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    Sale 5399

    Antiquities

    30 April 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 57

    FIVE EARLY CHRISTIAN TERRACOTTA LAMPS

    MAINLY LATE 4TH-EARLY 6TH CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    FIVE EARLY CHRISTIAN TERRACOTTA LAMPS
    MAINLY LATE 4TH-EARLY 6TH CENTURY A.D.
    Each with moulded decoration showing a central scene on the pierced tondo surrounded by decorative circles, vine tendrils or geometric motifs, the scenes comprising: a Lamb beneath a chi-rho sign with alpha and omega; two yoked spies supporting a large bunch of grapes between them; Christ Triumphant flanked by two angels, standing on an asp, with lion below and basilisk to left; a harvester bearing grapes facing a large fish; and the Three Hebrews standing before enthroned Nebuchadnezzar, alongside a column surmounted by bust of himself
    5½ in. (14 cm.) long av. (5)


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    PUBLISHED:
    Items two and four: L. Geiges, Die Regio, Landschaft am Oberrhein, Eine Kulturgeschichte in Bildern, Köln, 1986, "Wie's die Römer trieben", col. pl.

    Items two and three: for similar, cf. C. Lyon-Caen and V. Hoff, Catalogue des lampes en terre cuite grecques et chrétiennes, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1986, p. 118, no. 134 (Book of Numbers 13:23) representing the return of the spies that Moses sent into the land of Canaan to report back on the wealth and nature of the land; and p. 102, no. 48, "Thou shalt walk upon the asp and the basilisk: and thou shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon" (Psalm 90:13).

    Item five: this depiction is taken from the Old Testament (Daniel 3:23-26) and was adopted into early Christian iconography as a foreshadowing of the resurrection of Jesus. The Three Hebrews were sentenced to death in a fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar but emerged unharmed and accompanied by an angel.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    Please note that the lots of Iranian origin are subject to U.S. trade restrictions which currently prohibit the import into the United States. Similar restrictions may apply in other countries.
    This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage


    Provenance

    German private collection, formed during the 1960s-1970s.