Thursday 16 April 2015

Metal Detectorists Strike it Rich

Sold for £ 1,250 (PLN 6,510) inc. premium
Bonham's The Oxford Fine Sale 15 Apr 2015, 10:00 BST Oxford
A Coptic bronze bowl Circa 6th Century A.D. The straight flaring sides set on a raised openwork ring foot, the body decorated with incised bands, a drop handle on either side resting through two loops attached to the rim, one handle sub-rectangular with inward sloping sides and a rounded knop at the two corners, the other handle, probably later, of horseshoe form, 35cm diam
Bonhams, 8 November 2001, lot 458.
UK private collection, found in England. Such bronze bowls of the Saxon Period are thought to be from Egypt and this type of bowl was common among the Coptic Christians. Examples such as ours have been found from the Rhine, indicating the route that would have been taken from Egypt. This type of bowl has been found relatively commonly in Kent, with three known from Faversham, one from Wingham and another from Sarre. Cf. R. A. Smith, British Museum Guide to Anglo-Saxon Antiquities 1923, Ipswich, 1993, p.77, fig.90.
All from graves. But this one was just found in England, somewhere, somehow by somebody. A collector had it, it surfaced on the market again, and now another collector has it. All information totally lost. Oh, and really is the most up to date literature on these vessels really something written in 1923? They are not "thought to be from Egypt" any more: Périn, P., 2005: La vaisselle de bronze dite “copte” dans les royaumes romano-germaniques d’Occident. État de la question, Antiquité Tardive 13, 85-97. And what makes this one sixth century, and not seventh?

And here's another one:
Lot 1050: Anglo-Saxon Bronze Coptic Bowl
Est: £4,000 - £6,000
Sold: £2,800
TimeLine Auctions
February 6, 2014 9:30 AM GMT
London, United Kingdom
No details at all with this one. Two trashed contexts, elite graves probably, no information has come from the destruction of context. And British archaeologists just shrug their shoulders. 

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