This beautiful Mycenaean Stirrup Jar is a great example of Early Greek antiques. Available through Phoenix Ancient Art with Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam, this jar has a body that is highlighted with a carefully painted lozenge chain. The round profile is accentuated with the horizontal bands of lines.
Jars of this sort were first produced in Crete at the end of the Middle Minoan Period from 1700-1550 B.C. This pottery type is quite unusual and has a false spout that is capped with a clay disk. While it looks like the liquid pours from here, it actually pours from a spout on the shoulder of the vase.
This type of design was intended to create easy transport. The false spout made it easy to carry the jar, while the narrow neck where the actual spout is allowed the user to easily control the flow of liquid.
Certainly, antiques come from many time periods and many countries. Phoenix Ancient Art offers a vast selection of antiques from many locations and time periods. One interesting time period for which Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam offer antiques is the Early Greek period.
What are Early Greek antiques? This selection includes art that was produced by two main civilizations of the Bronze Age. These included the Minoans on Crete and the Mycenaeans on mainland Greece. The main antiques that come from these cultures include fine pottery from the Mycenaeans and pottery with aquatic themes and gems from the Minoans.
When buying antiquities, many people think of acquiring large objects that they can put on display, such as pottery and sculptures. Other smaller types of antiquities, however, are very interesting, both as investments and as treasures to pass on to future generations.
This beautiful bronze belt buckle, for example, that is for sale at Phoenix Ancient Art, is a great representation of Visigothic Art. The many engraved animal motifs are typical of the art of the migration period, ca. 300-600AD. The lyre-shaped of the belt buckles, however, was a form made originally by Byzantine artisans and adapted by the Germanic tribes.
If you want to acquire something truly unusual, consider purchasing a piece from the Dark Ages, a term widely used to the early part of the Middle Ages, from the fall of Rome in 476 AD to around the year 1000 AD. The art from this period includes many items such as illuminated manuscripts, lovely and detailed embroidery and metalwork. Phoenix Ancient Art owned by Hicham and Ali Aboutaam, offer antiques of this period. In the New York gallery now is a mid-6th century Merovingian earring in pristine condition. It is made of a large gold cube bead inlaid with garnets.
A Roman marble bust of the Greek philosopher Plato (427-347 BCE) has several characteristics that date its composition to at least the second half of the second century. Yet, the sculptor’s renditions of the philosopher’s beard and mustache are in the style of the Greek Classical Period (5th-4th century BCE). Perhaps the bust is a copy of an earlier Greek version? What we do know for certain is that the Romans loved to keep portraits of the great Greek philosophers in their libraries, where scrolls of the writings of Plato and Aristotle were housed.
The 26 cm. (10.2 inch) sculpture is currently on view and for sale at Phoenix Ancient Art. Like many of the works to be found in the gallery, it evokes a sense of the time in which it was made. Hicham and Ali Aboutaam, the owners of Phoenix Ancient Art, like the educational aspect as well as the beauty of antiquities. In this superb bust we can learn a bit about the culture of the Romans of the second century.