark: https://www.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk/en/collections/work/H2306; a candelabrum of similar style but with a different finial at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/255099; and a finial athlete at the British Museum: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=399792&partId=1

    Condition: Each lotus is slightly bent in a different direction. The foot separates from the rest of the piece very easily, as it is designed to do. Smooth, dark patina on the athlete, with a slightly mottled, paler patina on the rest of the piece - this is not unusual, as they were cast as separate pieces.

    Provenance: private Davis collection, Houston, Texas, USA; ex-Christie's December 13, 2013 New York Antiquities Auction, lot 123; ex-Sotheby's June 23, 1989 Antiquities and Islamic Art Auction, New York, lot 108; ex-Sotheby's December 9, 1974 Antiquities Auction, London, lot 136

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    Etruscan Bronze Candelabrum w/ Athlete, ex-Christie's

  • Egypt, Ptolemaic period, ca. 332 to 30 BCE. Beautifully crafted from imported wood layered with gesso and linen, a stunning gilded mummy mask meant for a male child with a stylized, theatrical countenance. A slender pair of arms cross over the chest, each elongated finger with an incised nail bed which perhaps held inlaid ornamentation and presented with copious amounts of gilding. A minimalist wesekh collar droops between a pair of lotus blossoms, with similar linear and stippled motifs in red, white, and green detailing much of the torso and brow line. The visage is comprised of almond-shaped eyes outlined in black, a prominent nose, full lips and cheeks, cupped ears, and painted eyebrows atop a smooth forehead. Five raised bulbs adorn the crest of the brow, leading back towards zigzag motifs on an orange ground and black-and-white triangles on the verso. Custom fabric-lined mount and wooden display stand included. Size: 12" W x 16" H (30.5 cm x 40.6 cm); 17" H (43.2 cm) on included custom stand.

    The helmet mask, which had fallen out of favor in earlier dynastic periods, saw a resurgence of popularity during the era of Greek rule. The masks would have been placed over the head of a mummy, with the rest of the body adorned with separate cartonnage pieces. However, renowned Egyptologist Dr. Salima Ikram explains how, "as the Ptolemaic Period progressed, these separate cartonnage pieces had a tendency to join together, producing a single sheet over the front of the mummy" (Ikram, Salima, and Aidan Dodson. The Mummy in Ancient Egypt: Equipping the Dead for Eternity. Thames and Hudson, London, 1998, p. 187). This example is one that appears to have been part of a larger, single-sheet construction based on the uneven way the painted details seem to end as well as the jaggedness of the bottom periphery, seemingly cut away from the lower portion in a crude and unconscientious operation.

    Given the size of both the sarcophagus mask itself as well as the interior head cavity, this was likely made for a child from a prominent, upper-class family. While gilding was a popular decorative element for later Egyptian sarcophagi, embellishing with gold was reserved solely for those who could afford such luxuries. The craftsmanship of the construction, intricate yet simple painted adornments, and inlaid fingernails suggest an abundance of wealth, with rich pigmentation hues of crimson, jet, emerald, and pearl helping to reinforce this notion.

    For another example of the Ptolemaic gilded helmet mask style, please see the British Museum, #EA50668: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=156287&partId=1&searchText=ptolemaic+mummy&images=true&page=1

    Condition: This is a section of a larger cartonnage mummy cover. Hands, lower body, shoulders, and back of head all repaired from multiple pieces with some losses, overpainting, and areas of restoration along break lines. Surface wear commensurate with age and use as shown, nicks and chips to face, head, and lower periphery, with fading, staining, and discoloration on inside and outside, otherwise excellent. Light earthen deposits throughout, and great remains of pigmentation and gilding across exterior.

    Provenance: ex-private Cypress, Texas, USA collection

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    Egyptian Ptolemaic Gilded Child Sarcophagus Helmet Mask

  • Late Hellenistic or Early Roman, ca. 2nd century BCE to 1st century CE. An exquisite sardonyx vase demonstrating immense artistry, carved in an ovoid form with a pointed base, a gently flaring neck with a bevelled rim, and a skillfully hollowed interior. The mesmerizing treasure presents an attractive composition of black, grey, and white bands throughout, the artist taking full advantage of the stone's beauty. Size: 1.625" in diameter x 2" H (4.1 cm x 5.1 cm); 3.5" H (8.9 cm) on included custom stand.

    Vessels made from semiprecious stones like sardonyx were prized during Hellenistic and Roman times - coveted as symbols of wealth, status, and sophisticated taste. Quite rare, they were oftentimes imitated in mosaic glass or pottery. A piece like this would have been cherished as an heirloom or presented as a diplomatic gift. They were also placed in royal tombs, and several have found their way into imperial collections.

    Condition: Repaired from 3 to 4 pieces - very well done. Internal fissures visible on the neck. Christie's label affixed to bottom of lucite stand.

    Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; listed in Christie's Sale 2323, June 10, 2010, Lot 129 with an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000

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    Late Hellenistic / Roman Sardonyx Vessel, ex-Christie's

  • Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd century CE. A gorgeous pair of matching 19.2 karat gold bangle bracelets, each one comprised of a substantial, flat hoop that is rectangular in section, with the overlapping ends that tapering to plain wires that are round in section and coil back around the hoop, gracefully terminating in attractive spirals. Total weight: 98.4 grams Size: larger measures 3.1255" W x 3" H (7.9 cm x 7.6 cm); smaller measures 3" W x 2.5" H (7.6 cm x 6.4 cm)

    The ancient Romans accessorized themselves according to age, gender, and social standing. Women generally amassed more jewelry than men, wearing earrings, necklaces, rings, fibulae, and bracelets. The reason jewelry was so important to women was that it was one of the few possessions considered to be their own property, maintained independently of their husband's wealth and symbolizing their wealth and elite status. The woman who wore these bracelets was clearly of the utmost social standing.

    This pair sold for $30,000 at Christie's New York on December 13, 2013, Lot 320.

    Condition: Minor stains to the surface. A few tiny dents to the peripheries that are barely perceptible. Generally excellent and certainly wearable.

    Provenance: private Davis collection, Houston, Texas, USA; ex-Christie's December 13, 2013 New York Antiquities Auction, Lot 320; ex-Hugh Algernon Percy (1914-1988) collection, 10th Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle, England, His Grace the Duke of Northumberland, K.G., T.D., F.R.S.; ex-Sotheby's Antiquities Auction, London, July 9, 1974, lots 49 and 50

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    Pair Roman 19K+ Gold Bracelets ex-Christie’s, Sotheby’s

  • Southeast Asia, Cambodia, Khmer Empire (Angkor culture), ca. late 12th to early 13th century CE. An enormous grey stone Buddha, seated on a three-tiered throne, with the flaring, hooded head of a giant naga, the serpent king Muchilinda, rising behind him protectively. His hands are in the Dhyana Mudra. This is a gesture of meditation, with the hands placed in the lap, right hand on left, with fingers full stretched out and palms facing upwards. The Buddha's face is serene, with a naturalistic and warm expression; he wears a skirt and has a crown topped by a detailed ushnisha. The serpent is well-rendered and symmetrical. A closer look at the throne reveals that it is the coils of the serpent's massive body. The story told here may be that Muchilinda is protecting the Buddha from heavy rain; this iconographic depiction of the Buddha is a common one from the reign of Khmer King Jayavarman VII (reigned ca. 1181 to 1218 CE), who established a cult based around it. Scholars believe that this may be because Jayavarman was disabled and snakes were associated with healing. The king is also known for the establishment of hospitals throughout his kingdom. Comes with custom stand. Size of statue: 12.35" L x 16.5" W x 33.5" H (31.4 cm x 41.9 cm x 85.1 cm); size on stand: 12.35" L x 16.5" W x 36" H (31.4 cm x 41.9 cm x 91.4 cm)

    However, some scholars question the Buddha/Muchilinda story, saying that it is based on a misreading of the sources. Naga cults were common throughout Indian, Sri Lankan, and Southeast Asian artwork during this period, but the symbolism is somewhat unclear. Some have proposed that nagas could be symbolic vehicles for elevating the dead - equating to transcendence. That is based on interpretation of artwork from around Angkor Wat and other parts of the Khmer world. Others see the inclusion of the naga as a holdover from earlier symbolic practices. Khmer art moved away from Indian styles in the 7th century CE to encompass its own framework; one example of this seen here is that this statue is carved in the round, rather than as a relief on a stela, which was common with Indian and Javanese Hindu and Buddhist sculptures that were previously influencing Cambodian art. From this, we can infer that Khmer sculptors would have desired their artwork to be viewed from all sides, and thus placed in the center of temples rather than against a wall. While this artwork was religious - priests supervised its execution - its realism is unmistakable.

    Condition: Figure has been broken/repaired at mid-section; signs of wear with small losses to knees and one of Naga's flares. Some surface pitting and wear. OF NOTE: Statues broken in half are far more rare/desirable because most Buddhas like this were decapitated when the Buddhists were overthrown around 1300.

    Provenance: ex-private Arizona, USA collection, acquired in Bangkok, Thailand in early 2000. All appropriate legal and federally-compliant import documents will accompany item.

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    12th C. Khmer Stone Naga-Enthroned Buddha

  • Magna Graecia, Southern Italy, Apulia, attributed to the White Saccos Painter by Trendall, ca. 330 to 310 BCE. An impressive Apulian red-figure volute krater of a grand scale, presenting an elegant form with intriguing iconography (see extended description below) and elaborate decoration, all finely delineated via the red-figure technique with additional fugitive white, yellow, and red/orange pigments - as well as swan heads/ducks modeled in the round and mascaroon volutes adorning the handles. Interestingly, this vase was created in two sections - the large vessel fits into a separate base. A remarkable vase of the so-called Ornate Style by the White Saccos Painter (see more on this artist in the extended description below) of an impressively grand scale, decorated with an ultra fine hand to depict intriguing scenes and figures as well as a great deal of subsidiary ornament in added colors. Size: 17" W handlespan x 34.125" H (43.2 cm x 86.7 cm)

    Side A of this volute krater features a seated nude warrior in an Ionic naiskos, sitting upon his cloak, facing right with his head turned back, holding a spear in his bent right arm and a crested Corinthian helmet in his raised left hand. To the lower right is a cuirass that is shaded to reflect his musculature and painted in golden yellow to simulate the metal of the original armor, with red arm and neck holes to represent the leather lining. In addition, greaves hang above and flank his head. Before the warrior is a sheathed sword. The podium below is adorned by a band of Greek key motifs. Surrounding the naiskos are four female offering bearers, either sitting or standing, all facing inward, holding various articles - the lady to the upper left holds a fan and a ball of wool, and two phiale before her; the lady below her holds a phiale and an oinochoe; the bearer to the upper right looks at her reflection in a hand-held mirror and adjusts her clothing - an alabastron in her midst; and the female below her holds an alabastron in one hand and a blossoming flower or grape cluster in the other. Adorning the neck of the vase on the obverse is a female head of an Amazon appearing to emerge from a blossom flanked by elaborate floral tendrils. Above this is a most distinctive register comprised of three-dimensional dentils followed by a narrow beaded band. Below her is a fretted band.

    Side B presents a floral composition with a three-tiered flowering plant within the Ionic naiskos, its podium with a scrolling berried vine. This is flanked by four lovely female offering bearers, seated or standing, all facing in, and also holding various attributes - one seated with a mirror and a grape cluster, an alabastron and ball of wool before her; a standing lady with a phiale, an alabastron and ball of wool before her; to the right is a seated female with a mirror and alabastron; and one standing with a wreath and a patera. Adorning the neck is a Lady of Fashion flanked by stylized palmettes, a laurel wreath register above comprised of a pair of opposing leafy, berried branches surrounding a central petaled-floral blossom set in a wreath, followed by a narrow beaded register, and below the lady, a fretted band. Continuing to the underside of the rim, all the way around the vessel, is a band of repeated wave motifs, followed by an ovalo band on the rim. Below the naiskos scenes and continuing all the way around the vessel is a band of Greek key (meander) pattern.

    Adding further interest to this impressive iconographic and decorative program are the elaborate palmettes beneath each handle, and a pair of plastic (completely in the round) duck or swan necks/heads emerging from the shoulders and forming the lower sections of the handles. The swans are black in contrast with the white molded relief mascaroons in the form of frontal facing female heads of the same likenesses as those on the obverse, only one pair has a black wavy coiffure and the opposing pair has a yellow blonde coiffure. This play on a black-and-white contrasts perhaps symbolizes day and night, good and evil, or life and death. In the Classical world, the swan symbolized grace and beauty, and was oftentimes associated with love, poetry, and music. Furthermore, the swan was regarded as sacred to Aphrodite and Apollo. According to Greek mythology, sacred swans circled the island of Delos seven times when Apollo was born, because it was the seventh day of the month. Zeus showered his son with lavish gifts including a chariot drawn by swans and a lyre. Aphrodite also rode a chariot that is sometimes depicted pulled by swans, though oftentimes by doves, and she is commonly depicted riding a swan. Finally, in the story of Leda and the Swan, Zeus, assuming the form of a swan, famously seduced Leda.

    Completing the program, the separately made pedestal base is elaborately adorned with a wide central register featuring a Lady of Fashion on one side and a palmette on the opposite side. Between these is a sinuous floral vine; lovely details added in fugitive white, yellow, and red. Above is an ovalo band, and below a band of wave motifs.

    The White Saccos Painter, to whom Trendall attributed this vessel, was a follower of the most important late Apulian vase painter, the Baltimore Painter. His early works are extremely close to those of the Baltimore Painter. Trendall called him "the immediate successor and true heir of the Baltimore Painter" (see Arthur Dale Trendall, Red Figure Vases of South Italy and Sicily, a Handbook (London, Thames and Hudson, 1989), p. 99). The White Saccos Painter worked mostly on larger vessels like this example, but being a prolific artist he decorated many smaller vessels as well. The group to which the Baltimore Painter, the White Saccos Painter, the Stoke-on-Trent Painter, the Arpi Painter, the Kantharos Group and others belonged worked in Canosa or somewhere close by.

    Virtually no ancient Greek paintings have survived the tests of time. This makes the painted compositions found on ceramic vessels like this example invaluable sources of information about ancient Greek visual art. Refined vases like this volute krater were not merely utilitarian pottery, but rather works of art in their own right, highly prized throughout the classical world. Red figure pieces in particular allowed for the development of more naturalistic imagery than black figure examples. This innovative technique involved creating figures by outlining them in the natural red of the vase, making it possible for the painter to then enrich the figural forms with black lines to suggest volume, perspectival depth, and movement, bringing those silhouettes and their environs to life. Beyond this, fugitive pigments made it possible for the artist to create additional layers of interest and detail.

    Published in A.D. Trendall and A. Cambitoglou, First Supplement to the Red-Figured Vases of Apulia, London, 1983, p. 184, no. 29/2d, pls. XXXIX, 3-4.

    This piece sold at Christie's New York for $56,250 on December 13, 2013 (Sale 2755, Lot 95). See https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/an-apulian-red-figured-volute-krater-attributed-to-the-5747556-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5747556&sid=18e68a10-7910-4721-8277-d15bc905cbe9


    Condition: Minor surface wear with slight pigment loss, though most remains to delinate and embellish remarkable imagery. Two drilled perforations through shoulder and two through handles.

    Provenance: private Davis Collection; ex-Christie's New York, December 13, 2013, lot 95; ex-private Santa Monica, California, USA collection; a California Corporation; ex-Christie's New York, December 15, 1993, lot 124.

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    Apulian Volute Krater, White Saccos Ptr, Ex Christie's

  • Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 4th century CE. A beautiful mosaic depicting a grand ship with its sail raised and blowing in the wind, amidst a plethora of sea creatures - fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods - created from hundreds of tesserae in a color palette of earthtones - sienna, umber, chocolate brown, creamy beige, yellow ocher, charcoal grey, black, and white. Maritime scenes including ships and other seafaring vessels as well as aquatic creatures were favorite themes in Roman mosaics. Here the artist used different colors and shapes (square and triangular for the most part) to shade and model the forms - approximating three dimensions in their volumes as well as a sense of movement - note the billowing sail, the swimming fish, and the jet propulsion of the cephalopods. Of course, the artist took liberties that depart from reality. After all those fish probably could not actually jump as high as they appear to be, so as to approach the sail; however, they certainly make for an intriguing composition. Size: 44" W x 32.75" H (111.8 cm x 83.2 cm)

    Mosaics (opus tesellatum) are some of our enduring images from the Roman world, not only for their aesthetic beauty, but also because they reveal what Romans chose to depict and see every day decorating their private and public spaces. Maritime subjects were popular in Greco-Roman art. One of my favorites is in the House of the Faun in Pompeii (end of 2nd century BCE, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples). Another from Piazza Armerina, room 22, depicts an entertaining scene of winged Erotes reeling in their catch (4th century CE).

    Condition: Some areas of loss - mostly to the perimeter but also to some areas of the interior composition as shown.

    Provenance: private Davis Collection, Houston, Texas, USA

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    Fantastic Roman Mosaic - Ship & Sea Life