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NEW Portland Vase Ancient Rome Emperor Severus Alexander's Urn Treasure Enigma

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,323) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381736165806 Details: TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! The Portland Vase: The Extraordinary Odyssey of a Mysterious Roman Treasure by Robin Brooks. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 250 pages. Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers; (2004).Created for an emperor, exhumed from a burial ground, coveted, traded, smashed, restored, and stuffed full of incident and intrigue, the Portland Vase, the most famous of all Roman antiquities, has captivated everyone who has come into contact with it. Robin Brooks' The Portland Vase is a great romp through history with this fragile, enigmatic vessel, which has touched the lives of an array of compelling characters. Following the vase's journey across Europe over the centuries, we meet the notorious tomb-robber-cum-budding-archaeologist Fabrizio Lazzaro, who "discovered" the vase; Pope Urban VIII, who hoped to enhance his image by acquiring it; the Princess of Palestrina, who supported her nasty gambling habit by auctioning it off; the Duchess of Portland, who kept her ownership of the vase a secret; the ceramics genius Josiah Wedgwood, who devoted nearly a lifetime to trying to create a satisfactory reproduction; the Irishman who shattered it and the restorers who have since repaired it; and a host of other politicians, dilettantes, and scam artists. Their stories, how they came by the vase, how they disposed of it, and how it affected them, result in a narrative rich with passion, inspiration, and jealousy that spans more than two thousand years. Made before the birth of Christ, when glassblowing was still a new art, the Portland Vase remains unparalleled in its craftsmanship. Surprisingly, despite the extraordinary technological advances of the past two thousand years, how, exactly, the vase was made remains a mystery. But this is only one of the riddles that still surrounds the vase. Today art historians still can't agree on the identity of the figures depicted on it, or what story these figures are meant to tell. Furthermore, who made the vase? What was it used for? The Portland Vase remains one of the art world's greatest enigmas. A continuing inspiration for artists, poets, historians, and art collectors, the vase now sits quietly in a little glass case in the British Museum - seemingly inviolate, perfect, eternal. CONDITION: NEW. New hardcover w/dustjacket. Unblemished except VERY slight (virtually indiscernable) shelfwear to dustjacket. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR JACKET DESCRIPTION(S) AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: A story, rich in passion, inspiration, and jealousy that spans more than two thousand years. In 1582, a few miles outside the gates of Rome, Fabrizio Lazzaro starts to dig a hole, hoping to find treasure. He believes that this spot on the southern outskirts of the city is in fact a burial mound from the days of Imperial Rome. After much hacking at the earth, Fabrizio breaks through the roof of a cavern. As his assistants lower him into the darkness, his lantern reveals a burial chamber. Below him lies a sarcophagus, and it appears to be undisturbed. Trembling with excitement, Fabrizio orders his assistants to life the coffin's heavy lid. What he finds inside surpasses his expectations. Inside the sarcophagus lies one of the greatest treasures of the ancient world. Fabrizio has found the "Portland Vase". PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: The 9¾-inch glass vase, now housed in the British Museum, is a deep opaque blue, overlaid with white glass in which scenes of mythological figures are cut. It is renowned for its delicate beauty, but the meaning of its decorative scenes has not been ascertained and its origins remain mysterious. Considered to be the work of a glassblower from ancient Rome (date uncertain), the intact vase was possibly discovered, although there is no real proof, in an ancient tomb outside Rome in 1582 A.D. The vase's first recorded owner was Cardinal del Monte of Italy. It then passed into the hands of the Barberini family for 150 years. Later owned by the Portland family, the vase was purchased by the British Museum (after many mishaps) in 1945. Although there is a wealth of interpretation concerning the sculpted scenes on the vase, no one judgment has been accepted. Brooks competently details the three restorations the vase has undergone (it was shattered by a vandal in 1845) and provides an overview of ongoing research. REVIEW: Disinterred from a Roman tomb in 1582 A.D., the exquisite glass urn known as the Portland Vase was believed to be the repository of the ashes of Severus Alexander, an emperor murdered in 235 A.D. Now housed at the British Museum, it was smashed to smithereens by a vandal in 1845 and nearly re-smashed a century later by German bombs. Stories, of course, abound amid this chronology, and Brooks assembles them according to the types of people the vase has attracted: its owners and students of either its carved images or its physical craftsmanship. The vase's enigmatic cameo figures, of white glass annealed to an underlying layer of blue glass, have produced about 50 mythical or biographical interpretations. Brooks describes a few but is dismayed that most explanations are too contorted to convince him. He resorts to describing the urn's possessors, who gave it settings as varied as a papal palace and a straw-stuffed crate. Readers will find Brooks' fine biography as alluring as aesthetes find the actual object. REVIEW: An utterly captivating tale. Robin Brooks fits together the jigsaw puzzle history of this shattered ancient masterpiece with skill, grace, and humor. It is an excellent book, well written and most entertaining. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: The History of the Greatest Roman Glasswork. Prospective buyers of the most expensive artwork are always told to examine the provenance of an object before buying. There are few works that possess the exclusive and eccentric list of owners as the Portland Vase has had. One of the most famous of ancient artworks, now in the British Museum, it has fascinated historians, poets, mythologists, and potential owners ever since it came to light (probably by a grave robber in Rome) in 1582 A.D. In "The Portland Vase: The Extraordinary Odyssey of a Mysterious Roman Treasure", Robin Brooks has given a biography of a unique object, not only telling its history and about the lives of those who owned and held it, but also about the centuries of unresolved argument about what the figures on the vase mean. It is an intriguing story that weaves through much of European history. The vase itself is a little object, something less than ten inches tall. It is not pottery, like most ancient vases, but blue glass, decorated with white figures of classical male and female nudes. The argument about whom they figures represent includes Jupiter and Venus among the most frequently named, with Orpheus and Eurydice, Pluto, Castor and Pollux, and a host of others. Once the vase left the family of Pope Urban VIII (sold to pay gambling debts) it belonged eventually to the successive Dukes of Portland. The fourth duke leant it to the British Museum, where it was smashed by a confused visitor in 1845. The 200 pieces and smaller shards were gathered up, and painstakingly glued together by the best restorer in the land. The vase is timeless, but repairs are temporary. The vase was dismantled and re-repaired in 1949 and again forty years later. The vase's story, told here with eagerness and amusement, is one full of surprises and brushes with famous admirers like Wedgwood, Keats, and Blake. There are three sections to the book, consisting of "The Lip" (the prologue), "The Body" (consisting of nineteen "fragments" where most of the history is given) and "The Base" (consisting of an epilogue). There is much to be learned here about inheritance practices, tourism, museum culture, and art markets. The sixth duke asked for the vase back in 1929, when world finances were crashing, so he could sell it. It was expected to fetch at least £50,000, but failed, and went back to the museum. The seventh duke offered it for sale to the museum in 1944, for a song, £5,000, and there it remains. As Brooks writes, "presumably the vase will stay in the museum until civilization, or London, or both, come to an end." REVIEW: This was a great read - absolutely first class. It is wonderfully easy to read, full of interesting connections narrative all the way to the last chapter. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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