7 Actual Artworks That Look Like They Could Be Props on the New Season of ‘Game of Thrones’
You know nothing, Jon Snow. But you'll learn a lot after you finish reading this great article.
Game of Thrones roared back to life last night, returning to HBO after a seemingly interminable 20-month hiatus. But true fans know there is only one thing better than watching Game of Thrones: feeling like you live inside Game of Thrones.
We consulted experts from the artnet Price Database, who comb our archive of art auction information every day, to unearth medieval antiques and idiosyncratic treasures that would feel right at home in Westeros.
1. Anonymous, Königin im Krönungsornat (Queen in Her Coronation) (undated)
Just like Cersei, this ivory figurine has tricks up her sleeve (not to mention a whole network of allies under her brocaded gown). Along with the delicate carving on display here, the anonymous artisan’s ingenious hinged opening in the queen’s skirts suggests the secrecy and complex maneuvering necessary for every monarch’s rise to power.
2. Augusta, Memento Mori Skull Watch (ca. 1600)
Any self respecting maester understands the High Valyrian saying, Valar Morghulis (“all men must die”), which of course is customarily answered with Valar Dohaeris (“all men must serve”). Should you ever forget these sage words, it would be helpful to have this dual use timepiece and compass, so that you are always reminded of your destiny—even when you are lost in the Whispering Wood.
3. Fiorita by Rivadossi Giuseppe (1992)
The Weirwood trees are revered in Westeros, and as symbols of the Old Gods, everyone from Bran Stark to Jon Snow has communed with the white-barked behemoths. This striking piece may not be carved by the Children of the Forest, but like the heart trees, this chair is as solid as stone—and it’s the perfect place to wait while winter is coming.
4. Eduard Stellmacher, Large Amphora Dragon Vase (1906)
This early 20th century vase is a rich brown vessel encircled by a scale-covered dragon’s wing. Should he have lived in Westeros, Eduard Stellmacher would have made a fine craftsman for Khaleesi, the Mother of Dragons.
5. Anonymous, A very fine German cruciform sword (c. 1600–1625).
There are all kinds of swords in Game of Thrones: the Dragonslayer, the Needle, Ice, Longclaw, and Oathkeeper. We now humbly nominate this Very Fine German Cruciform Sword to that illustrious list of impressive and finely hewn weapons. The hilt is wrought in silver, decorated with finials and floral tendrils, with depictions of huntsmen and their trusty dire wolves on the prowl. Although the double-edged blade is not forged from Valyerian steel, it does date to 1560, and pulled in almost $20,000 back in 2013.
6. Mabunda Gonçalo, The Throne of the Mandated (2016)
We’re not sure if this throne is made of iron, since its lot description merely notes its medium as “metal” and “weapons,” but this sculpture by Mozambican anti-war activist and artist Gonçalo Mabunda very much feels like a contemporary version of Game of Thrones‘s most iconic set piece. And it seems like a great way to recycle the weapons of your enemies—just as the Westerosi kings do—to melt down their weapons and make of them thrones.
7. Anonymous, A highly important South German quarter striking astronomical table clock (c. 1570)
Like the opening music, the title sequence that introduces Game of Thrones is an integral aspect of the epic drama. This German table clock is part of the four-part “Orpheus Clock” series dating to the late 16th century, and its complicated mechanisms closely resemble the dynamic timepieces that signal the show’s opening.
Enrique Torres-Prat’s Game of Thrones Daenerys Targaryen (2018)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this work directly inspired by the show, a loving oil-on-canvas homage to Emilia Clarke’s portrayal of Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, et cetera. (If we listed all her names, we’d be here all day!)
Daenerys is one of the series’ most popular characters, so it’s no wonder this painting attracted strong bidding: when it came up for auction in Texas last summer, it blew past its original $500 estimate to ultimately sell for the queenly sum of $4,560.
Who said watching seven seasons of a show about dragons wasn’t a good investment?
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