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Roman Antiquities

From the days following Julius Caesar to the slow decline over the course of the 4th century, the history of the Roman Empire is captivating. Alongside tales of nefarious Emperors and intriguing matrons stands an incredible heritage of fine and decorative artistic production that is revealed today through ancient Roman antiquities and artifacts.

When Augustus became the first official Emperor of Rome in 27 B.C., he ushered in an era of unprecedented peace that paved the way for advances in art. In addition to a vast visual record in the form of portrait sculpture of the Emperor and his entourage, a diverse field of decorative and luxury arts also emerged. Bejeweled adornments from earrings to necklaces dangled from the décolletages of Rome's most aristocratic ladies. In addition to advancing the field of inset stones, Roman jewelers also developed the practice of intaglio carving and cameo work, which can still be seen today in some surviving examples of miniature carving.

Roman interiors were stocked with wall paintings and sculptures of various scale and in various levels of decoration. From life-size family portraits to miniature household deities, these figures reflected the finessed practice of sculpting during the Roman age. In more intimate spaces, such as a lady's dressing table, fine cast bronze mirrors and dressing sets were de rigeur. All of these artistic pursuits showcase the talent of Roman artisans while also painting a metaphorical picture of life in the ancient Empire, making their acquisition all the more remarkable.


Quick Facts

  • The women associated with each respective imperial dynasty typically assumed a unique hairstyle that typified the trends of the day. So elegant were these representations that they often included carved holes in the earlobes for eternal adornment with earrings
  • Romans greatly advanced the field of glasswork, creating a rich array of glass pieces. Their renowned iridescent patina was most frequently caused by the environment in which the glass object was enveloped for hundreds of years before discovery
  • In addition to loving luxury items, ancient Romans also enjoyed fabulous festivities. The ancient Roman calendar featured more than 100 "feriae," or holidays, around many of which lavish celebrations and art commissions would be planned

Recommended Items at Auction

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GROUP OF 13 ROMAN GLASS BOTTLES AND VESSELS
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
GROUP OF 13 ROMAN GLASS BOTTLES AND VESSELS
by Potomack Company
Est: $600- $1,200
$8506 Bids
ANCIENT ROMAN CARNELIAN UNICORN INTAGLIO GOLDEN RING
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
ANCIENT ROMAN CARNELIAN UNICORN INTAGLIO GOLDEN RING
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$3256 Bids
ANCIENT ROMAN CARVED STONE HEAD
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
ANCIENT ROMAN CARVED STONE HEAD
by Shapiro Auctions LLC
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1004 Bids
GROUP OF ROMAN GLASS CUPS
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
GROUP OF ROMAN GLASS CUPS
by Potomack Company
Est: $400- $800
$4254 Bids
A North African late Roman amphora, 4th - 5th century A.D.
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
A North African late Roman amphora, 4th - 5th century A.D.
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€4802 Bids
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BYZANTINE ROCK CRYSTAL CROSS PENDANT DECORATED WITH A RUBY IN A GOLD FRAME
Apr 28, 12:00 PM BST
BYZANTINE ROCK CRYSTAL CROSS PENDANT DECORATED WITH A RUBY IN A GOLD FRAME
by Apollo Art Auctions
Est: £4,000- £6,000
£2,0002 Bids
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BYZANTINE BRONZE CRUCIFIX PENDANT
Apr 28, 12:00 PM BST
BYZANTINE BRONZE CRUCIFIX PENDANT
by Apollo Art Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£1001 Bid
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ROMAN MARBLE BUST OF MATRONA
Apr 27, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN MARBLE BUST OF MATRONA
by Apollo Art Auctions
Est: £12,000- £20,000
£6,0001 Bid
A Roman amphora, type Dressel 8, 1st century
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
A Roman amphora, type Dressel 8, 1st century
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€6801 Bid
ROMAN INTAGLIO CAMEO CARNELIAN STONE W EROTIC SCENE
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
ROMAN INTAGLIO CAMEO CARNELIAN STONE W EROTIC SCENE
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
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BYZANTINE BRONZE INSCRIBED CROSS PENDANT
Apr 28, 12:00 PM BST
BYZANTINE BRONZE INSCRIBED CROSS PENDANT
by Apollo Art Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£1001 Bid
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ROMAN BRONZE KEY LION SHAPED
Apr 27, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN BRONZE KEY LION SHAPED
by Apollo Art Auctions
Est: £150- £200
£701 Bid
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Roman Redware Flagon Wine Jug
May 05, 10:00 AM CDT
Roman Redware Flagon Wine Jug
by J. Garrett Auctioneers
Est: $100- $25,000
$1001 Bid
TWO ROMAN GLASS BOWLS, CIRCA 1ST TO 4TH CENTURY CE
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
TWO ROMAN GLASS BOWLS, CIRCA 1ST TO 4TH CENTURY CE
by Potomack Company
Est: $250- $500
$1251 Bid
Grand Tour Siena and Porto Marble Model of a Roman Bath
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Grand Tour Siena and Porto Marble Model of a Roman Bath
by STAIR
Est: $800- $1,200
$4001 Bid
ANCIENT ROMAN KEY.
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
ANCIENT ROMAN KEY.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
A Roman oil lamp with gladiators, 1st - 2nd century
May 14, 10:00 AM CEST
A Roman oil lamp with gladiators, 1st - 2nd century
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€3001 Bid
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ROMAN MARBLE GODDESS HEAD OF VENUS
Apr 27, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN MARBLE GODDESS HEAD OF VENUS
by Apollo Art Auctions
Est: £750- £1,500
£3601 Bid
Pompeian, erotic brick with allegorical scene. I - II centuries BC.
May 18, 12:00 AM EEST
Pompeian, erotic brick with allegorical scene. I - II centuries BC.
by Antiqon
Est: €3,000- €5,000
€2,0001 Bid
Large White Carrara Marble Statue "Torso Of Aphrodite" - (77.16lbs)
Apr 30, 9:00 PM EDT
Large White Carrara Marble Statue "Torso Of Aphrodite" - (77.16lbs)
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $5,000- $7,000
$3,2500 Bids
Ancient Roman Sarcophagus Bas-Relief - (13.2lbs)
Apr 30, 9:00 PM EDT
Ancient Roman Sarcophagus Bas-Relief - (13.2lbs)
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $650- $950
$3500 Bids
Ancient Roman Glass Moonstone Sterling Pendant
Apr 27, 2:00 PM EDT
Ancient Roman Glass Moonstone Sterling Pendant
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $150- $300
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Roman Antiquities


Apollo Art Auctions

Apollo Art Auctions

Hermann Historica GmbH

Hermann Historica GmbH

Artemis Gallery

Artemis Gallery