Roman Black Marble Bust of Alexander the Great, Roman Imperial, 1st Century AD
Many portraits of Alexander the Great created after his lifetime, like this splendid example, tended to follow the models created by his appointed court sculptor, Lysippos. Features of the grey marble head, such as the slight turn of the head, prominent brow, accentuated and deep set eyes, and long, thick locks of leonine hair, are all hallmarks of Alexander’s image.
Hellenistic Gold ‘Alexander The Great’ Bracelet, 3rd-2nd Century BC
Composed of two rows of minute die-struck four-petaled and eight-petaled rosettes, connected with fine gold wire links, with four round and two larger rectangular gold sheet elements, now misshapen, each decorated with lotus flower and lotus bud pendants, the central element decorated in repoussé with the head of Alexander the Great.
Rare Coin with Alexander the Great’s Horse, Bucephalus, Struck in 281 BC
Excessively rare, less than ten examples are known of this Greek silver tetradrachm of King Seleukos I Nikator. This coin, minted in Pergamon, shows what is believed to be the horned image of the mighty warhorse of Alexander the Great, Bucephalus. The reverse is inscribed BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΣEΛEYKOY with an elephant walking to the right, a bee above and an anchor below.
This coin was only struck for a brief period of time. It is thought that the issue was a commemorative one, struck to mark the victory of Seleukos I over Lysimachos at the battle of Corupedium. The horse on the obverse of the coin is perhaps a reference to Alexander’s own mount, Bucephalus. A huge horse and thought to be untameable, it is reported by Plutarch that Alexander won Bucephalus when he was a thirteen-year-old boy after he subdued it, and that only he was able to ride the animal. There are contradictory accounts of the fate of Bucephalus, some stating that he died of natural causes, and others that he perished following the battle of Hydaspes in 326 BC.
An alternative interpretation of the obverse of this coin could be a commemoration of the horse that enabled Seleukos’s flight from Babylon in 316 BC. The addition of the horns to the horse signifies that it is an heroic animal. The elephant that appears on the reverse of the coin was a symbol of Seleucid might, in use since the reconquest of India in 304-303 BC.
◦ Father and Son: Emperor Alexander III of Russia and Tsarevich Nicholas, future Emperor Nicholas II.
Alexander and Nicholas were different. They were almost exactly opposite. Alexander was a huge and bear-like man, while his oldest son was small, gentle and affectionate. An account from the memoirs of the artist Alexander Benois gives one impression of Alexander III:
“After a performance of the ballet ’Tsar Kandavl’ at the Mariinsky Theatre, I first caught sight of the Emperor. I was struck by the size of the man, and although cumbersome and heavy, he was still a mighty figure. There was indeed something of the muzhik [Russian peasant] about him. The look of his bright eyes made quite an impression on me. As he passed where I was standing, he raised his head for a second, and to this day I can remember what I felt as our eyes met. It was a look as cold as steel, in which there was something threatening, even frightening, and it struck me like a blow. The Tsar’s gaze! The look of a man who stood above all others, but who carried a monstrous burden and who every minute had to fear for his life and the lives of those closest to him. In later years I came into contact with the Emperor on several occasions, and I felt not the slightest bit timid. In more ordinary cases Tsar Alexander III could be at once kind, simple, and even almost homely.”
Many people who have met Nicholas remarked how his eyes alone spoke kindness (though the picture above doesn’t do him justice). Alexander had no real confidence in Nicholas’ ability. When his minister Sergei Witte proposed that Nicholas should chair a committee to build the Trans-Siberian railway, Alexander is reported to have said to Witte, “But do you know the Grand Duke, my heir? Have you ever had a serious conversation with him? He is a child. His reasoning is childish. How could he preside over this committee?” Alexander first allowed Nicholas tag along to his official duties in 1893, the year before Nicholas became Tsar. This was one of few mistakes made by Alexander according to Nicholas’ sister Olga, because Nicholas was not ready for his new difficult job by the time he succeed the throne. Nicholas was aware of his unpreparedness and would never do the same thing to his own son. So often when Nicholas went on official events, his only son and heir Alexei would often accompany him. This was to prepare Alexei for when he would someday become Tsar. But this was never tested as the monarchy was abolished and the family was murdered.
Rare & Unique Alexander The Great Equestrian Figure, 3rd-2nd Century BC
A magnificent bronze sculpture of Alexander the Great, this powerful and inspiring image of the young ruler is an exceedingly rare, indeed unique, masterwork from the Hellenistic period. The figure was originally astride a horse. The upraised right arm is bent at the elbow with the hand positioned to hold a spear or a much longer lance, the Macedonian sarisssa.