Lot 64

A ceremonial axe from the Catacomb culture in the northern Black Sea area, 2nd half of the 3rd millennium B.C.

Works of Art, Antiquities, Asian and Russian Art | A94kua | Live auction | 479 Lots


A graceful, finely ground ceremonial axe made of jet-black, banded jasper, with a boat-shaped outline. Slightly curved at the top, the neck and the domed, blunt cutting edge flaring distinctly downwards. A fine line incised along the edge of the blunt neck, before which a bulging incised line extending back across the flanks. The surface between these lines stripped off and made slightly deeper, thereby creating fine grooves. This process repeated on the upper surface. Slender bulging ridges, separated by incised lines, on the outsides, around the central bore hole and along the central axis. The surface between these bulging ridges has been ground down, thereby creating exceptionally fine and precise grooves over the entire surface. Length 10.5 cm. Without a doubt, this outstanding, early Bronze Age artefact from the northern Black Sea area was used for ritual purposes and not intended for everyday use; this is borne out by the blunt cutting edge, the extraordinary, naturally deep black, finely banded stone and the extremely elaborate, delicate design on the surface. The axe represents a remarkably rare and perfectly shaped relict of early Bronze Age craftsmanship in the region, the quality of which is beyond compare.

Provenance: Private Austrian collection, acquired from another private Austrian collection during the 1990s.

Condition: II + Questions about the lot?

General Information

The post-auction sales to our "Works of Art, Antiquities, Asian and Russian Art" auction from October 22, 2022 has already started, and will run all the way through November 30, 2022. Until then you can purchase all unsold lots at the starting price plus the buyers premium.