Antiques certainly never go out of style. In recent news, a detailed Roman parade helmet sold at Christie’s auction house in London for 2.28 million pounds ($3.6 million). Estimates had been set at 200,000 to 300,000 pounds.
Christie’s described the helmet as an “extraordinary example of Roman metalwork at its zenith” and dated it to the late 1st or 2nd century A.D. The helmet has been named the Crosby Garrett Helmet for the village where it was found, near the Scottish border.
Certainly, this is one exciting example of how precious and valuable antiques are to many people today. Companies like Phoenix Ancient Art with Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam understand the value of an item of this sort, and antique appreciation is growing in the general population as well.
Phoenix Ancient Art, a premier gallery specializing in Classical Antiquities and owned by brothers Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam, will exhibit in the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris. This magnificent event will take place at the Grand Palais from September 15-22, 2010 and will display the finest works of art on the market today.
Phoenix Ancient Art will unveil masterworks including a Statue of Leto Holding Apollo and Artemis. This statue from the Roman Imperial Period, 2nd century A.D.. stands 98 centimeters high and is is carved in the round from a single piece of fine-grained marble. The group is almost completely intact and it resembles a Greek original dating from the 5th century B.C.
One way of understanding ancient Greek culture and history is by taking a look at the artwork from the time. Pottery from ancient Greece has helped many people form a basic understanding of the place, people and culture. Indeed, it has been said that such pottery “paints a portrait of the world of ancient Greece.” At Phoenix Ancient Art, Hicham Aboutaam has a few impressive pieces from this time on sale, including a core-formed glass Amphoriskos priced at $6,500, which probably at the time contained some kind of perfume. From this piece one can learn a bit about the history of antiques in general, since the practice of using finely produced glass vessels for valuable commodities started in the late Bronze Age and was later revived in Mesopotamia in the early Iron Age.
In recent news around the world, the AP reports that four clay coffins estimated to be 2000 years old were unearthed in Cyprus. The coffins, untouched by grave robbers, were said to date from the Hellenistic to early Roman period, from between 300 B.C. to 100 A.D. In addition, other items found at the site included human skeletal remains, terra cotta urns and more. All of these were discovered while workers were fixing a sidewalk in a resort location.
Certainly, if you are interested in collecting antiques, or if you are already an antique collector, you have many choices. There are many antique dealers today who offer outstanding products and exceptional quality. One such dealer is Phoenix Ancient Art. They are a second generation Ancient Art company, originally founded in the mid 1960s by the late S. Aboutaam.
Having taken up his passion, Mr. Aboutaam’s sons are, today, the owners of the company. Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam run and manage both the Geneva gallery and the New York gallery (pictured here). Phoenix Ancient Art offers treasures from a large range of locations and time periods. Its scope includes Mesopotamia, the Near East, Egypt, Europe, the Balkans, Eurasia, Byzantium, the Steppes, Greece and the Roman Empire.
One of the more recent arrivals at Phoenix Ancient Art, owned by Hicham Aboutaam and Ali Aboutaam, is the Egyptian Amulet of the Goddess Bastet. This amulet is in an excellent state of preservation and is from the 3rd Intermediary Period, around the 8th-7th century B.C. The amulet is complete and has retained its original intense blue color.
The goddess’s throne was made in a technique that was very popular at the end of the New Kingdom and in the beginning of the first millennium B.C. The faience was first cast and the openwork was then created by cutting away unwanted elements with a knife. While this amulet is quite small in size, the work’s quality is excellent and a number of the anatomical details have been rendered with great precision.
The goddess Bastet was quite popular at the end of the Bronze Age and, as was quite common in Egyptian art, the figure has the body of a human and the head of an animal. She is considered a mild mannered, sweeter version of the dangerous goddess Sekhmet. She is the patron of the priestly doctors of Sekhmet and she is the rpotector of women in childbirth and children.
Plastic Vessel in the shape of a Monkey’s head.
Apulian, 4th Century B.C.
Height: 3 5/16”
Diameter of Base: 21/16”
Monkeys did not exist in the art of Greece, but they can be found in the art of Magna Graecia, the Greek colonies on the southern coast of Italy. The image of the monkey came from Africa during the Ptolemaic period during the rule of Alexander the Great. Most plastic vessels are made in the shape of animal heads–birds, bulls, ducks, deer—or women’s heads, and such vessels as the were used to hold aromatic oils and perfumes. Here is a rare and charming example of a monkey’s head that comes from the Apulia region. This finely-detailed model is made of terracotta with a black glaze and added paint. “It is a remarkable survival and record of the virtuosity of the Greek colonies whose culture spread across the Greek world,” says Hicham Aboutaam, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art