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
Egyptian Gabro royal portrait head, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII,
reign of Amenhotep III, 1391-1353 B.C., that is 27 ¼ 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
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.
For lovers of the movie, "The
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
to sell, one of several disappointments among the major lots in
this surprisingly weak auction. About one-third of the lots failed
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
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.
For movie-goers enthralled with
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 ¾ 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
A later and somewhat taller and
sculpture of Anubis is Lot 342. It is dated to the Late Period,
Dynasty XXVI-XXX, 664-343 B.C., and is 30 ¼ 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.
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.
collection also has several important sculptures, some very good
shabtis and some fine cartonnage.
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
it is quite imposing. The catalogue provides the following commentary:
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
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
modeled. It has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It
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.
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.
293 is a very handsome Egyptian steatite shabti for Amenhotep
III, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, 1390-1353 B.C. The 7 ½-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.
for example, is a 5 ½-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
is an Egyptian serpentine shabti for My, New Kingdom, Dynasty
XVIII-XX, 1550-1070 B.C. This 6 ¼-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.
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.
Lot 585, shown above, is a very
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the most charming and
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.