For the second of our two November sales, following Masterpieces of Ancient Asia, Pax Romana Auctions will be hosting an auction celebrating Ancient Weaponry, Jewellery and Classical Art. This sale holds many breath-taking XRF tested pieces and artefacts that give you a unique view into the past. Not only are many of these lots wonderful additions to any collection, but the classical pieces can be used for interior design and the ancient jewellery stunning Christmas Gifts to those you love.
We shall start by considering two of the most unusual rings we have in this auction catalogue. Not only are they both well-crafted with a rich history but they’re also adorable! The first is lot 193, an extremely rare gold Egyptian ring with carved carnelian stone in the shape of a mother cat and her two kittens. The symbolism of the cats is two-fold. Not only is the cat representative of the goddess Bastet but as Bastet is known for her protection of small children it shows the role she plays as a goddess. She was well loved and worshipped by many men and women across Ancient Egypt. It’s truly a one of a kind piece – and not to be missed with an estimate of £4,000 – £6,000.
Secondly, lot 2 is a Celtic Ring that features a row of beautifully sculpted gold ducks. Ducks were very symbolic in Celtic culture, representing both change and being able to successfully adapt, as well as honestly, simplicity and grace. Dating from nearly 2,000 years ago it is fully authenticated through XRF test. It has an estimate of £4,000 – £8,000.
From the Mediterranean, there is one more ring that deserves a spotlight! This is a Roman Gold Ring with grey gemstone intaglio at lot 276 that depicts a hand pinching an ear with Greek Script. Although not perhaps clear to the modern viewer, for someone from Rome this motif would be instantly recognisable as one that reminds you to remember. This ring specifically is asking the wearer to remember their loved one. A love token, or memento, a rare wearable piece such as this could easily serve the same purpose today. It has an estimate of £4,000 – £6,000.
EARRINGS AND PENDANTS
Something that always amazes us when we look at ancient jewellery is the technology behind it and the great skill that went into its creation. This is no more clear than in lot 209 which is a pair of stunning gold Hellenistic filigree earrings. With intricate gold metal work in a semi-circular shape, with small spherical baubles they are a sight to behold! They are especially rare as for this period it is unusual to have self-supporting gold filigree work. Another lot that shows skilled craftmanship but this time with garnet stone is lot 11. A one of a kind gold cross with large cut garnets forming the ‘limbs’ of the crucifix, it was likely owned by a Byzantine nobleman. The earrings have an estimate of £4,000 – £6,000 and the cross is estimated slightly lower at £2,000 – £3,000.
Weaponry is something that is always hotly anticipated in the auctions hosted by Pax Romana, and this auction does not disappoint. In terms of helmets we are offering for lot 1 the very rare and fully authenticated Roman Bronze Montefortino helmet with an estimate of £20,000 – £30,000. This was the style of helmet that the Roman Army wore whilst the Roman Army was at its most powerful. Not only did it offer the soldiers protection, but it also allowed for a clear field of vision.
Another helmet for sale, this time from the Greek period is lot 13, a Chalcidian helmet. What makes this piece stand out is its embossed design including embossed images of stags. The inclusion of these images is likely to reflect the dedication of the soldier to the god Zeus-Ammon. This god was a combination of the Greek God Zeus and the Egyptian God Amun. Alexander the Great visited a shrine of Amun when was in Egypt on a military campaign and following his visit the god was often associated with royalty. Therefore, it could be that this helmet was worn by a royal bodyguard. Again, with full XRF test, this piece has an estimate of £20,000 – £30,000.
When one thinks of classical antiquities, it is lots like 487 and 489 that come to mind. Masterfully painted Greek Kraters from Southern Italy, these two pieces are key parts of ancient history. Both red figure ware, they are completely unique with no two pieces ever being exactly the same. However, the two both show the goddess Nike – likely because of the belief she brought success and good luck. These kraters were a key part of social, religious and political events as the potent ancient wine needed to be mixed with water, honey and spices to be more palatable. Both in an excellent condition, these lots each have an estimate of £6,000 – £12,000.
Then from Ancient Rome, we have lot 485. This piece is a marble head of a what is possibly a Roman philosopher. This conclusion has been drawn due to the figure’s skull cap and distant gaze. Sold with a custom-made stand, this piece has an estimate of £4,000 – £6,000. For those more concerned with their appearance and worldly concerns, we have lot 523 which is a Roman Mirror. Made from bronze with a superb patina, items such as this would have only been owned by the most elite women. The prestige they represented can be seen in that many Roman Mirrors have been found in graves. The estimate for this piece is £1,000 – £2,000.
Pax Romana Auctions will be holding this sale on Sunday 15th November 2020 at 1pm GMT, a week after part one. It is a no reserve sale with full in-house shipping and services provided. In order to learn more and view the catalogue please head to www.paxromana.auction. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.