Amulets in Ancient Egypt were both decorative and practical, as they were considered as having apotropaic powers to protect or bestow power upon the wearer. Not only worn by the living, amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife. Amulets held different meanings, … Read more
An extremely large hollow terracotta hand from the Roman period, with palm facing out and fingers stretched up together. The hand is anatomically correct, if somewhat exaggerated, with detail in the carving of the fingernails. This piece is an excellent example of an anatomical votive offering, an important aspect of Ancient Roman religious and medical life.
A bronze figurine of Green Tara, depicted with downcast eyes and a gently smiling mouth. The serene face and blue chignon are framed by a five-pointed crown, behind which is a gilt Buddhist jewel, and large floral earrings. The two blue strands of her hair fall elegantly onto each shoulder, emphasising her elaborate necklaces and armlets. Both hands are in Vitarka Mudra, one at chest height and one resting on her knee, and both delicately hold the stem of a lotus flower that blooms over each of her shoulders. Her right leg is stretched out in lalitasana, while the left is folded neatly on top of her lotus flower throne.
A bronze figure of a bodhisattva, likely Avalokitesvara, sitting on a lotus flower dais, with a nimbus behind his head. He wears a crown, two of his four hands are in the position of Namaskara Mudra, and his feet and legs are in the Dhyanasana. His other two hands are held up at shoulder-height, with one holding a small flower, and in the other a small set of beads, twisted into a figure of eight. The bodhisattva wears a large amount of jewellery, including his crown, necklaces, bracelets, arm bands, anklets, and some very large earrings, marking him out as a bodhisattva, as Buddhas are more simply dressed in monk robes. The nimbus behind extends above the head and curls downwards, around the shoulders and ends at the figure’s hips. He sits on some fabric on the dais, which is designed as a lotus flower, the petals extending in two rows of both upwards and downwards motion.
An exquisite Tibetan bronze statuette of the wrathful Buddhist deity, Acala. The figure wields a flaming sword and is surrounded by a halo of flames known as an agni prabhavali. He stands in the ‘vajra’ stance, with one leg bent and the other extended and in his left hand he grasps a lasso – a common item identified with this deity. The figure’s hair is depicted in stylised spiral curls and he is adorned with a necklace, large earrings, bracelets and anklets. His deeply furrowed brow highlights his wrathful presentation.
A pair of delicate openwork Roman gold earrings featuring a large central rosette disc, decorated with an original pearl bead at its centre. A volute attachment adds further decoration, with an encased garnet cabochon at the core. Three hanging pendants fall elegantly, a small garnet bead to the centre, bordered by two vibrant green glass beads. There is an open hook attachment to rear.
A fine leaf-shaped Coptic fabric panel featuring the depiction of a standing figure, shown facing right. The figure, possibly a male dancer, appears with raised hand. The figure can be associated with the cult of Dionysus, which was extremely popular in Hellenistic Egypt.
A beautifully rendered Coptic textile fragment featuring depicted mythological figures. To the bottom a nymph is shown riding an animal and holding a scarf upon her head. This figure might refer to Europa, the mythological figure with whom Zeus fell in love. To the centre a winged Erote is depicted while holding ceremonial items. The ground between these figures is finely decorated with zoomorphic and floral motifs, while a geometric decorated border frames the composition. This strip was very likely part of a tunic, the most common garment in Coptic culture.
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