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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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ROMAN OIL LAMP WITH THEATRE SCENE
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN OIL LAMP WITH THEATRE SCENE
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£6510 Bids
ROMAN GOLD EARRING PAIR
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN GOLD EARRING PAIR
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£357 Bids
ROMAN GOLD AND GARNET EARRING
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN GOLD AND GARNET EARRING
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £120- £170
£205 Bids
ROMAN TERRACOTTA OIL LAMP
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN TERRACOTTA OIL LAMP
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £80- £100
£255 Bids
BYZANTINE LIMESTONE MORTAR WITH FACES AND LATER DEDICATION
Jun 04, 12:00 PM BST
BYZANTINE LIMESTONE MORTAR WITH FACES AND LATER DEDICATION
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £1,200- £1,700
£1105 Bids
ROMAN GOLD PENDANT WITH CABOCHON GARNET
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN GOLD PENDANT WITH CABOCHON GARNET
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £80- £100
£254 Bids
Espejo etrusco s. IV a III a.C.
Jun 14, 3:00 PM UYT
Espejo etrusco s. IV a III a.C.
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $400- $600
$6004 Bids
EARLY BYZANTINE GOLD RING WITH PEARLS AND LATER CLOISONNE ENAMELLED FIGURE
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
EARLY BYZANTINE GOLD RING WITH PEARLS AND LATER CLOISONNE ENAMELLED FIGURE
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £1,200- £1,700
£504 Bids
ROMANO-BRITISH 'IPSWICH AREA' ARTEFACT COLLECTION
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMANO-BRITISH 'IPSWICH AREA' ARTEFACT COLLECTION
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£53 Bids
ROMAN TERRACOTTA LEG I ITAL LEGIONARY STAMPED TILE
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN TERRACOTTA LEG I ITAL LEGIONARY STAMPED TILE
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £300- £400
£1103 Bids
ROMAN TERRACOTTA OIL LAMP WITH CHARIOTEER
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN TERRACOTTA OIL LAMP WITH CHARIOTEER
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £80- £100
£303 Bids
A ROMAN MARBLE RELIEF FRAGMENT, CIRCA 2ND CENTURY A.D.
Jun 05, 11:00 AM BST
A ROMAN MARBLE RELIEF FRAGMENT, CIRCA 2ND CENTURY A.D.
by Olympia Auctions
Est: £1,200- £1,800
£7003 Bids
ROMAN SILVER DIONYSUS PENDANT
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN SILVER DIONYSUS PENDANT
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£203 Bids
Roman Blue Glass Jar,
Jun 01, 10:30 AM AEST
Roman Blue Glass Jar,
by Aalders Auctions
Est: AUD300- AUD600
AUD2803 Bids
ROMAN HOLY LAND TERRACOTTA OIL LAMP GROUP
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN HOLY LAND TERRACOTTA OIL LAMP GROUP
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £40- £60
£52 Bids
SILVER ROMAN COIN AND LIMITED EDITION FRAMED PRINT
Jun 08, 12:00 PM BST
SILVER ROMAN COIN AND LIMITED EDITION FRAMED PRINT
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £40- £60
£52 Bids
ROMAN FRESCO WALL PLASTER COLLECTION
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN FRESCO WALL PLASTER COLLECTION
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £20- £30
£52 Bids
BYZANTINE 'GREEK FIRE' CERAMIC FIRE BOMB OR HAND GRENADE
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
BYZANTINE 'GREEK FIRE' CERAMIC FIRE BOMB OR HAND GRENADE
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £30- £40
£52 Bids
BYZANTINE BRONZE CROSS PENDANT
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
BYZANTINE BRONZE CROSS PENDANT
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £60- £80
£102 Bids
ROMAN GNOSTIC GREEN GEMSTONE
Jun 04, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN GNOSTIC GREEN GEMSTONE
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £1,200- £1,700
£102 Bids
ROMAN GOLD AND BEAD EARRING
Jun 05, 12:00 PM BST
ROMAN GOLD AND BEAD EARRING
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £120- £170
£102 Bids
Roman Green Glass Jug,
Jun 01, 10:30 AM AEST
Roman Green Glass Jug,
by Aalders Auctions
Est: AUD180- AUD240
AUD1602 Bids
ANCIENT ROMAN PERIOD JERUSALEM TERRACOTTA OIL LAMP
Jun 01, 10:00 AM EDT
ANCIENT ROMAN PERIOD JERUSALEM TERRACOTTA OIL LAMP
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$602 Bids
ANCIENT ROMAN FROG TYPE TERRACOTTA POTTERY OIL LAMP
Jun 01, 10:00 AM EDT
ANCIENT ROMAN FROG TYPE TERRACOTTA POTTERY OIL LAMP
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$602 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Roman Antiquities


TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

Palmyra Heritage Gallery

Palmyra Heritage Gallery

Gorny & Mosch Giessener Münzhandlung GmbH

Gorny & Mosch Giessener Münzhandlung GmbH