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36 East 73rd Street New York City, NY 10021 United States 212.517.9176
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$ 36,000

A Mosaic Floor Section with a Greek Key Design and Inscription

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Origin Turkey
Period Pre 18th Century
Materials Tesserae mosaic
Dimensions
W. 87.5 in; H. 26.5 in;
W. 222.25 cm; H. 67.31 cm;
Condition Excellent.
Creation Date 4th century A.D
Description Inscriptions:
POLIOKTOS SERGIS (name from Sergis) PSYPHOTHETIS (allowed to vote)
IOJANNIS IPSYCHOTHAI (belonging to John the noted) - interest (taxes)

The tradition of fine mosaic floor decoration flourished as an art form in Ancient Rome, and was very much appreciated and defused throughout the Roman Empire. These mosaics were excavated from Antioch, located in present day Turkey. This site was an important trading and caravan center of the Eastern Roman Empire, and was one of the four great metropolitan centers of the late classical world. It was devastated, however, by many earthquakes. One of Antioch’s most luxurious suburbs, Daphne, was excavated in 1930, by American and French archeologists, who unearthed floors as large as thirty feet. Many of these mosaics are now housed in museum collections, such as the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, D.C., The Brooklyn Museum, The Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Princeton University Museum.
Floor mosaics were called lithastratum to distinguish them from the wall or vault mosaics, which were referred to as opus musivum. The tesserae (latin for cubes or dice), have been cut in a regular shape so as to fit into the gridal cubes, are the pieces that make up the mosaic surface. The main requisite of the material, aside from colors, was its natural resistance to wear. Stone and marble, and their natural colors, determined the color schemes of mosaics in Roman times (though later, glass was also used). Two or three layers of mortar served as the setting bed, which carried the tesserae facing up; the first layer resting on a thick foundation that prevented the settling of the mortar bed and the formation of cracks. The solidarity of the mosaics depends on its close-set texture.
Styles / Movements Other
Catalog References S. Campbell, The Mosaics of Antioch, Toronto: 1988.
Dealer Reference Number MOS 4-03
Incollect Reference Number 186457
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