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LOT 0075

Estimate
GBP (£) 5,000 - 7,000
EUR (€) 5,670 - 7,940
USD ($) 6,350 - 8,890

Opening Bid
£4,500 (EUR 5,106; USD 5,713) (+bp*) Add to Watch list

Roman Inscribed Wax Tablet Group

3rd-4th century AD

Two wooden wax tablet sections, both probably legal contracts comprising: one rectangular with broken lower edge, recessed surface with wax fill and part of eight lines of cursive Greek text, remains of further text to the reverse; one rectangular with recessed surface and two pairs of mounting holes to the border, fourteen lines of cursive Greek text and similar recess, the contract mentioning ‘Silver money’ in the last line, on the reserve the signatures of various witnesses (in the typical form: name, son of [ ], father's name in the genitive case; difficult to read due to the remains of words of at least one previous writer the tablet having been reused as was normal practice; both from North Africa or Egypt. 95 grams total, 12.7-18.7cm (5 - 7 1/4"). Fine condition. Rare legal documents, once forensically fully deciphered, they will provide a fascinating insight into the functioning of Roman society and its economy. [2]

Provenance
Property of a North London gentleman; previously in the Dean family collection since 1975; formerly the property of Monsieur Alain Sfez, a Belgian collector; acquired by gift from his father Albert Sfez, 1965; acquired by Albert in the early 1950s; accompanied by three old black and white photographs.

Literature
For examples of wooden tabulae re-used as a writing surfaces, see Thomas, J. D., Vindolanda: The Latin Writing Tablets, Britannia Monograph Series No 4, London, 1983; for examples of testamentary documents on wooden tablets that have survived, see FIRA III, p.47 for Anthony Silvanus from 142 AD and see BGU VII 1695 for Safinnius Herminus; for another from Transfynydd, North Wales, see Arch. Camb. 150, pp.143-156.


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Auction Catalogue


Auction Venue:
The May Fair Hotel London
Stratton Street
Mayfair London, W1J 8LT

Viewing from noon Monday 27th May 2019
Champagne Reception: 6pm - 9pm

Tuesday 28th May 2019 (Day 1)
10am : Lots 1 - 660

Auction Venue:
The Court House
363 Main Road
Harwich, CO12 4DN

10am GMT Start (Lunch 1.30 - 2pm)
Wednesday 29th May 2019 (Day 2)
Lots 700 - 1400
Thursday 30th May 2019 (Day 3)
Lots 1401 - 2112
Friday 31st May 2019 (Day 4)
Lots 2113 - 2817
Saturday 1st June 2019 (Day 5)
Lots 2818 - 3306
Coins: 3401 - 3579
Sunday 2nd June 2019 (Day 6)
Coins, Notes & Medals
Lots 3600 - 4387

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