By Carter B. Horsley
This Antique Jewelry auction at
December 9, 2004 is highlighted by a great Greek amethyst cameo
of a bear's head, a very fine Egyptian amulet of Winged Isis with
Horus the Falcon, some very nice Roman rings and Egyptian necklaces
and the Marlborough cameo.
The best piece is Lot 111, the
cameo of the head of a bear. Dated to the Classical Period, circa
4th Century B.C., it is only 1 1/2 inches high but is very finely
detailed and has a lovely color. The catalogue notes "a single
menacing forepaw positioned along the lower edge" The lot
has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 63 is a nice group of four
that date from the Third Intermediate Period to the Ptolemaic
Period, 1070-30 B.C. The tallest amulet, a green faience Nehebkau, with
snake head and
tail and a human body, is only 1 1/4 inches high. The other amulets
include a dark red glass Ba-bird, a turquoise blue and black faience
Thoth s an Ibis, and a cream-brown faience Horus falcon. The lot
has an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000. It sold for $2,271.
Lot 78 is a very fine Egyptian
depicted Winged Isis with Horus the Falcon. The 1 1/2-inch-high
amulet is finely detailed and is dated Late Period to Ptolemaic
Period, 664-30 B.C. It has a modest estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.
Lot 145 is a Roman Republic,
circa mid 1st
century B.C. black jasper oval engraved with facing portrait heads
of a youth and a young women, set in a gold setting, circa 4th
Century A.D. It has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It sold
Lot 3, scarab finger
ring, East Greek, gold
and carnelian, Archaic Period, circa Late 6th Century B.C., has
the head of a roaring lion engraved on the underside of the scarab.
It had an estimate of $5,000 to $8,000 and sold for $35,850.
Lot 73, two Egyptian
lapis lazuli amulets,
Late Period to Ptolemaic Period, 664-30 B.C., had an estimate
of $1,200 to $1,800 and sold for $1,135.
Lot 121, a Greek gold
and garnet strap necklace,
Hellenistic Period, circa Late 4th-Early 3rd Century B.C., had
an estimte of $25,000 to $35,000 and sold for $50,190.
Lot 124 is a lovely
pair of Greek gold earrings,
Hellenistic Period, circa Late 4th-Early 3rd Century B.C. The
earrings had an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000 and sold for $23,900.
Lot 149 is "The Marlborough
a Roman onyx cameo portrait of the Emperor Claudius, who ruled
from 41 to 54 A.D. The 3-inch-long cameo has an estimate of $300,000
to $500,000. It was once in the collection of George Spencer,
Fourth Duke of Marlborough (1738-1817) and subsequently Sir Francis
Cook (1817-1901), Wyndham F. Cook (d. 1905) and Rafael Esmerian
of New York.
The catalogue provides the
"Tiberius Claudus Nero
born in Lyon, France (ancient Lugdunum) in 10 B.C. He was the
youngest son of the Emperor Tiberius' brother Drusus amd Antonia
the Younger, the niece of Augustus and daughter of Marc Antony.
Due to poor health and a pronounced stammer, his family assumed
tht he would never amount to anything....He was not granted any
major position during the reigns of Augustus or Tiberius, but
in 37 A.D., during the reign of his nephew Caligula, he shared
the consultate and presided at the public games in the Emperor's
absence. Claudius was possibly involved in the plot to assassinate
Caligula, and he succeeded his nephew at the age of 51 as the
fourth Emperor of Rome on 24 January 41 A.D."
The catalogue also notes that
one expert has
observed that "as a way of visually distinguishing the emperor
from his hated predecessor Caligula, Claudius' protraits, present
him with relatively realistic facial features, consonant with
his age at the time of his accession."
The lot sold for $321,100.