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Lot 0044 Details

Description
Roman, Imperial, ca. 200 to 300 century CE. A mesmerizing stone mosaic with hundreds if not thousands of square, rectangular, and triangular stone tesserae of russet brown, creamy white, jet black, and golden yellow ochre hues arranged in an attractive pattern. The composition features three circular orb-like forms - each one further adorned with fret marks that move inward from the border and surround a cross-like motif delineated by the negative space resulting four the crowstep motifs equidistantly arranged in the centers - alternating with two polygonal emblems - each one slightly different, though both perfectly symmetrical and inspired by floral or vegetal motifs. Despite the emphasis on geometry in the overall design, there are such organic elements; i.e. the leafy tendrils embellishing the areas between the forms. Above and below are thick linear black and gold borders. Size: 54.25" W x 18.25" H (137.8 cm x 46.4 cm)

Mosaics (opus tesellatum) are some of our most enduring images from the Roman world, exciting not only for their aesthetic beauty, but also because they reveal what Romans chose to depict and see every day decorating their private and public spaces. This example is abstract in its intention and presents the ancients' keen eye for design. In the Roman province of Syria, which encompassed most of the ancient Near East/Levant, mosaics developed as a popular art form relatively late, with most finds coming from the 3rd century CE or later. Syria was one of Rome's wealthiest provinces, but it was also far removed from Rome itself and Roman culture was overlaid on enduring cultural traditions from Hellenistic Greece and the great civilizations that came before it. Antioch-on-the-Orontes (modern day Antakya, Turkey), was the capital of northern Roman Syria, and its excavations in the 1930s revealed more than three hundred mosaic pavements - of which many embellished public baths. Popular mosaic themes from this region were often mythological or religious scenes, depicting gods and goddesses; however, sometimes mosaics were created to fit the theme of a building or room.

Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA, acquired in November 2017; ex-Aphrodite Ancient Art, New York, New York, USA; ex-private Early collection, acquired in the 1980s

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#152880
Condition
Expected wear with chips, recessions, and abrasions to tesserae commensurate with age. Losses to peripheries as shown. Scattered earth deposits. Set in a modern matrix and ready to hang.
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Roman Stone Mosaic Long Panel Circular Motifs / Emblems

Estimate $16,000 - $24,000Apr 09, 2020
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Artemis Gallery

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