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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 6236
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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S only the scrabe is in metal bronze I think

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the scrabe is in metal bronze I think unfortunately I had a bit of a tidy up yesterday for this inprompture lunch and I cant lay my hands on it this morning! it measure 3" long by 1.8" wide and 1.6 high or or 8 cm by 4.5 by 3.5 cm
I told you its provenance the other night if you need it again will re send?
Thanks for the extra details.Leave this with me and I'll see what I can dig up.The photos of the markings are still a little blurry, it must be all that boozy entertainment!If you can locate the little flower icon on the camera, it will help with close-ups.Many thanks,Robert.
Hi April,Hope you are feeling better and have been discharged home.So here's what I can tell you about this one.Scarabs were very important amulets in ancient Egypt, as I'm sure you know. The most commonly found ones are the so-called "heart scarabs" placed over the heart of the deceased, or mummy, and this I'm sure is what yours is. They were typically of this size, about 3 inches long, but it's highly unusual for one these to be made of bronze. Most were made of a greenish stone called steatite.It's really hard to make out anything of the inscriptions on the bottom from your photo (and way above my pay grade to be able to read them, anyway, even if the writing was in focus) but it looks like a much older cuneiform script (2000 BC) rather than the usual hieroglyphics of the New Kingdom.I can make out the shape of Anubis on the top, rather crudely depicted, but clearly him, and this is further good evidence of the unusually great age of your heart scarab. Anubis was Lord of the Underworld and of embalming until he was replaced by Osiris by the Middle Kingdom (c. 2055 – 1650 BC), so one can safely assume that heart scarabs with Anubis are around 4000 years old or older.Heart scarabs became frequent from 2000 BC on. They were believed to provide the bearer with the assurance that they would be accepted into the afterlife. Very often the inscription includes a spell from The Book of the Dead, that commands the deceased's heart (typically left in the mummy's chest cavity, unlike the other viscera) not to give evidence against the deceased, when being judged by the gods of the underworld.As for value, an authentic heart scarab from the Middle Kingdom, carved from steatite, usually sells in the £5000 - £7000 range at Christie's or Sotheby's.I can find no record of an authentic metal one of the period ever having come up for auction, which could either make it less valuable (because it's not typical) or more valuable (because it's rare and possibly unique).However, given your "the other Lord Carnarvon" provenance for it I would say it's every bit as valuable as the standard steatite ones and I should therefore insure it for at least £15,000.I suggest you should also have it professionally photographed and send the photos to Liam MacNamara at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, email***@******.*** anyone knows anything about this wonderful object, it will be Liam.Hope this helps!Best wishes,Robert
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Robert that is enormously helpful and I will get a decent photograph and do what you suggest you might be amused to hear the other story of my great grandfathers Egyptian adventures, one if their biggest fines (this story is true only in parts I think) was a coffin with what was in it was called the dancing girl, this was because when the coffin was opened her arm for some reason shot up to a sort of Heil Hitler position, anyway she was the great attraction of the private musuem . So was the big attraction in the sale of 1911 and was sold to an American collector, and was shipped on the Titanic - the next bit is I think made up- and apparently was seen floating away from the ship as it sunk. I will keep you informed about this my niece will be thrilled as if we can sell successfully she can really do some proper work around the place
What a wonderful story, in spite of the embellished colour at the end (but then always defer to Mark Twain's, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story"). I do like to think that if they ever did a skeleton count down there, they would find an extra one with some puzzlingly ancient DNA.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
what a great thought much better than that crappy film!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
my friend has taken better pictures and I see now that there seem to be birds on them Ibis?
Treasure trove 42
Thanks for the new photos, those are much better. I see what you mean about the birds, but then it could be almost any creature with an eye. We are certainly looking at a unique object that's for sure and as is always the way in these circumstances there's really nothing to compare it with which is why you need an archaeologist to take this any further.The writing looks even more like an ancient (pre-hieroglyphics) cuneiform script now I can see it better. I'm sure Liam will translate it for you faster than you can say "Curse of the Pharaohs".
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was wondering does he know you? if so can I drop your name to say you suggested I got in touch, if so what is your surname? I have left so many clues about in these conversations with you that it wouldn't have been very difficult for you to have worked out with a little help of Burkes and the snobbery! my name
No he does not know me, though I did meet him once long ago when I was at Oxford, but I'm sure he won't remember.The Hon. Margaret April Irene Agnew-Somerville (nee) Drummond?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well as they say no where to hide these days, scatter a few clues and one can get there. But Robert S art dealer who lives in America but was at Oxford that is more difficult! I will be in touch when I have heard from him meanwhile I am planning to go to Scotland to help with another room or two begining of April and then at the end of the month going to do two upmarket country house car boot sales to get rid of some of the rubbish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Robert I have just realised that these notes appear to be able to be read by anyone which rather horrifies me or is it only me who is able to troll through this?
As far as I know, our back and forth is not viewable unless one is logged in to, I always assume that everything one contributes to the on-line world is readable, but that like a needle in a haystack of needles all this noise of information is hidden in plain sight. Having said that, and on reflection, it was probably not very clever of me to have blurted a name, so please feel free to contact customer services if you wish and they will edit it out.We must have lots of common connections, mostly to do with Kentstown and Meath in general. Dear friends, now both gone, professor Robert Heuston and wife Bridget who lived at the Glebe, Kentstown, who may have overlapped with your time at Somerville House. Their daughter remains my sister Benita's best friend from Oxford days. My sister Benita wrote all of the Duchess of York's books on Queen Victoria, eg, Travels with Queen Victoria, etc. (Burkes will give you the rest.)I've also figured out your late husband would have been at Dartmouth with my father (who died exactly 20 years ago yesterday -goodness how time flies, it seems just like last week and I miss him just the same). Either the same year, or a year behind. My father passed out top cadet in 1946 for which he was awarded the silver telescope, presented by the King, and of which we were all extremely proud.Small world!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How very strange the Glebe was just at the bottom of our drive and was I think empty when I first lived there, and then was bought by I thought an Italian Diplomate? he never came to live there, but we had Liz Headford when she left Michael for a couple of years then she moved on and a couple of years later so did we. My husband past in to Dartmouth top and past out bottom! But he was a great sailor his great passion and as you know boats are like standing under a VERY cold wet shower cutting up 100 pound notes. He remembered his days at Dartmouth with fondness although he was firstly at Mullers Ophange and then Eaton Hall so six degrees of seperation? more like 3
Okay, now I understand, that was just before my time at those haunts. I was still a schoolboy at Headfort (with Christo Bective) when Liz and Michael split. Michael was threatening to shoot ***** ***** if he happened to run into him on the Scilly Isles -and we were all terrified of him as we were told he was mad and would probably shoot us, too, if he saw us. That was in the mid- to late 'sixties.Much later, in the early 1980s I remember being shown round Somerville when it was up for sale, bought by a supermarket owner from Navan for a while, if I remember correctly, and then a Dr Joseph McGrath. The interior of the house was looking a bit shabby but the hall with its magnificent columns was as spectacular as ever. There was a huge colony of bees in the ceiling of one of the attic bedrooms. One could see the honeycombs through the gaps in the laths where the plaster had fallen away.What a lovely house it was, but like all of its kind, a terrifyingly expensive thing to keep up, no doubt. An order of magnitude more expensive than your husband's apt description of boat owning "a cold wet shower cutting up 100 pound notes" (that made me smile, it was what my father used to say, he was an avid yachtsman, too!) and a time in Irish politics when "the rates" were a crippling and cynical ploy to effect by legislative extortion the same result as that which the peasants in the French revolution had done with the guillotine. Plus ca change.I had forgotten about the evacuation of the cadets to Muller's Orphanage, briefly, before going on to much more genial accommodations at Eaton Hall. I remember my father telling the story of how Dartmouth took a direct hit with two enormous bombs in a daylight air raid in early September 1942 at the very moment that the top brass were sitting around in the ward room discussing evacuation plans in the event of a bombing. The sneak attack by the Nazis had been planned deliberately to coincide with the first day of school, but by a quirk of calendar adjustments, once every six years the date of the beginning of the Christmas term was delayed by a week to account for leap year and my father and your husband were enjoying an extra week at home, a fact that Nazi intelligence, for all its brutal efficiency, was obviously unaware. It doesn't bear thinking about what would have happened if the boys had all been there that morning.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How fasinating I didn't know that about Dartmouth. I will pass that on to the children they will be very interested. Now with out my Burkes, as it is buried somewhere, I have had a think and wonder if Oliver Stoney was your Pa? I cant put a face to him and Alison Stoney who I dimly remember your Aunt! My son too was at Headford ( for a short time like all his various schools he went to 4 in all) Liz was very good about Michael and the final straw was when he locked her in a bathroom at Headford and she couldn't get out till he released her. She and I had/have a sort of on off relationship too much Brockett for me I think! Yes the final straw was the 'manson tax' I think it was going to cost us £4,000 unless we opened the house which as it wasn't a very large -no wings to live in- so people would only have come at weekends also the electrics didn't work in a greater part of it and thirdly the 70's was a dangerous place to live with small children there, to many friends milking parlours blown up, or friends kidnapped/ shot/ besieged. Being part of the art world we saw this much more than the other country people who lead more blinkered lives. So with my parents living in IOM by then, we bailed out there. (But for various very Irish) reasons we couldn't sell the house. So knowing what would happen we removed the mantlepieces. a lot of horror at our vandalism but we were right as twice we had to replace the lead from the roof as it was stolen ,and yes my secret supply of honey I think they had lived there for years. Looking back I could have sold i,t plus the water from out well which was the purest most delicous water I have ever drunk. If we only knew then that people would actually pay for bottles of water!
Yes, you got it! Alison was married to Oliver's younger brother Myles (my uncle) who took over my grandmother's (Nugent) family place at Farren Connell, Co Westmeath. Alison was completely lovely, I am so glad you knew her. She was tragically killed in her prime in a dreadful accident in 1973 driving home from a day with the Westmeath or Ballymacad with both hunters in tow. The horse-trailer jack-knifed and went under a lorry. Strangely, neither of the horses had a scratch on them but she was killed instantly.How remarkable that the bees were always there! And yes, how we all laughed when Ballygowan water started to appear in bottles on the supermarket shelves and I stopped here for years to fill a bottle or two when passing. You are right, the purest most delicious water.Goodness what memories! Thanks for indulging me, "it's a long way to Tipperary" (and even my spellchecker thinks so as it's wanting to change that to "Tupperware" if you please) and where I am now, everything is of course hopelessly rose-tinted from nostalgia. They were indeed dangerous times and you were certainly wise to cut and run when you did. In hindsight, you were absolutely right to save the mantelpieces. The yahoos would have had them in a heartbeat (as they did in so many other places) but I can just hear Desmond and Mariga's terrible whining!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How nice to hear from you and of course it brought back about poor Alisons I had forgotten the terrible tradigy ( why don't I have spell check on this?) of her death, but she was one of those very special people everyone was so shocked, I only met her a few times but she lit up a room. Oh yes Desmond. he was always very sniffy about Somerville. Probably as it had been made very un Irish by Quentin's Aunt, Lady Athlumney who had Guy Elwes and Lennangan & Morant to do it up in a very London Ritzy style. I know about coloured glasses and all that. BUT Irish parties were something out of this world when I came to the Isle of Man it was like some dreadful black and white movie all the colour of a crak evening had gone
4 for dinner instead of 12 or possible 16 because people had been forgotten about ,asked for 7.45 and eyebrows raised when one arrived at 8.15 whereas if anyone had actually arrived in Ireland at either time you would have found everyone in the bath or mucking out the stables. dinner so formal here, no butter pats on the ceiling, no one eating broken glass. no Desmond spiking the drinks, no Nora Fitzgerald parking her Merc, in the area or what ever it is called between the gravel and the basement, no one swinging from Chandeliers with their shirt tales on fire, no one taking pot shots at the armoural charges on the walls, no one having a partyduring the horse show week and the antique dealers had a knees up at the Gresham and Pat Kenyon ( a good 16 stone) dancing wildly round and she and Gerry falling in to the band and smashing the drummers kit and then as she tried to get up she knocked the violinist violin out of his hand and Gerry toppled over and squashed it. or Quentin when we left Kevin Mclorys house and I saying mind the lamp post what lampost he said as he hit it. Or driving from the air port to Ballinlough in pouring rain and Peggy Nugent saying this is when you run over a cow and promptly from the bog a herd of cows rushed across the road. and one of them straight on to the bonnet so we once again drove with no windscreen and a shower of glass over ones knees, no I don't think our glasses are rose tinted that was what it was. BUT I haven't allowed myself to look back too much and I am sad to say it has brought tears to my eyes. +
Beautifully put! You brought tears to my eyes too, both crying and laughing, especially with the butter pats on the ceiling! All of it. So extraordinary I wonder sometimes if it really actually happened.I still have few mummy peas that Peggy Nugent gave me and I grew and saved seed from. I think a friend of John's found them in a tomb in north Africa during the war. So many stories!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't keep my mummy peas dry enough so after a few years my crop went, but there are amazing they grown taller than any other pea and stronger and crop well for longer. One final story that might amuse you, a largish party of us having lunch at the Hiberniann hotel and Bill Knight Later to be Liz Headfords second husband, pushed back or tipped back his chair just as the sweet trolly went past filled with all those favourites of those years Blackforest Gateau, meringues, fruit salad, creme caramel,and much more as he hit it everything first wobbled and then flew up over guests at other tabled and the stairs which were particular grand ones, which came a sea of cream and jelly and bouncing meringue the waiter with bits of fruit salad on his hair. There was a silence and then the whole restaurant roared with laughter. I suppose we got a bill but possibly not as I think our whole table were fairly regulars there. My first gallery was in the mews behind and my second one was a house in Molesworth Street. To go back to other things I have written to the Professor Mc Macmara or rather emailed him and still need to find the Devis expert? A
PS the IOM was called for some time 'East West Meath' as the exodus started by us brought other casualties from the penal taxes Hugh ***** *****ves down the road was he at Headford with you I wonder?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have just tried to send you a new question which I fear has gone off to a lawyer as I unfortunately didn't put 'art or antiques on it so will try again. Will let you know the out come of the scrabe when I hear from the Prof. meanwhile small progress I know the daughter of E of Roslyn so sent her the pic of house thought they might just like it ( at rather less than what you suggested) cash a bit tight there.
I have just had a rather dreadful thing happen a kind neighbour brought me in two beautiful mackareal 'look he said you can see how fresh they are one is still moving', they had been in a plastic bag for some 10 minutes so when he left I hit it on the head with the nearest thing I had to a priest, being rather weak all that happened was the poor fish went in to a trauma and was shivering all the more. So I then thought I would drown it left it basin with fresh water on it, 5 minutes later another friend turned up ( v open house here) while making coffee I had another look with her and it was still alive! so she took it out of water and just left it on the side and finally the poor thing died.
as our waters here are very radio active I think I will give it to the seagulls as not sure I want to eat it!
What a great story about the exploding cake trolley at the poor old Hibernian (I was in that dining room so many times) so sad to see it pulled down. Our family owned the ground rent on the area it occupied, a fact which was blatantly ignored by the new developer. Thanks for reminding me about Bill Knight. I met him only a couple of times through Esme O'Flaherty, I think. I 'inherited' her flat at the top of Dunsany where I lived with my then wife for a couple of years. Randall called us the "bats in the belfry". Wasn't sure whether that was a compliment or not, but took it as such.Can't believe you grew those mummy peas too! You're about the only one I ever known who did. You're right, they grow enormous and you almost need a ladder to pick them. And huge pea sticks to train them up.Yes I knew Hugh Shirley. I think he was a year or two above me at Headfort so our paths didn't cross that much, all than may seem like yesterday but actually now "fifty years on". My years were 1965 - 1969, so memories of others at the school are foggy at best.Getting back to important things, I'm delighted you have a connection for the Roslin painting, I do hope that works out and that it ends up "going home", as it should.As for the Devis expert, I think you should go for the best and contact Philip Mould who is definitely the top man on British portraits. There's a lot of genuine scholarship behind that wonderfully engaging patter of his on the Antiques Roadshow.I think he would be genuinely intrigued by your Earl of Lonsdale story and his moldering mistress. I don't know him personally otherwise I'd introduce you but you can contact him at his gallery:Philip Mould, email:***@******.*** Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LUphone +44(0)20 7499 6818. Hope this does the trick, do keep me posted.Best wishes,Robert PS. What a traumatic story about the mackerel that wouldn't die. Perhaps the radioactivity was keeping it alive! That's very early in the season to see a mackerel, but then it's probably different in the IOM waters.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks for that, the waters round the isle of man creates mutations AND Manx Herring have a vertabrey too few and this makes them very juicy when there are smoked BUT sadly the herring have been almost fished out here as to your other idea I cant really write about this in case this is an open line but maybe I can explain in another way. on another thread I think!!!
A Manx herring has less backbone! Who would have thunk. I'm sure that's not true of the natives, they seem to be a stalwart lot.And yes, don't say anything too public, this is a little like those old party lines.Have a great evening!R