The exhibition presented to the public on 21st March 2011 in the National Museum of History consists ofmore than 230 specimens dating from the period 15th – 1st centuries BC.
The exhibition „Thrace and the Ancient World 15th – Vassil Bojkov Collection” was opened in the halls of the National Museum of History on 21st March 2011. It is organized by Thrace Foundation, National Museum of History and the Union of Collectors in Bulgaria. The curator of the exhibition was Prof. Dr. Ivan Marazov. He is also the author of the published science catalogue.
In the exhibition „Thrace and the Ancient World 15th – 1st centuries BC – Vassil Bojkov Collection” for the first time unique works of the ancient Thracian toreutics are shown to the general public. It is known that Vassil Bojkov Collection is one of the significant world collections of ancient jewellery specimens. For the exhibition are selected more than 230 wonderful specimens of the ancient Thracian art. Its exhibits are a surprise for both the experts and researchers of the Thracian culture and art, and the fans of the antiquity.
The exhibition „Thrace and the Ancient World 15th – Vassil Bojkov Collection” includes more than 230 exhibits, as the earliest of them are bronze weapons from 2nd century BC. The attention of the exhibition visitors is attracted by two silver vessels, in the form of “lids”, similar to those of the Valchitran Treasure. They are a new evidence for the high-quality toreutics in Thrace as early as at the end of the Bronze Age. On the other hand, these specimens raise more questions to the researchers on the functions of the specimens themselves, as well as on their role in the religious rites and rituals.
The collection contains all the object forms characteristic for the Thracian art of the period 5th – 1st century BC – silver rhytons with gilding and protomes of a lion, ram, horse, goat, snake, calf, perfectly modelled during the period 5th – 4th century BC. For the scientists, not only the rhytons, but also the other works of the ancient art reveal new, untouched by now sides and problems of the Thracian antiquity as a whole and particularly the Thracian toreutics and art from 2nd – 1st century BC. Multiple and various is the new evidence for the development of the Thracian religion during the abovementioned period. century BC. Many of them can be seen at the exhibition. There are exhibited more than ten exceptional works of the ancient art.
In the collection of Vassil Bojkov are also kept several rhytons originating from the area of the ancientPersian art. They are exhibited for the first time. As far back as many years ago was published the hypothesis on the propinquity between the Thracian and the Achaemenid art. Now this could be seen at the exhibition
On one silver phiale, as well as on a bronze situla (bucket), are painted scenes from the battle between the men-warriors and the Amazons, on another vessel is engraved a scene with two variants of the myth about the pretty Helen.
The Thracians don’t create their own script, but in the toreutics they develop „the language“of the plasticsand symbols and in this way we learn about their culture, religion and art.
These vessels from the king’s tables – rhytons, phialae, kylikes and kantharoi, hydriai amphorae and jugs; weapons and horse-trappings, etc, have reached the collection of Vassil Bojkov in an unenviable position of preservedness and only thanks to the skilful restoration work of the team, managed by Prof. Dr. Veselina Inkova, they appear in their true magnificence. For the first time, at the exhibitions organized by Thrace Foundation is shown the whole complicated process of research, conservation and restoration of ancient specimens in thirteen colour posters.
The exhibition also affects in a purely aesthetic manner and one asks oneself whether the technological achievements of the modern world are better than “the barbarian” art of the ancient peoples, which doesn’t stop to impress us with its perfection throughout three millennia