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Home > Auctions > 2nd June 2020 > Western Asiatic Achaemenid Silver Amphora with Ram Handles

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LOT 0320

GBP (£) 18,000 - 24,000
EUR (€) 20,220 - 26,960
USD ($) 22,680 - 30,240

£13,500 (EUR 15,163; USD 17,009) (+bp*)

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Western Asiatic Achaemenid Silver Amphora with Ram Handles

5th-4th century BC

A sheet silver vessel with trumpet mouth, stepped shoulder and fluted body; three radiating handles each in the form of a regardant leaping ram; mounted on a custom-made stand. 491 grams total, 14cm including stand (5 1/2"). Very fine condition. A beautiful museum-quality display piece.

Condition report [Click to show]

From the collection of a respected UK gentleman; previously in the collection of Mr H.S., acquired in the 1980s; accompanied by a technical examination report, written by Pieter Meyers of Los Angeles, California, dated 10 May 2018; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by IADAA certificate number no.15012020/17:57.
See J. Paul Getty Museum, accession no.86.AM.751, for a similar vessel; see Curtis, J. and Tallis, N., Forgotten Empire, The British Museum, London, 2006, pp.124-125, for similar items.
Amphora such as this display a high level of craftsmanship. The parallel ribs around the amphora's body would have been produced using a hammering technique. The separately cast handles were attached at a later stage of the crafting process, fixed to the body by soldering and/or rivetting. The handles were likely produced using the lost wax technique, with detailing executed using chasing tools. The lost wax technique involved working a clay core which was then covered in a layer of wax and worked on a lathe.