Thracian silver tondo with female bust

Object number
Object: Thracian silver tondo with female bust

Material: Silver with partial gilt.

Period: Late 4th cent. BC to 3rd cent. BC.
Hellenistic period.

Description:    Circular silver sheet with a high relief of a female bust. The rim of the so-called tondo is ornamentally decorated with a chased tongue pattern. The woman depicted is looking to the right, her hair is lying dynamically backwards, she is wearing earrings in Hellenistic fashion. The front strands, earrings and collar are gold-plated and frame the face.
It is a piece of repoussé work that could be attached as an ornament. Possibly as a shield boss, chariot decoration or vessel decoration, as known from archaeological finds from Thrace.

Dimensions: Approximately 32mm diameter. 14mm depth. 51mm high and 41mm wide including the modern base.

Condition: The ornamental rim is partially missing on about 1/4 of the circumference. A small damage and missing area below the nose, which is however inconspicuous. The rest of the sheet metal is in very good condition, without any deformation. The ancient portrait bust can still be seen in rich detail. A true miniature work of art. The piece is fixed to a modern plastic stand by means of metal wires. On the back there is a sticker with inscription "303468 2".

Provenance: Acquired by us on the US art market in 2022. Previously in the US private collection M. G. Into the collection from the estate of the famous art collector and philanthropist couple Lewis B. Cullman (1919-2019) and Dorothy Cullman (1918-2009). Acquired for the Cullman collection in 1992 from the Michael Ward Gallery in New York. Acquired by the gallery at Christie's London auction 12 December 1990, lot 152. Consigned to the auction from a private collection and previously in a German private collection.

The piece is published in the following art trade catalogues:
Christie's London auction catalogue 12 December 1990, lot 152 (estimated at 7,000 to 10,000 GBP).
Exhibition catalogue of the Michael Ward Gallery New York, Hidden Heritage: The Art of Eastern Europe from the Stone Age to the Celts (1992), p. 49, no. 45.
Possibly in Christie’s New York auction catalogue 16 June 2020 (unsold).

References: Cf. R. Fischer, Gold der Thraker, pp. 132, cat. nos. 288 and 289, pp. 193, nos. 390-397, pp. 200, cat. no. 505, p. 231, no. 497.
Cf. I. Venedikov, Thracian Treasures from Bulgaria, p. 79, no. 390.
Cf. W. Hornbostel, Kunst der Antike, p. 100, no. 70.

Authenticity: We unconditionally guarantee the authenticity of every artefact, all items are subject to our lifetime return policy on authenticity.