Here James Brenchley, head of Ancient Art, Antiquities & Classical Coins at Hansons Auctioneers, reflects on the success of November’s Antiquities Auction.
Years of breathtaking history successfully sold at Hansons’ November 2018 Antiquities Auction with many delighted customers and fascinated observers.
We have had a successful three months building our Historica department at Hansons, which focuses not only on ancient relics but history of all types, from natural history, such as fossils and minerals, to later Pre-Columbian and Tribal Art from the African colonies and tribes.
History is personal to everyone. Different periods fascinate different people. Objects that come up for auction enrich our knowledge and understanding of past cultures, which are the building blocks of society as we know it today.
For me, it isn’t just the grand temples and buildings of the successful Roman and Greek cultures which offer the most insight, but those small stylised items of history that tell us about the people and how they lived.
There is nothing more magical than uncovering a piece of history that has sat waiting to tell its story to us, the custodians of these ancient objects.
Here I have chosen five objects which excelled at auction. All figures stated include buyer’s premium:
LOT 1 Medieval gold seal ring - sold for £12,400
This metal detecting ‘find of a lifetime’ was made in Oxfordshire by Paul Wood, from Poole, Dorset. The ring, which dates back to 15th-17th Century AD, is engraved with a coat and crest for the Skynner family. The arms feature an elaborate chevron, stylised decoration with small cylindrical-shaped dots, between three birds’ heads. Presented above the shield is a helm. Above the helm, the crest consists of another bird’s head rising from a battlement. Recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
LOT 144 Roman gold ring - Sold for £3,244
This Roman gold ring featuring an engraved portrait of a young male is thought to be from the Hadrianic to Antonine period, C. 1st – 2nd Century AD. This ring has a large ovoid bezel with intricately engraved bust of a young male; the face with wavy hair, nose and mouth are especially well crafted.
LOT 203A: Monasterial bell - Sold for £2,480
This large bell was found between Stratford on Avon and Broadway in 1923-1924 by a farmer digging for drain pipes. It resembles the famous bell of St Patrick. The bell came with a selection of newspaper clippings and a handwritten from antiquities experts who assessed it in 1924. The bell is believed to date back to between the 6th and 10th Century AD. An item full of history and intrigue.
LOT 355: Gandharan Grey Schist Figure of a Bodhisattva - Sold for £1,860
This decorated Gandharan Grey Schist Figure of a Bodhisattva was an exceptional beauty. Made in the 3rd - 4th Century AD, this large schist Bodhisattva torso is enrobed in an elegantly draped Sanghati or mantle. The torso displays an abundance of elaborate jewellery, representing the spiritual riches of the Bodhisattva.
LOT 4: Egyptian Wooden Painted Ushabti - Sold for £496
Egyptian Wooden Painted Ushabti Translated Dd Mdw In Wsir-gd (w) Sd-Xnsw-mAa'Osirism Chief Builder Shed Khonsu Justified'.New Kingdom, 1200 BC. A wooden figure in the form of a mummiform ushabti with elaborate decoration, red and black painted column with hieroglyphic text, highly painted headdress and agricultural tools. Seed basket painted on the reverse. Mounted on a wooden display stand.
We are now inviting entries for future Antiquities and Metal Detecting Auctions. To arrange a free valuation, email: [email protected]