lots of lots

An Important Translated Byzantine Marble Altar Tabletop

Similar Sale History

View More Items in Art

Related Art

More Items in Byzantine Art

View More
item-117156518=1
item-117156518=2
item-117156518=3
item-117156518=4
An Important Translated Byzantine Marble Altar Tabletop
Item Details
Description
**This is an oversized piece that may require special shipping. Please inquire for a quote prior to bidding.

Holy Land, Late Roman / Early Byzantine Period, ca. mid-5th to 6th century CE. A marvelous marble altar tabletop of an immense scale and a rectangular form. The elegant piece displays a recessed central basin and a raised rim inscribed with Ancient Greek text along one long side and Syriac Aramaic on the other, each flanked by a pair of Greek crosses and written with the periphery serving as the bottom so that a sitter at the table would be able to read the inscription in front of them. The Ancient Greek text reveals that this was an altar table, translating to "Petros with his wife Kosmiane presented [this] as offering with gratitude" and is followed by 2 palm leaves and 3 letters - X, M, and the Greek letter gamma - which serve as a Christogram meaning "Mary is the mother of Christ." The Aramaic Syriac script likely bears a plea to God in return for the offering of the table. Size: 55" L x 31.7" W x 2.1" H (139.7 cm x 80.5 cm x 5.3 cm)

Though minimalist in form, the table boasts a skillfully carved 3-tier border, with the highest tier bearing the inscription and the lowest only slightly elevated from the central basin. An additional inscription of a symbol that combines the letters T, P, O, and Y is featured on the verso, likely intended to represent either the artist's signature, the church for which the table was intended, or the city in which the table was located.

Marble tabletops have been found widely throughout the Roman and Byzantine Empires; however, the vast majority exist as only small fragments. These tabletops were used to celebrate feasts for the dead at grave sites - a commemorative practice known throughout the Roman and early Byzantine worlds - and were often supported by bases and elaborately incised with messages promising salvation.

Prior to the 2nd century, Romans cremated their dead; around that time, inspired by the Greek and Etruscan practice of using sarcophagi, they began to place their dead in sarcophagi. This trend spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire. In the western part of the Empire, sarcophagi were placed inside a mausoleum against a wall or in a niche, so the only decorated panels were on the front and the short sides. This tabletop probably came from the grave of a high-status Roman citizen.

A marble tabletop with an identical Greek inscription is discussed in "Syria Grammata Kai Agalmata" by Hassan Salame-Sarkis in the journal Syria, 66, no. 1/4 (Institut Francais du Proche-Orient, 1989), 320-322.

This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world's largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.

Provenance: private West Hollywood, California, USA collection; ex-Westreich collection, Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA and previously on display in Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA, acquired on the London art market and imported into the US in 1985

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany. For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.

Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.

#166697
Condition
Repaired from several pieces with some very light restoration and most break lines visible. Chipping with small areas of loss to peripheries. Otherwise, excellent with smooth surfaces and impressive remaining detail to inscriptions.
Buyer's Premium
  • 26.5%

An Important Translated Byzantine Marble Altar Tabletop

Estimate $20,000 - $30,000
Dec 02, 2021
See Sold Price
Starting Price $10,000
Shipping, Payment & Auction Policies
Ships from Louisville, CO, United States
Local Pick-Up Louisville, CO, United States
Artemis Gallery

Artemis Gallery

badge TOP RATED
Louisville, CO, United States
6,174 Followers
logo
www.liveauctioneers.com
item

0045: An Important Translated Byzantine Marble Altar Tabletop

Sold for $25,000
3 Bids
Est. $20,000 - $30,000Starting Price $10,000
Fine Antiquities | Asian | Ethnographic Art
Dec 02, 2021 10:00 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 26.5%

Lot 0045 Details

Description
...
**This is an oversized piece that may require special shipping. Please inquire for a quote prior to bidding.

Holy Land, Late Roman / Early Byzantine Period, ca. mid-5th to 6th century CE. A marvelous marble altar tabletop of an immense scale and a rectangular form. The elegant piece displays a recessed central basin and a raised rim inscribed with Ancient Greek text along one long side and Syriac Aramaic on the other, each flanked by a pair of Greek crosses and written with the periphery serving as the bottom so that a sitter at the table would be able to read the inscription in front of them. The Ancient Greek text reveals that this was an altar table, translating to "Petros with his wife Kosmiane presented [this] as offering with gratitude" and is followed by 2 palm leaves and 3 letters - X, M, and the Greek letter gamma - which serve as a Christogram meaning "Mary is the mother of Christ." The Aramaic Syriac script likely bears a plea to God in return for the offering of the table. Size: 55" L x 31.7" W x 2.1" H (139.7 cm x 80.5 cm x 5.3 cm)

Though minimalist in form, the table boasts a skillfully carved 3-tier border, with the highest tier bearing the inscription and the lowest only slightly elevated from the central basin. An additional inscription of a symbol that combines the letters T, P, O, and Y is featured on the verso, likely intended to represent either the artist's signature, the church for which the table was intended, or the city in which the table was located.

Marble tabletops have been found widely throughout the Roman and Byzantine Empires; however, the vast majority exist as only small fragments. These tabletops were used to celebrate feasts for the dead at grave sites - a commemorative practice known throughout the Roman and early Byzantine worlds - and were often supported by bases and elaborately incised with messages promising salvation.

Prior to the 2nd century, Romans cremated their dead; around that time, inspired by the Greek and Etruscan practice of using sarcophagi, they began to place their dead in sarcophagi. This trend spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire. In the western part of the Empire, sarcophagi were placed inside a mausoleum against a wall or in a niche, so the only decorated panels were on the front and the short sides. This tabletop probably came from the grave of a high-status Roman citizen.

A marble tabletop with an identical Greek inscription is discussed in "Syria Grammata Kai Agalmata" by Hassan Salame-Sarkis in the journal Syria, 66, no. 1/4 (Institut Francais du Proche-Orient, 1989), 320-322.

This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world's largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.

Provenance: private West Hollywood, California, USA collection; ex-Westreich collection, Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA and previously on display in Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA, acquired on the London art market and imported into the US in 1985

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany. For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.

Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.

#166697
Condition
...
Repaired from several pieces with some very light restoration and most break lines visible. Chipping with small areas of loss to peripheries. Otherwise, excellent with smooth surfaces and impressive remaining detail to inscriptions.

Contacts

Artemis Gallery
720.890.7700
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
USA
LiveAuctioneers Support
info@liveauctioneers.com
iphoneandroidPhone

Get notifications from your favorite auctioneers.

As Seen On
NBC
ABC
Today
Chicago Tribune
Architectural Digest
Shop With Confidence
Since 2002, LiveAuctioneers has made exceptional items available for safe purchase in secure online auctions.
TOP