Carter B. Horsley
While this antiquities auction
is a bit less
spectacular than recent Sotheby’s sales, it has a few knockout
works and a good selection of minor works.
The cover illustration of the
above, is Lot 150, a Sasanian Silver-gilt plate, 5th/6th Century,
A.D., 7 5/8 inches in diameter, which is very dramatic and stunning.
The plate depicts a royal hunting scene is high relief with the
king riding his steed at full gallop, turning backward, and preparing
to unleash his arrow at a pursuing lion, an arrow lodged in his
quarry’s breast, with another lion, probably wounded, sprawled
below. The catalogue notes that a "remarkably similar"
plate is in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art that
differs manly in the form of the king’s crown. Both plates
seem to have in common the punched dot on the king’s forehead,
appearing only on cult or divine images in the art of the Sasanian
Empire. The lot has an "estimate on request" and Richard
Keresey, Sotheby’s specialist, notes that this is "the
first of its kind to appear at auction in at least three decades.
It failed to sell.
Another highlight of the
auction is Lot 110A,
a bronze figure of Zeus Enthroned, Roman Imperial, circa 2nd Century
A.D., a 6 1/8-inch high work that shows the god seated in a very
large chair with his feet resting on a stool. The catalogue notes
that the throne is separately cast. The god holds a thunderbolt
in his right hand and his left hand at one time held a scepter,
which is now missing. The figure of Zeus is very finely sculpted
and the lot has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000. It sold
for $69,750 including the buyer's premium as do all results in
Lot 103 is very good Roman
bronze figure of
Poseidon, circa 1st/2nd Century A.D., that is 4 5/8 inches high.
The statue is after a Greek original of the late 4th Century B.C.,
probably by Lysippos and shows the god standing with his right
foot supported on an outcrop with his right arm resting on his
raised leg and his left arm raised holding a trident, which is
now missing. The lot has a conservative estimate of $4,000 to
$6,000. It sold for $4,800.
Lot 37 is a very good Egyptian
granite or diorite
head of a man, 30th Dynasty, 380-342 B.C., that is 7 ¾
inches high and has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It
sold for $115,750. The catalogue notes that the work has a
serene expression and gentle smile. There is a hole in the top
of the head and the nose is damaged, although the mottled stone
disguises the damage to a considerable extent.
Lot 27 is a very good Egyptian
of Anubis, 26th Dynasty, 664-525 B.C. The 6 3/16-inch-high statue
shows the jackal-headed god striding and has a conservative estimate
of $7,000 to $10,000. It sold for $23,750.
Lot 70, a Greek
Pottery Olpe, Geometric
Period, probably Attic, 8th Century B.C., 20 3/4 inches high,
had an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000 and sold for $137,750.
Lot 78 is an Attic Black-Figure
500 B.C., which is attributed to the Rycroft Painter. The 18
vase shows Peleus and Thetis in a quadriga. It has an estimate
of $60,000 to $90,000. It sold for $92,750.
Lot 91 is a marble figure of
Eros, Roman Imperial,
circa second half of the 2nd Century, A.D., that is 20 inches
high and is being sold by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The
figure is missing its head and the lower part of its legs and
arms. The marble’s surface is very finely finished and almost
looks like porcelain. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.
It sold for $269,750.
Lot 97, a marble herm,
Roman Imperial, circa
1st Century, A.D., 66 inches high, had an estimate of $50,000
to $80,000 and sold for $147,750.
Lot 98 is a silver dish, 10 ¾
in diameter, Roman Imperial, circa late 1st/Early 2nd Century,
A.D., that has a very ornamental rim. It has an estimate of $120,000
to $180,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 110 is a bronze figure of a
late Hellenistic or early Roman Imperial, circa 2nd Century B.C./1st
Century A.D., which is 6 inches tall and is very nicely sculpted
and has an animal hide that is apparently meant to be windblown.
The lot has a slightly ambitious estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.
It failed to sell.
Lot 165, an Ottoman
polychrome dish, Iznik,circa
late 16th Century, 12 inches in diameter, had an estimate of $6,000
to $9,000 and sold for $165,250.