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The Curator's Eye
Primary Classification: Ancient Art : Pre-Columbian Location of Origin: Latin America Medium/Materials: Terra-Cotta Dimensions: 17.5 x 10 x 12 inches
Mughal Ivory Priming Flask (Barooddan), 17th C.
Northern India. This ivory priming hunting flask, and fitted with a brass spring mechanism, is carved with lively hunting-related themes probably inspired by Persian art. The head of the flask has been decorated with the heads of two long-horned antelopes. The end is carved as a fleeing antelope with a lion head and an elephant head.

 

Rare Agate Box with Chased Silver Mounts, circa 1700
India, perhaps Goa. This extraordinary box is one of the more unusual items of Indian workmanship to have come to light in recent years. Each side, including the base, is of a large, flat piece of agate (or possibly closely related sardonyx which has been mined in India for thousands of years), and each side is bordered with silver mounts that have been chased and engraved with birds, cows, and mythical composite animals amid sinuous foliate scrollwork and against a tooled background. A figure of a man appears on one side.
Birds on Papaya Mortar, Inca Culture, 1400 - 1532
Highlands of Peru. Primary Classification: Ancient Art : Pre-Columbian Location of Origin: Latin America Medium/Materials: Stone Dimensions: 3.75 x 10 x 4.75 inches

 

Standing Dignitary, Calima Culture, 200 BC - 600
Colombia. Primary Classification: Ancient Art : Pre-Columbian Location of Origin: Latin America Medium/Materials: Terra Cotta Dimensions: 15.5 x 9 x 3.5
Seated Figure, Campeche Culture, 250 - 900
Colombia. Primary Classification: Ancient Art : Pre-Columbian Location of Origin: Latin America Medium/Materials: Terra Cotta Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 8 inches

 

Galena on Fluorite, Hill-Ledford Mine, Cave-in-Rock Dist., Illinois.
Illinois is not normally known for Galena of this ultimate quality. The best Galenas usually come from Bulgaria and Russia, these mines are considered the benchmark for the species. There are numerous mines around the world that produce Galena but rarely do you see mirror bright sharp lustrous crystals.
Fossilised Palmwood (Pumtek) Bead Necklace, c. 10th C.
Pyu Kingdom, Burma, China People, Western Burma & Mizo People, Eastern India. This necklace comprises approximately 30 rare spherical, cylindrical and square beads of etched opalised or fossilised palmwood (fossilised palmwood is known as pumtek, 'buried thunderbolts').

 

Carved Coco-de-Mer Sufi Mendicant's 'Begging' Bowl (Kashkul), 18th C.
Northern India or Iran (Persia).This vessel, made from the hard shell of the coco-de-mer nut, is profusely carved all over with arabesque scrolls and cartouches of Naskh Arabic - the word for 'Allah' is clearly identifiable. There might also be a date but the numbers are not fully legible.
Seated Figure, Olmec Culture, 1200 BC - 600 BC
Mexico. Primary Classification: Ancient Art : Pre-Columbian Location of Origin: Latin America Medium/Materials: Stone Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 5.25 inches

 

Ancestral Female Figure, Valdivia Culture, 3500 - 2000 BC
Ecuador. Primary Classification: Ancient Art : Pre-Columbian Location of Origin: Latin America Medium/Materials: Limestone Dimensions: 8.25 x 1.75 inches
Shell & Silver Lotus Stand by Wang Hing, c. 1880
China. This pleasing stand, tazza or sweetmeats plate comprises one large mother-of-pearl shell affixed to a thicket of lotus blooms and stems, all in finely cast and engraved silver. The original, pierced wooden base most probably carved from hongmu wood is also present. The stand is affixed to the wooden base by means of a silver screw and nut, the top of which is disguised as a central, young lotus shoot, naturalistically rendered.

 

Pair of Carved Wooden Male & Female Bulul Rice Divinity Figures, 18th-19th C.
This superb pair of powerfully-built standing bulul figures is notable because it is a true pair but also because of the quality of the carving. Both are finely rendered with clear features. The pair also has an excellent encrusted patina consistent with significant age and appropriate ritual use. Such figures were carved by the Ifugao as protective figures to be installed in their rice fields and rice granaries to protect the rice crop and harvest from evil spirits.
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