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Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Roman Gold Liturgical Spoon with Silver Dolphin

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LOT 0156

Estimate
GBP (£) 5,000 - 7,000
EUR (€) 5,980 - 8,370
USD ($) 6,090 - 8,530

Opening Bid
£4,500 (EUR 5,380; USD 5,481) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0
ROMAN GOLD LITURGICAL SPOON WITH SILVER DOLPHIN
EARLY 5TH CENTURY A.D.

A gold liturgical spoon composed of an oval bowl, two applied volute scrolls to each side of the handle; the lower part of which is formed as a silver dolphin with stylised detailing; applied balustered stem with bulbous finial, decorated with friezes of filigree spirals between bands; accompanied by a custom-made display stand. 6 3/8 in. (7 1/2 in.) (23.4 grams, 16.3 cm (166 grams total, 19 cm high including stand)).

PROVENANCE:
Old private American collection, since the 1980s.
Acquired in London from Mr A.B. in 2019.
Accompanied by an academic report by Dr. Raffaele D’Amato.
Accompanied by an independent specialist report and valuation by a graduate gemmologist and jewellery expert ref. no.169251/07/12/2020.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11327-190768.

LITERATURE:
See Shelton, K.J., The Esquiline Treasure, London, 1981; cf. Riha, E. & Stern, W.B., Die Römischen Löffel aus Augst und Kaiseraugst, Basel, 1982, items 218-221, for type; cf. Johns, K. and Potter, T., The Thetford Treasure, Roman jewellery and silver, Dorchester, 1983, items 50-82, for type; cf. Spier, J., Treasures of the Ferrell Collection, Wiesbaden, 2010, p.278, items 218-222, for type.

FOOTNOTES:
A relatively large number of similar liturgical spoons, albeit in silver, have been discovered in treasure hoards dating between the late 4th and early 5th centuries A.D. The famous Thetford Treasure unearthed in Norfolk included spoons with comparable zoomorphic elements (Johns and Potter, 1983, pp.38ff. and 121ff.); as did the mid 4th century Kaiseraugst Treasure from Switzerland, and the Esquiline Treasure from Rome (Shelton, 1981, pl.34).

CONDITION