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LOT 0075

GBP (£) 5,000 - 7,000
EUR (€) 5,830 - 8,170
USD ($) 6,450 - 9,030

Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £4,500
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Roman Mosaic with Kantharos and Vines

4th century AD or earlier

A rectangular panel of mosaic tesserae, mainly 8-10mm in size, in a plaster matrix; central ribbed kantharos executed in coral pink and amber-yellow with green segments, tiered foot; issuing from the scaphoid opening two vines with curled tendrils and trefoil leaves in pale green; white field with grey-black border. 56 kg, 67.5 x 67.5cm (26 1/2 x 26 1/2"). Fine condition.

Property of a Cambridgeshire lady; formerly in the Igor Karmiloff collection (1925-2016), UN economist and author of Flashbacks, Icons of Impermanence, Bloomington, 2009; acquired in the 1950s-early 1990s; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no. 141579-10005.

See Pappalardo, U. Greek and Roman Mosaics New York, 2019; cf. Neal, D.S. & Cosh, S.R. Roman Mosaics of Britain. Vol I. Northern Britain, Society of Antiquaries, London, 2002; Watts, D.J. Christians and Pagans in Roman Britain, Abingdon, 1991.

The motif of the kantharos, krater or amphora with vines emerging from the mouth is widely represented in classical art and was seemingly a popular motif for the mosaicist with examples found in areas as widespread as North Africa and northern Britain.
The origins of the motif are probably to be found in the cult of Bacchus (Greek Dionysos) with its ritualised drunkenness expressed in the vine which gives rise to the grapes to be transformed into wine, and the drinking cup from which it is received. In later Roman times, the motif was reinterpreted as Christ (the Eucharist symbolised by the cup) from whom the vine grows representing the spread of the Christian message and the growth of the church (Watts, 1991, p.208).

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Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £4,500

Lot No. 0075

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

Viewing from noon Monday 25th November 2019
Champagne Reception: 6pm - 9pm

Tuesday 26th November 2019 (Day 1)
Lots 1-660 (Antiquities)

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Harwich, CO12 4DN

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