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There are hardly any items for sale beyond page 29 on the gallery here.

I have left so many sold items on show (and in the sold archive) as many collectors have said they find such photos and information useful to have.


6002. Magical incantation bowl

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Magical incantation bowl

I am selling this magical incantation (or 'devil
trap') bowl for a collector friend.

The text is a 'pseudoscript'' ( as is quite often seen
with these), devised by  some makers of
such bowl to give illiterate clients the impression that they were valid
incantations. Some bear close resemblance to identifiable forms of

Intact but fairly worn text.

Intact 168mm across.

3rd to 7th century.

From a UK collection. Was acquired from  London dealer who provided ex
Gallery in New Jersey provenance a long while back. (late 80s/early 90s)

Incantation bowls, also known as a demon bowls or devil
trap bowls were made in the Middle East during the Late Antiquity from 6th to
8th century. The bowls were usually inscribed in a spiral, beginning from the
rim and moving toward the centre. Most are inscribed in in one of three Aramaic
dialects - Jewish-Aramaic, Syriac or Mandaic Aramaic, though some bowls are
known which are inscribed in Persian (Pehlevi) and many bear
pseudo-inscriptions.  The bowls were
buried face down and were meant to capture demons. They were commonly placed
under the threshold, courtyards, in the corner of the homes of the recently
deceased and in graveyards. Although it is often said that these were demon
traps, meant to lure, trap, and disable any malevolent demons, preventing them
from hurting humans or causing damage to property,  in some cases the bowls' inscriptions reveal
them to have been not so much 'environmental protection' devices, but
rather aggressive instruments aimed at sending the demons upon an enemy's head.

Price: 425 GBP

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