Rupert Wace Ancient Art will again present a fascinating
selection of works from ancient civilisations at this year’s
Masterpiece Fair. These diverse objects have in common
the timeless appeal of antiquity – a visual and intellectual
appeal which has attracted artists, philosophers and
collectors through the ages.
This timeless appeal is well demonstrated in the Greek
Neolithic idol, predating the better known Cycladic figures
by as much as two thousand years. Its original purpose can
only be guessed at yet it retains a powerful sense of
symbolic significance. Strong horizontal lines and massive
proportions emphasize the powerful monumentality of the
A collection of classical portrait heads will be shown including a
fine Greek example from the Hellenistic period. This dynamic
portrait with typical idealised characterisation depicts a serious but
handsome man, his deep-set eyes beneath furrowed brows.
Also from the Classical World is an exceedingly wearable gold
necklace dating from the 4th century BC. Comprising 16 palmette
elements each with a ribbed seed suspended below and with
central ram’s head pendant.
Necklaces from the Egyptian and Roman cultures affirm that
ancient jewellery offers a more interesting and often less expensive
alternative to contemporary designer pieces. The carnelian and
faience collar, dating from the Late Dynastic Period of Egyptian
history, was collected in the early 20th century and exhibited for
many years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The Egyptian world will also be represented by a selection of amulets. Believed by their makers
and original owners to endow powers or provide magical protection, these small-scale objects are
particularly accessible. Strong simple forms, each with a story to tell. The finely detailed fingers
representing the embalmer’s steady hand have a very modern appeal. As does the djed-pillar,
symbolising a backbone and, therefore, stability. Frogs were a particularly popular subject offering
their bearer the hope of regeneration and fertility. This example carved from a stone chosen to
mimic the natural colouring of the animal.