Hang Loose Romani!

The other day we mentioned that Sotheby’s catalog for their upcoming antiquities auction is up and, as might be expected, so is Christie’s. Christie’s, though, has a few items which catch my eye (although all are interesting — whenever these things come out, I am always amazed at how much ‘stuff’ we actually do have from the ancient world).  Topping the list is the item which prompted our headline:

Christie's Photo

This bronze hand dates to the second or third century A.D. according to the official description, and clearly proves the Romans invented the ‘hang loose’ gesture long before the Hawaiians (not really, but I’m sure someone will claim that).

Next comes this nice little figural askos:

We’ve blogged about sirens before, and about the perpetual confusion between them and mermaids. As this item shows, of course, they did have wings and really weren’t modified fish. According to this one’s official description, this item hails from late-fifth century B.C. Sicily. Not sure why an askos (for small quantities of oil) would be a siren-shaped vessel …

Last, but certainly not least of the items which caught my eye, is this Phrygian-style helmet:

The official description has this being a Hellenistic (3rd century B.C. or so) Phrygian Style helmet. What I find very interesting is the obviously modelled moustache on the cheekplates, which is something I haven’t seen before — actually, I can’t recall ever seeing a Phrygian helmet with cheekplates, although I’m sure they exist. It’s difficult to tell whether the somewhat similar item on this page has a moustache or not …

There are plenty of other interesting items, of course … check out the online catalog here

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