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Home > Auctions > 5th December 2023 > Marble Libation Table

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LOT 0281

GBP (£) 3,500 - 4,500
EUR (€) 4,050 - 5,200
USD ($) 4,440 - 5,710

Opening Bid
£1,750 (EUR 2,023; USD 2,222) (+bp*)

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Bids: 0
9 3/4 in. (19.2 kg, 25 cm).

A Nabataean or Hellenistic libation table with drum-shaped body and four stub legs ending in bovine hooves; circumferential bands of egg-and-dart ornament, ropework ornament to the rim, dished upper face to accept votive offerings.

Ex Paris collection.
French gallery, Paris, 1990-2000s.

This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no.11927-209636.

See Daremberg, C.V. & Saglio, E. (eds.), Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines, Paris, 1873-1917, fig.419, p.350, for representation of a similar already in 4th century B.C.; Richter, G.M.A., The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, London, 1966, fig.389.

Rooms in Greek and Roman houses were largely devoid of furniture, and instead more emphasis was given to the display of works of art: mosaic floors, wall paintings, and freestanding bronze and marble sculpture. However, domestic altars have been found in various Greek and Roman houses (especially in Pompeii). This unusual small table with its elaborate support was likely to have been used to deposit fruit, sweets and other types of small gifts as offerings. Such tables were used in all the Greek and provincial Roman world, even by the Nabataean Arabs during the Roman period.