Carter B. Horsley
This auction is highlighted by
works from different ancient cultures that should be of great
interest to animal lovers.
Perhaps the most spectacular is
Lot 331, shown
Egyptian art can be very, very
but the greatest works rarely appear on the auction block.
Lot 331 is a stunning example
of how sensational
Egyptian art can be, even though it is as spectacular as King
Tut’s treasures or impressive as some large granite sculptures.
It is, however, stunning in its bold color and dramatic and unusual
combination of materials. It consists of three Egyptian gilt wood,
glass and faience cobras, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII-XX, 1550-1070
B.C. Each of the cobras, which are separated mounted on wood stands,
were probably used to decorate a frieze on a piece of furniture
or a shrine, according to the catalogue, has a wooden body covered
in gold foil, with blue faience heads, some preserving inlaid
eyes, surmounted by solar-disks, the flaring hoods inlaid with
dark blue, red and turquoise colored glass.
This lot, which comes from the
in Tokyo, has a conservative estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It
failed to sell.
Another stunning work is Lot
684, a 6 ½-inch-high
Bactrian silver cylindrical cup, circa late 3rd to Early 2nd Millennium
B.C., shown above. The hammered vessel, which stands on a low
foot, has four goats in relief in profile with projecting heads
framed by great curving horns. The work is in excellent condition
with fine detailing although one of the goats is missing part
of a leg. It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It
Lot 696, an Iranian bronze
ornament with gold
ibex appliqués, circa 1500-1200 B.C., which is 8 9/16 inches
in diameter. It has a conservative estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.
It sold for $14,100 including the buyer's premium as do all
results in this article. A smaller and less spectacular but
more detailed roundel is Lot 697, a Middle Elamite bitumen work,
circa 14th Century B.C., that is 4 inches in diameter and shows
the heads six reclining rams enclosing a 16-petalled rosette on
the other side. The catalogue notes that there is "an exact
parallel on view in the Metropolitan Museum of Art…, which
still preserves the gold and silver foil. The lot has a conservative
estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $18,800.
Other fine works with animals
are Lots 329,
354, 355, 356, 609, 703, 704 and 732.
Lot 329 is a pleasant and
simple, but very
graceful Egyptian granite relief, New Kingdom, Dynasty XIX-XX,
1307-1070 B.C., of a duck, 12 ¾ inches high, which has
an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $19,995.
Lot 354 is an Egyptian bronze
Period, Dynasty XXVI-XXX, 664-343 B.C., that is 6 inches high
and has a conservative estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It
for $21,150. This "black bird" of the sort that
was the focus of "The Maltese Falcon" movie, is finely
sculpted with nice incisions for the wing feathers.
Lot 355 is an Egyptian bronze
finial of Selket,
Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXI-XXV, 1070-664 B.C., 4 5/8
inches high, shows the anthropomorphic scorpion goddess crouching
on a stand on her elbows, her arms extended, the tail in striking
position. The work has a conservative estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.
It sold for $5,288.
Lot 356 is an Egyptian bronze
seated cat, Late
Period, Dynasty XXVI-XXX, 664-343 B.C., 9 ¼ inches high,
that is adorned with a gold earring and has an estimate of $25,000
to $30,000. It sold for $82,250.
Lot 609 is a very fine pair of
lion head handles, circa Early 3rd Century, A.D., 4 7/8 inches
high, that has a conservative estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. It
sold for $9,988.
Lot 672 is a superb pair of
Roman bronze rein
guides, circa 2nd Century A.D., 2 3/8 inches high. Each guide
has two painters with their heads turned out standing on a
guide with a head of Io in a roundel on either side of the crossbar.
This lot has a conservative estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It
sold for $3,525.
Lot 703 is a Persian goat
finial and stand,
circa 8th to 7th Century BC., which is 5 1/8 inches high and has
an estimate of $5,000 to $8,000. It sold for $4,700.
Lot 704 is a Luristan bronze
bowl, circa 10th
to 9th Century, B.C., and is 5 1/8 inches high and has a frieze
in two registers, the lower with seven short-horned goats leaping
to the right, and the upper with goats frolicking to the left
with their heads thrown back. This lot has a conservative estimate
of $7,000 to $9,000. It sold for $8,225.
Lot 732 is a Sasanian gilt
depicting a winged horse, circa 5th to 6th Century A.D., that
is 3 1/8 inches long and has a conservative estimate of $2,000
to $3,000. It failed to sell.
There are many very nice
Egyptian works of
art that do not depict animals.
Lot 349 is an Egyptian granite
Period, Dynasty XXX, 380-343 B.C., that shows a pharaoh finely
sculpted in sunk-relief with one hand raised, 18 ½ inches
high. It has an estimate of $80,000 to $100,000. It sold for
Lot 353 is an Egyptian bronze
figure of Osiris,
Late Period, Dynasty XXVI, 664-525 B.C., 13 inches high, that
is hollow cast with eyes inlaid with white glass paste, obsidian
and gold and details in gold including the eyebrows and the outline
of the face. The work, which is in excellent condition, has a
conservative estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for
Lot 395 is a small and fine
reclining female figure, 6 ¾ inches long, Early Spedos
Variety, circa 2600 to 2500 B.C., that is in good condition but
missing its feet. It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It
sold for $76,325.
There are numerous very good
Greek vases. Lot
433, an Attic Black-Figured stamnos is attributed to the Michigan
Painter, circa Late 6th Century B.C. The 7 ¼-inch high
vase shows a chariot race between three galloping teams and has
an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 441 is an Attic stamnos in Six’s Technique, workshop
of the Antimenese Painter, circa 510 B.C., 9 5/8 inches high.
The vase depicts Theseus, the Minotaur and Ariadne and has no
handles, a type of which only four others are known, according
to the catalogue. It has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.
It sold for $490,000.
Lot 454 is a very lovely 16
Greek marble figure of Aphrodite, Late Hellenistic Period, circa
1st Century B.C., that has a conservative estimate of $40,000
to $60,000. It sold for $127,000.
Lot 517 is a good Etruscan
Umbria, circa mid 5th Century B.C., that was once in the collection
of Dr. Elie Borowski. The 7 15/16-inch-high statue has an estimate
of $35,000 to $45,000. It failed to sell.
The cover illustration of the
Lot 578, a Roman wall-painting fragment, circa mid 1st Century,
A.D., 16 inches high, that shows Eros flying with outstretched
wings. The lyrical and colorful painting has a conservative estimate
of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $28,000.
Lot 588 is a Roman silver
platter, circa mid
1st Century, A.D., 12 ¼ inches in diameter, which has two
crescentic handles each with a mask of Silenus flanked with dolphins.
The lot has an ambitious estimate of $500,000 to $700,000, especially
since Sotheby’s has a slightly smaller but much more ornate
platter (Lot 98, Sotheby’s, Antiquities auction, Dec. 8,
2000) from the same period with an estimate of only $120,00 to
$180,000. Lot 588 failed to sell.
Lot 616 is a very fine Roman
of Asclepius, circa 1st Century, A.D., 4 1/16 inches high. It
has a slightly ambitious estimate of $16,000 to $20,000. It
sold for $21,150.
A larger depiction of
Asclepius, the god of
healing, is Lot 618, a Roman marble statue, circa Late 1st to
Early 2nd Century, A.D., that is 53 inches high and has an estimate
of $150,000 to $200,000. It failed to sell.
The auction has four
impressive, large Roman
marble mosaic panels, circa 3rd to 4th Century, A.D. Lot 649 is
78 1/8 inches long and shows a bearded head of Oceanus in the
center flanked by a charging tiger on the left and a leaping stag
on the right. This lot, which is the back-cover illustration of
the catalogue, has a conservative estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.
It sold for $49,350.
confirmed not only the
strength of the Antiquities market, but also Christie's position
as the worldwide leader in this field," said G. Max Bernheimer,
the head of Christie's Antiquities separtment, adding that Greek
vases continued to perform "extremely well" and that
"prices for Roman art remain strong" and "as always,
Egyptian works of arts sold well."
Of the 431 offered
lots, 65 percent were
sold for a sale total of $3,891,948.