Overlooked by collectors and museums visiting our website to acquire higher profile antiquities, such as Greek vases, Egyptian burial items or Roman sculptures, is a group of 3 tiny buttons in various materials, dating to the middle Byzantine era. These are exceptionally rare and deserve to be highlighted here. Link: http://www.clioancientart.com/catalog/i205.html The history of buttons… Read More Tiny, Rare and Noteworthy: A Group of Byzantine Buttons on Our Website
The silver coin pictured here, a “Tram” of the Cilician Armenian ruler Levon I, is a survivor from a rather remarkable episode in the Medieval history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Our story begins far to the east, with the conquest of much of the Middle East by the Seljuk Turks. Fleeing their original homelands in… Read More Every Coin Tells a Story…Some More than Others
No other type of ancient Roman glass vessel is so widespread and common a find as the unguentarium (plural: unguentaria). As the name suggests, it was intended as a container for precious liquids, such as scented oils for personal or funerary use, medicinal creams and herbals for culinary use. This type of vessel’s origins rest… Read More The Ubiquitous Unguentarium
Many of the ancient lamps on our website are Byzantine, mainly from the Levant (what is now southern Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel / Palestine). Unlike Roman hard fired ceramic red slip lamps of earlier centuries, Byzantine lamps tend to be made from low fired pottery and their designs reflect Christian symbolism. In the Roman period,… Read More Byzantine Pottery Oil Lamps from the Levant
Political and social turmoil is still very much in evidence in Egypt today, 16 months after Mubarak’s departure and 1 year after Morsi’s election as Egypt’s President. Some of this unrest has had religious overtones, involving friction between Egypt’s ancient Coptic community, now numbering perhaps 10% of the population or 8 million persons, and some… Read More A Byzantine St Menas Flask and Spiritual Continuity in Egypt
One of the more extraordinary objects offered on our website is a Late Dynastic Egyptian blue skullcap detached from a statuette of the god Ptah. It may be viewed here: http://www.clioancientart.com/catalog/i11.html. We have described this antiquity as being made of “frit” — a term sometimes but erroneously used interchangeably for faience. But why did we… Read More Egyptian Faience Production and a Skullcap of Ptah on Our Website
In a recent blog entry we examined characteristics of a 5th-6th Century Frankish cloissone’ silver buckle, a high status object. In this entry we will examine aspects of some rather more mundane but also much more typical buckles from Late Antiquity and the transitional period involving the migration of peoples into Europe, the end of… Read More WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM A BUCKLE?