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Antiquities

Christie's


Wednesday, December 5, 2001, 2 PM

&

Thursday, December 6, 10 AM

Sale 9796



Colossal Egyptian Gabro royal portrait head

Lot 217, a "colossal" Egyptian Gabro royal portrait head, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, reign of Amenhotep III, 1391-1353 B.C., 27 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

This very large sale of more than 500 lots is full with a wide range of treasures for collectors of Egyptian, Greek and Roman Art.

Lot 217, shown above, is a "colossal" Egyptian Gabro royal portrait head, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, reign of Amenhotep III, 1391-1353 B.C., that is 27 inches high. This imposing work, which was once in the collection of the Merrin Gallery, has an "estimate on request." It sold for $776,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

The catalogue notes that this head "originally depicted a deity, most likely Osiris, with the features of Amenhotep III," but "was usurped by a later king and through careful re-cutting of the eyes, the image was transformed, presumably during the reign of Rameses II (1290-1224 B.C.)." While the figure's nose and crown of Upper Egypt have been damaged, the smooth sculpting of the face, particularly the full lips, and the delicate incisions make it a work of splendid and quite powerful presence. A broad band at the base of the crown has a different surface police, "likely from where pigment was once applied," the catalogue entry continued.



Egyptian basalt statue of Horus

Lot 268, Egyptian basalt statue of the falcon Horus, Late Period, Dynasty XXX, 380-343 B.C., 20 1/8 inches high

For lovers of the movie, "The Maltese Falcon," Lot 268, shown above, is a must. An Egyptian basalt statue of the falcon Horus, Late Period, Dynasty XXX, 380-343 B.C., this 20 1/8-inch-high statue is highly stylized and impressively large and in fine condition apart from a few surface abrasions. It has quite a smooth finish and the falcon's head is exceptional for its fine modeling and incised markings. Even for less obsessed collectors than the one depicted by the great Sydney Greenstreet in the movie, this is the ultimate "collectible," the type of piece that by itself makes a "collection." It has a conservative estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It failed to sell, one of several disappointments among the major lots in this surprisingly weak auction. About one-third of the lots failed to sell.

For those with more modest budgets, there are two other good "Horus" sculptures, Lots 370 and 237. The former is a 9 1/8-inch high bronze, Late Period, Dynasty XXVI, 664-525 B.C., with a green patina that shows the falcon wearing a broad collar and a double crown fronted by a uraeus and the work has fine incised decoration. The piece was once in the collection of Mathias Komor and has been consigned by the estate of Mathilda Goldman, who with her husband, Charles, was a founder of the Israel Museum, benefactors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and patrons of the Goldman-Schwartz Art Studios at Brandeis University. This lot has an modest estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $70,500.

Lot 237, the other Horus, dates from the Late Period to the Ptolemaic Period, 664-30 B.C., and is 10 1/8 inches high. It was once in the collection of Christian Mionet in Paris. It also has a double crown and the stinger is now missing but originally inlaid. It has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $16,450.


Egyptian wood figure of Anubis

Lot 211, Egyptian wood figure of Anubis, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, circa 1550-1307 B.C., 26 inches high, left, and Lot 253, Egyptian giult wood mask from a sacrophagus, Ptolemaic Period, 305-30 B.C., 17 inches high

For movie-goers enthralled with Anubis and the recent movie, "The Mummy Returns," Lot 211, shown above, may prove irresistible. It is an Egyptian wood figure of Anubis, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, circa 1550-1307 B.C., and is 26 inches high. Gessoed and painted, the jackal-headed god is striding forward and his separately made arms are lowed with clenched fists pierced for the missing attributes. It wears a white kilt with a red belt and its skin is painted black and it has a "slight paunch," the catalogue noted. It has a conservative estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $70,500.

A later and somewhat taller and similar wooden sculpture of Anubis is Lot 342. It is dated to the Late Period, Dynasty XXVI-XXX, 664-343 B.C., and is 30 inches high. It has an estimate of $80,000 to $100,000. It failed to sell. It was once in the collection of Plaisant Jozef Nestor of Brussels who died in1950 and is one of almost 90 works from his collection included in this auction. "Because of the heavy bombardment of Brussels during the Second World War, the collection was hidden in the basement of the family home, where it would remain until 1974. It had been the wish of Nestor that his oldest grandson would eventually inherit the collection, and so it was that the next generation of the family would become fascinated with ancient Egypt and even, over the last 25 years, come to add some wonderful objects to the collection," the catalogue stated.

A smaller but very charming wooden sculpture of a kneeling Anubis is Lot 285, Ptolemaic to Roman Period, circa 3rd Century B.C.- 2nd Century A.D. The 8 5/8-inch high figure was once in the collection of Christian Mionet and has an modest estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. It sold for $3,525.

The Nestor collection also has several important sculptures, some very good shabtis and some fine cartonnage.

Lot 298, the cover illustration of the catalogue, is an Egyptian red quartzite head of Horemheb, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, 1319-1307 B.C., that is 15 inches high and has an "estimate on request." It failed to sell. While the head has suffered damage, it is quite imposing. The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"Horemheb began his career as the Commander-in-chief of the Army during the reign of Tutankhamen, and later became king following the four-year rule of Ay, Tutankhamen's immediate successor. Horemheb continued the restoration of Egypt's traditional temples, which had fallen into ruin during the rule of the `heretic' Akhenaten. This program included the further dismantling of Akhenaten's temples at Amarna and elsewhere. Royal portraits of Horemheb hearken back to the pre-Amarna style, and are characterized by their emotionless gaze."

Lot 287 is a nice Egyptian alabaster bust of Pharaoh Menkaure, Old Kingdom, Dynasty IV, 2490-2472 B.C. The 9-inch-inch sculpture shows Menkaure, who was called Mykerinos by the Greeks, wearing a nemes headcloth adorned with a uraeus and the piece is subtly modeled. It has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It failed to sell.

Egyptian gilt wood figure of Osiris

Lot 332, Egyptian gilt wood figure of Osiris, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXI-XXV,1070-712 B.C., 26 inches high

Lot 332, shown above, is a stunning Egyptian gilt wood figure of Osiris, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXI-XXV, 1070-712 B.C. The 26-inch-high statue is gessoed and gilt with linen bandages remaining particularly around the feet. This fine statue has a conservative estimate of $45,000 to $65,000. It failed to sell.

Lot 334 is a good bronze statue of Osiris from the same period that is 14 1/16 inches high and has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. This statue has the god holding a crook and flail in his hands, unlike Lot 332. It failed to sell.


Lot 293 is a very handsome Egyptian steatite shabti for Amenhotep III, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, 1390-1353 B.C. The 7 -inch high shabti has six vertical bands of hierogylphic text naming the pharoah and the piece was once in the collection of Rene Withofs. It has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It failed to sell.

It is one of many interesting shabtis in the Nestor collection.



Egyptian white faience shabti

Lot 292, Egyptian inlaid white faience shabti for Ta-Weseret, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, 1390-1352 B.C., 5 inches high

Lot 292, for example, is a 5 -inch high, white faience shabti for Ta-Weseret of the same period that has blue inlays for the striations, collar, bracelets and four rows of text. The face has a greenish tinge with black painted eyes, brows and cosmetic lines. The quite distinctive lot has an estimate of $22,000 to $28,000. It sold for $21,150.

Lot 300 is an Egyptian serpentine shabti for My, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII-XX, 1550-1070 B.C. This 6 -inch high shabti has a seed bag between the shoulders and a nice depiction of a seated winged Isis in the middle of its hieroglyphics. It has an estimate of $14,000 to $18,000. It sold for $15,275.

A more traditional, blue faience shabti is Lot 347. This very fine detailed and handsome, 8 5/8-inch high shabti for Ankh-em-ta is dated to the Late Period, Dynasty XXVI-XXX, 664-343 B.C. It has a modest estimate of $5,000 to $7,000. It sold for $5,640.

While many Egyptian works fared poorly in surprising contrast to recent seasons, some did well. Lot 207, for example, an Old Kingdom, Late Dynasty III, 2649-2575 B.C., limestone relief, 21 5/8 inches high, had an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000 and sold for $41,125. And Lot 223, a particularly beautiful wood figure of a cat, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXI-XXV, 1070-712 B.C., 13 3/8 inches high, had an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000 and sold for $58,750.

Roman bronze figure of Mercury

Lot 585, Roman bronze figure of Mercury, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., 4 inches high

Lot 585, shown above, is a very nice Roman bronze figure of Mercury, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D. The four inch-high statuette has an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It failed to sell.

Egyptian silver figure of Taweret

Lot 263, Egyptian silver figure of Taweret, Late Period, Dynasty XXVI-XXX, 664-343 B.C., 2 1/4 inches high

As usual, some of the most charming lots are very small. Lot 263, for example, shown above, is a 2 1/4-inch high, Egyptian silver statuette of Taweret, Late Period, Dynasty XXVI-XXX, 664-343 B.C. It has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000. It sold for $4,465.

Etruscan bronze woman

Lot 391, Etruscan bronze votice of a draped woman, circa Late 6th Century B.C., 2 7/8 inches high

One of the most graceful small works is Lot 391, shown above, an Etruscan bronze woman, late 6th Century B.C. It is 2 7/8 inches high and was once in the collection of Mathias Komor of New York. It has a modest estimate of $1,200 to $1,800. It sold for $2,585.

Roman silver head of a goddess

Lot 388, Roman silver head of a goddess, circa 1st Century B.C.-1st Century A.D., 1 7/8 inches high

One of the auction's most beautiful works is Lot 388, shown above, a Roman silver head of a goddess circa 1st Century B.C.-1st Century A.D. This 1 7/8-inch high head was once in the collection of Mathias Komor of New York and has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $41,125.

 

Roman bronze figure of a lar

Lot 586, Roman bronze figure of a lar, circa 2nd Century A.D., 4 inches high

One of the most charming and classic works is Lot 586 is a Roman bronze figure of a lar, circa 2nd Century A.D. shown above. It is 4 inches high and has an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. It failed to sell.


See The City Review article on the Fall 2001 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2001 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2001 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2000 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Antiquities auction at Sotheby's Dec. 8, 2000

See The City Review article on the Dec. 6, 2000 auction of Ancient Jewelry and Seals at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2000 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2000 Ancient Greek Vases auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2000 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1999 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Antique Jewelry evening auction at Christie’s Dec. 8, 1999

See The City Review article on the Dec. 9, 1999 antiquities evening auction at Sotheby's of the Christos G. Bastis Collection

See The City Review article on the Dec. 10, 1999 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the June 5, 1999 Antiquities Auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1998 Antiquities auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 1998 Antiquities auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1997 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 1997 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

 

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