Code of ethics

At Ifergan Gallery we have a strict ethical code so that buying archaeology is safe for our clients. Prior to its acquisition, we ensure that the pieces comply with the international laws of protection of the historical and cultural heritage of UNESCO. We guarantee that none of them has been stolen from excavations, architectural monuments, public institutions or private properties.

All our pieces are delivered with their corresponding Export Certificate issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Spain.

In addition, to ensure the maximum satisfaction of our customers we require museum quality level.

We guarantee that the pieces we offer are as they are seen in the photographs and correspond with their description.

Authenticity

Our pieces come entirely from the most renowned auction houses around the world such as Christie's, Bonhams or Pierre Bergé, as well as from the most prestigious international galleries. Therefore, the quality and authenticity of the pieces is guaranteed, providing each with its corresponding certificate of authenticity. In addition, we work with tools such as Thermoluminescence or Carbon 14 tests to certify their age.

Returns

At Ifergan Gallery we are concerned about the satisfaction of our customers. To guarantee it, the client may return the piece within fifteen calendar days of its reception.
In addition, all our shipments are made with the appropriate packaging that guarantees reception in optimal conditions. Packages are also sent with their corresponding accident insurance.

Greek-Canosan vase in the form of a woman´s head in terracotta, 3rd century B.C.

Vase in the shape of a female head, with a seven-pointed radiant diadem and two long palm leaves placed at the sides of the neck. The vase is crowned by a standing female figure, with a diadem in her hair and dressed in a long, broad and enveloping mantle or hymthion. It has a long ribbon handle that extends vertically from the back of the statuette to the back of the head. This vase comes from Canosa di Puglia, an Italian town in the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani. This type of vessels were also used as funerary vessels.

From 323 B.C., with the death of Alexander the Great, the so-called Hellenistic period began in Greece, which would dominate the entire third century B.C. It is a period where theatricality predominates, so there will be a great development of art to impact. Therefore, the Hellenistic art is characterized by the search of perfect anatomies, rich qualities, dynamism and use of lights and shadows.

Sumerian clay brick fragment dedicated to Hammurabi, 1756-1750 B.C.

This piece is a Sumerian brick made of clay that has an inscription in its central part made with cuneiform writing. This type of brick was used for Sumerian constructions and the inscription was intended to commemorate the figure of a king or to recall some important feat.

Specifically, this inscription includes the following sentence: “Hammurabi-andoul, governor d’Eshnounna”. Hammurabi was the first king of the Babylonian Empire, whose reign lasted from 1792 to 1750 BC. He expanded his reign throughout Mesopotamia in search of fertile land and established the Akkadian language as the official language.

Hammurabi is especially recognized by the Code of Hammurabi, a compendium of laws made by cuneiform writing on a stone stele. It contains laws that deal with issues related to work, loans, income, etc. One of the main novelties of this code is the incorporation of the principle of presumption of innocence, giving the opportunity to present evidence.

Roman amphora made of terracotta with seashells, 100 A.D.

Amphorae are ceramic fusiform vessels with two handles and a narrow neck generally, although in some cultures they have developed into metal or other materials. They are usually finished with a point or even a long protruding tip that was used to nail them to the ground and keep them stable.

Their precursors were the Greeks, although they soon spread throughout the Phoenician and Roman world, being used to transport liquids and food, as well as to be able to store them.

Normally they could contain at least 25 to 30 litres, their form being variable depending on whether they were carrying wine, oil, salt, cereals or other food.

The first and second centuries A.D. belong to the period known as High Imperial Rome, that is, the time of splendour of the Roman Empire. It is a flourishing period thanks to the arrival to power of Augustus, who promoted powerful changes in the Empire that had an impact on Roman art. During this period, the aesthetics of sculpture came from the Hellenistic world and, with respect to typologies, historical relief and portraits predominated, which sought to promote the most important characters or events.

Greek ceramic sculpture representing the goddess “Aphrodite”, 300-200 B.C.

From 323 B.C., with the death of Alexander the Great, the period known as the Hellenistic period began in Greece, which would dominate the entire third century B.C. It is a period where theatricality predominates, so there will be a great development of art to impact. Therefore, the Hellenistic art is characterized by the search of perfect anatomies, rich qualities, dynamism and use of lights and shadows.

The ancient Greeks, magnificent sculptors, used the female body as an icon of beauty. The goddess Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, of love, protector of fertility The Greek beauty icon equated to the goddess Venus in Ancient Rome.

The goddess is presented with a fallen cloak that leaves half of her body exposed, and with one foot resting on a square base, in a sensual and theatrical pose. This Aphrodite is without a doubt a masterful example of the sculptural ability of Ancient Greece, the hair gathered into a casual bun, her angelic face and the sinuous sculptured body are enhanced by the serenity of her more than 2000 year old colors.

Roman glass jar with serrated edge, 200-300 A.D.

It is a large bottle made of greenish brown glass. It has a long conical body with serrated decoration and a long, thin neck ending in a flared edge.
This type of flask, in the shape of a vase, with a double handle, is intended to contain ointments or perfumes, an exquisite and select content. It is really a piece with a magnificent typology and style, one of the best examples of Roman glass development.
A product with an undeniable appeal, destined for the wealthiest and most select families of Ancient Rome. Glass was a very expensive material due to its complicated composition and difficult manufacturing process.

Egyptian canopic limestone jar of Amset, Late Period, 664-332 B.C.

It is a canopic jar made of alabaster whose lid represents the head of Amset, the woman. The canopic jars were the containers that were placed in the tomb and were used to contain the entrails of the deceased when he was mummified. It was a set of four vessels whose lids represented the four sons of Horus: Kebeshenuef (falcon) for the intestines; Hapi (baboon) for the lungs; Amset (woman) for the liver; and Duamutef (jackal) for the stomach.
The ancient Egyptians believed in eternal life and death was considered the beginning of a new existence. The belief that the souls of the dead returned to the body led to the creation of a series of customs and rituals to preserve the body. The process began after death with embalming where the process of mummification took place. The body was cleaned and the internal organs were removed and preserved for burial with the deceased.
The body was then dried with natron, a process in which the organs were also dried. When the body was finally dry and the organs preserved, they were cleaned and bandaged, applying ointments and performing magic rituals.

Phoenician pottery jug with animal handle, ca. 8th century B.C

The oinochoe is a jug of wine used to remove wine from a crater-where it has been watered-before serving it. The Phoenicians taught the Greeks the knowledge of wine production and not only traded wine produced in Canaan but also developed markets for wines produced in colonies and ports throughout the Mediterranean. This stylized oinochoe is a very refined piece of terracotta painted in red with a long ribbed neck at its base and three decorative protuberances. It has an elongated handle, very beautifully decorated at the top with a horse head probably representing the Hippocampus, Phoenician mythological animal with the upper half in the form of winged horse body and the lower in fish tail.

Egyptian bronze figure representing “Isis” and “Horus”, Late Period, 26th-30th dinasty, 664-525 B.C.

This statuette represents the goddess Isis nursing the god Horus. Isis is the Egyptian mother goddess, who recovered the pieces into which the body of her brother Osiris had been divided and with him she managed to conceive her son Horus. Therefore, it is common to find the representation of both, with the goddess acting as a mother.
The goddess appears seated, dressed in a long and tight garment and wearing a tripartite wig with horns. Isis holds her right hand on her chest and carries the child Horus sitting on her lap to her left. It would be a votive figure made to be given as offerings in the temples.

Cypriot sculpture of a female stone head, 700 B.C.

This head fragment is Greek-Cypriot in style. It probably belonged to a larger sculpture. It is a female face with very characteristic features such as almond shaped eyes, large nose and thick lips. It has a hairstyle with a side ponytail that collects the curly hair.

Due to the archaic style of its features and the shape of its carving, this sculpture belongs to a first group of figures made early in the 8th century BC.

The unique geographical position of the island of Cyprus, situated in the centre of the eastern Mediterranean, makes it a natural point of connection between the cultures of the three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. Furthermore, due to the continuous dominations that have taken place on the island, a dense network of commercial and cultural relations was created between the different civilizations that exerted their influence on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.

Limestone sculpture of priest’s head, Palmira, 2nd – 3rd century A.D.

This funerary bust is a superlative example of Palmira’s art and radiates the nobility of a man of great esteem. From its classical aesthetics, it can be inferred that the priest belonged to the Hellenic religious tradition. With his square chin and exquisite facial symmetry, the handsome priest personifies the idealized proportions of the Greeks. It has a high cylindrical headdress with two vertical grooves, a face with the nose crooked downwards, a square chin and prominent ears, well-defined arched eyebrows and eyes with thick eyelids.

On the eastern periphery of the Roman Empire, the ancient city of Palmira stood as a gateway linking the western world with the luxuries of the East. For the ancient inhabitants of this arid kingdom, Palmira was known simply as the Bride of the Desert, and for centuries intrepid merchants passed through this oasis in search of relief from the desert sun. The Hebrew Bible attributes the city to King Solomon, although ancient Marian records mention Palmira of the second millennium BC. Under the mercurial reign of the Seleucids, the city experienced the pleasures of Hellenic civilization, which continued 300 years later when in the 1st century AD Tiberius incorporated Syria into the Roman Empire. From the Romans the city passed to Byzantium before falling into the armies of Muhammad and being abandoned around 800 A.D. At its height, Palmira was an elegant symbol of imperial greatness. Trade brought wealth, power and splendour to this desert city, transforming Palmira into a limestone metropolis that has bequeathed a rich and abundant source of archaeological remains reflecting the city’s long imperial history.

The inhabitants of Palmira are famous for the construction of colossal funerary monuments built above and below the desert floor. The funerary compartments were sealed with limestone slabs decorated with magnificent busts in high relief representing the soul of the deceased.

 

Type Kusura schematic Anatolian marble idol , 3rd millennium B.C.

Anatolian idols are so named because they were found in ancient Anatolia, which would correspond to present-day Turkey. Specifically this amulet is called Kusura typology, which are those whose shapes of the body and head are rounded. They are considered esteatopigias because they highlight the hips in a way that is associated with fertility. These idols could have a ritual function, since the sculptures were considered charged with a magic that made it possible to make rituals with them, in this case associated with reproduction and fertility. These idols will later influence avant-garde painters and sculptors such as Picasso, who will stop paying attention to figuration and nature and move on to purer and simpler forms, achieving, by not showing us something simple to discern, the transmission of their own experience.

Roman marble head of a satyr, 100 A.D.

This Roman head is a representation of a satyr. The representation of the face belongs to a young man with strong features and slightly separated lips showing his teeth, possibly as a representation of a mocking attitude. He has abundant curly hair on which is placed a crown of superimposed ivy leaves, joined at the back by a strap.

The Roman satyr was like a goat from the waist down, with the trunk and head of a man complete with horns. In classical mythology, Silenus was the head of the satyrs, who were rebellious but cowardly creatures, undisciplined followers of the “god Bacchus of wine and joy” dancing and playing the pipes while enjoying the grape harvest.

Due to the historical stage in which it is located, the representation of this type of characters is not strange since there were abundant images of this type of mythological characters.

The first and second centuries A.D. belong to the period known as High Imperial Rome, that is, the era of splendour of the Roman Empire. It is a flourishing period thanks to the arrival to power of Augustus, who promoted powerful changes in the Empire that had an impact on Roman art. During this period, the aesthetics of sculpture came from the Hellenistic world and, with respect to typologies, historical relief and portraits predominated, which sought to promote the most important characters or events.

Greek polychrome terracotta amphora, 11th-8th century B.C.

Amphora with annular base, pyriform body, wide neck, rounded lip and U-shaped bilateral handles. Classic Cypriot geometric decoration in ochre tones. The patterns comprise wide, narrow bands that envelop the surface. This magnificent vessel is part of one of the most recognized and decorative artistic styles from all over the ancient world. The decoration of this amphora follows the Cypriot patterns because the horizontal lines and bands would have been made with a brush kept on the piece while it turns on the lathe. Amphorae are fusiform ceramic vessels with two handles and the narrowest neck generally, although in some cultures they have been developed in metal or other materials. They being used to transport liquids and food, as well as yo store them. They could contain al least 25 to 30 liters, its shape being variable depending on whether it carried wine, oil, salting, cereals or other food.

Roman green glass amphora, 300 A.D.

This greenish coloured vessel has one of these unique specimens due to its globular body shape with a cylindrical scolled neck, rounded mouth and circular base. It has four handles of a darker colour than the body, with a sinuous shape that joins the body to the mouth.
With a versatility like no other material known in Roman times, the abundant availability, lightness and ease of use of glass, allowed the imitation of a wide range of other materials, especially precious metals. On the other hand, the ancients certainly knew that glass is a chemically neutral substance, which makes it particularly suitable for the storage of cosmetics or pharmaceuticals, as well as food and liquids.

The period of time between the third and fifth centuries is known as the end of Lower Imperial Rome, a moment that corresponds to the mandate of Diocletian with which the decline of the Empire began. When Rome seems to have reached its peak, the Hellenistic tradition begins to decline. There is a deterioration of the institutions, a fall in the economy and constant attacks by the barbarian peoples, facts that will be reflected in the art.

Egyptian Faience ushabti of Tius, Saite Period, 26th Dynasty, 664-525 BC

The ushabtis are small mummified figures representing the deceased himself, whose name means “those who respond” since they would perform those jobs that were ordered by their lord in the afterlife

The ushabtis arise in the Middle Empire, at the beginning they were made in persea wood.  Its rapid popularization caused that they began to be made in series, by means of other simpler and less manual techniques that allowed to cover the demand. In some tombs you could find up to 365 for the day and 365 for the night, so that their lord, the deceased, would not lack help for all eternity. These ushabtis could be arranged in boxes or even one representing them all. These boxes became very common as they reinforced the magical power of the servants.

The ancient Egyptians believed in the magic of sculptures and words, that is why for them these magic figures would accompany them to their eternal life and once there they would come alive and serve them faithfully.

This ushabti belongs to a man called Tius who carries his farming implements and a basket on his shoulder, and the detail of his wig and beard makes his face tender and warm. The fineness of the modeling, as well as the inscriptions arranged around the figure, which stand out beautifully over the curious whitish faience, make this figure a unique item of ancient Egypt.

Cypriot ceramic pitcher with mushroom pit, Cipro-archaic Period, 700-600 B.C.

The unique geographical position of the island of Cyprus, situated in the centre of the eastern Mediterranean, makes it a natural point of connection between the cultures of the three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. Furthermore, due to the continuous dominations that have taken place on the island, a dense network of commercial and cultural relations was created between the different civilizations that exercised their influence on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.

Globular glass with mushroom mouth with polychrome decoration. In the centre of the body of the vessel is a sphere coloured in garnet and around concentric circles in garnet, dark brown and white, the whole on an ochre background.

Egyptian canopus limestone glass of Duamutef, Late Period, 664-332 B.C.

It is a canopic jar made of alabaster whose lid represents the head of Duamtef, the jackal. The canopic jars were the containers that were placed in the tomb and were used to contain the entrails of the deceased when he was mummified. It was a set of four vessels whose lids represented the four sons of Horus: Kebeshenuef (falcon) for the intestines; Hapi (baboon) for the lungs; Amset (woman) for the liver; and Duamutef (jackal) for the stomach.

The ancient Egyptians believed in eternal life and death was considered the beginning of a new existence. The belief that the souls of the dead returned to the body led to the creation of a series of customs and rituals to preserve the body.  The process began after death with embalming where the process of mummification took place. The body was cleaned and the internal organs were removed and preserved for burial with the deceased.

The body was then dried with natron, a process in which the organs were also dried. When the body was finally dry and the organs preserved, they were cleaned and bandaged, applying ointments and performing magic rituals.

Roman limestone funerary relief representing a marriage, 3rd century A.D.

The ancient Romans were great portraits, portrayed in niches and even in funerary masks. This relief is framed in a niche-shaped frame in which we find a Roman couple, dressed in their festive shawls, in a very chosen way. The sweetness of the portrait for the beyond makes this piece a unique example of this type of representation.

The period of time between the third and fifth centuries is known as the end of Lower Imperial Rome, a moment that corresponds to the mandate of Diocletian with which the decline of the Empire began. When Rome seems to have reached its peak, the Hellenistic tradition begins to decline. There is a deterioration of the institutions, a fall in the economy and constant attacks from the barbarian peoples, facts that will be reflected in the artistic scene.

In the field of sculpture there was also a decline in technique, moving away from the realism of previous periods and giving rise to circumstances such as disproportion or loss of detail. The fundamental factor in these circumstances is that the Empire is going through a moment in which it is not interested in what is seen but in what is to be transmitted, in other words, the concept or idea is more important.

Female sandstone bust representing a lady, Palmyra Empire, 100 A.D.

This female bust must have belonged to a lady of high social rank since the represented one is richly dressed with a tunic that covers head and body, at the same time that it presents a great wealth in the recreation of accessories like earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets.

The artistic manifestations of this period are immensely beautiful, with Roman technique and mastery, Palmira’s style is even more detailed and full of expression and passion. Particularly noteworthy is the technique in the treatment of the cloths that are folded over the woman’s body, as well as the sweetness that the sculptor achieves on the face. In line with the classic tradition, this is a very idealised portrait using soft features and a curly hairdo in a bun, also of a classic cut. His eternal look has remained unfading for thousands of years.

The Empire of Palmyra, located in present-day Syria, emerged in the 3rd century AD as a division of the Roman Empire, when the Queen of Palmyra, Zenobia, sought a disconnection from Rome by taking advantage of the power vacuum she had left in the East. The local elites accepted Zenobia’s control of Palmyra because she was committed to defending their commercial interests. The geographical position of the city gave it a privileged status in commercial relations between East and West, as it became the key point for the caravan trade and the exchange of luxury products, participating as an enclave on the Silk Road.

On the eastern periphery of the Roman Empire, the ancient city of Palmyra stood as a gateway linking the western world with the luxuries of the East. For the ancient inhabitants of this arid kingdom, Palmyra was known simply as the Bride of the Desert, and for centuries intrepid merchants passed through this oasis in search of relief from the desert sun. The Hebrew Bible attributes the city to King Solomon, although ancient Marian records mention Palmyra from the second millennium BC. Under the mercurial reign of the Seleucids, the city experienced the pleasures of Hellenic civilization, which continued 300 years later when in the first century A.D. Tiberius incorporated Syria into the Roman Empire. From the Romans the city passed into Byzantium before falling to the armies of Muhammad and being abandoned around 800 AD. At its height, Palmyra was an elegant symbol of imperial greatness. Trade brought wealth, power and splendour to this desert city, transforming Palmyra into a limestone metropolis that has bequeathed a rich and abundant source of archaeological remains that reflect the city’s long imperial history.

The inhabitants of Palmyra are famous for the construction of colossal funeral monuments built above and below the desert floor. The burial chambers were sealed with limestone slabs decorated with magnificent busts in high relief representing the soul of the deceased.

Egyptian wooden sarcophagus lid, Late Period, 664-323 B.C.

Egyptian sarcophagus lid made of wood and meticulously painted, depicting the deceased luxuriously adorned with a pectoral necklace and adorned with two heads of Horus over the men. The body is occupied by several scenes of great interest to understand the funerary rituals of Ancient Egypt and their beliefs about the passage of the soul to the Beyond. There are three registers with descriptive scenes, on which appears the image of the goddess Isis, with the Sun on her head (for being the daughter of Ra, the solar god) and big wings of milano, opening her arms to bless her devotees and children. Below we can see a double scene: the trial before Osiris with the beast Ammyt and the weighing of souls. On the left side is Osiris, with the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, holding before him the staff, and in front of him, on the other side of a table with offerings, the beast Ammyt. Osiris’ judgment was the most transcendental event for the deceased, since it determined the fate of his soul after death. The “duat” or spirit was led by the god Anubis before Osiris, who magically extracted the “ib” (heart, symbol of conscience and morals) and placed it on a scale, with the feather of Maat (symbol of Truth and Universal Justice) on the opposite side. While his “ib” was heavy, a jury composed of different gods questioned the deceased with questions about his past behavior, and depending on his answers the heart decreased or gained weight. At the end of the trial, Osiris passed sentence. If this was positive, his “ka” (vital force) and his “ba” (psychic force) could meet with the mummy to conform in “aj” (to be beneficial), that is, to incarnate again, and to be able to live eternally in the fields of Yaru, the Egyptian paradise. However, if the verdict was negative, the “ib” of the deceased was thrown to Ammyt, the devourer of the dead, putting an end to the immortal life of the deceased. Here we see Ammyt in the center of the composition, on a pedestal, with his mouth stained with blood, with his characteristic hybrid body with crocodile head, lion torso, and hippopotamus hindquarters. The right side of the composition depicts the weighing of the “ib”, with the balance guarded by Anubis and Horus. In the middle register, immediately below the one we have just mentioned, Anubis is represented carrying out the mummification of the deceased. Anubis was the Egyptian funerary god, master of the necropolis and protector of the embalmers. He was depicted with the head of a jackal, probably in relation to the habit of this animal of digging up the corpses to feed itself. Anubis was the god of the Duat, the Egyptian underworld, and therefore was related not only to death, but also to the resurrection in the Hereafter. However, when Osiris became god of the world of the dead, Anubis took the place of embalmer, taking over the task of mummifying the bodies of the pharaohs. It is precisely this scene that is depicted here in great detail. We see the deceased in a feline-shaped bed (similar to the one found in Tutankamon’s tomb), and behind him the god holding a canopic vase. The scene is flanked by two figures of Isis, with the headdress in the form of a throne on his head and the Maat feather in his hands. Finally, in the lower register appears Ra’s boat, with the deceased accompanying this god on his journey through the sky, helping him in his fight against Apep, incarnation of the evil forces that inhabit the Duat. In Ancient Egypt, the sarcophagus was related to the rituals of embalming and mummification, designed for the deceased to reach eternal life. During the Middle Empire, the custom arose of placing masks made of linen and a paste similar to cardboard on the face and shoulders of the deceased. From this fact gives rise to the appearance of the first anthropomorphic sarcophagi, coffins themselves, in human form, almost always made of wood. They will be ornamented pieces with painted scenes and texts of funerary symbolism. However, in general, the sarcophagus of the New Empire, mainly the royal sarcophagus, will be characterised by its rectangular shape, imitating the most ancient examples of the New Empire. However, the type of anthropomorphic coffin will extend throughout the centuries until the end of the Pharaonic world. Finally, on the sides of the lid of the sarcophagus, we can see different gods, shelves and profile.

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