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    Description

    Extraordinary Ammonite Wine Serving Set

    AMMONITE. Iron Age II, circa 800-600 BCE. Bronze 8-piece wine serving set. Consists of: (1) Large bronze wine storage jar, with teardrop-shaped body and cylindrical neck, 20.35 inches (51 cm) in length; (2) footed funnel-shaped stand for jar, 7.75 inches (19.7 cm) in height; (3-4) two strainers fitted to mouth of jar, each with long, curved handles, one 9.5 inches (24 cm) in length, the other just under 8 inches (20 cm); (5) a smaller bronze juglet with curved suspension handle, 10.15 inches (26 cm) long including handle; (6-7) two stirring sticks, 11 and 12 inches (27 and 30 cm) long, and (8) a broad, shallow serving bowl 9.2 inches (23.4 cm) in diameter, with hinged suspension handle. All pieces with heavy green patina and mineralized encrustation, the juglet partially crushed, with some cracking of metal, one of the strainers corroded through in places. With two custom Lucite stands (for juglet and bowl). Extremely rare and of great historical interest. Judicious conservation would turn this into a highly attractive display set. Cf. Ruth Amiran, Ancient Pottery In The Holy Land, page 249 and plate 83, subset 15-17 for similar vessels.

    From the Hadji Baba Museum Collection, Old City Jerusalem. IAA Export Approval #530994.

    The Ammonites inhabited a region east of Israel / Judaea now largely defined by the Kingdom of Jordan (hence the name of the capital, Amman). They developed a material culture quite advanced in bronze working, as attested by this highly sophisticated dinner set. Wine also played an important part in their culture; one of the earliest pieces of Ammonite literature is an ode to a vineyard recorded on the side of a bronze bottle much like the one offered here:

    To the vineyard and the orchard!

    Or shall I be left behind and destroyed?
    He who says this rejoices and be happy

    That life is long
    And shall I inflame myself with it and be ruined?

    No! It shall make me glad
    And bring joy for many days and long years.

    The Ammonites are mentioned many times in the Bible, starting with this passage in Genesis (19:37-38):

    "The older daughter [of Lot] had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today."

    The Kingdom of Ammon east of the Jordan River became the sometime deadly adversary of the Hebrews, and it was mainly to combat Ammonite raids that the tribes banded together under Saul to form the Kingdom of Israel. Sporadic hostilities continued into the early Roman era, although intermarriage and trade contacts tended to reduce conflict over time.


    ‡ The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2016
    16th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,037

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