Carter B. Horsley
auction at Sotheby's is highlighted by several fine Hellenistic
and Roman marble and bronze sculptures and some interesting Egyptian
works of art, a nice Cycladic figure, and a good Greek vase.
illustration of the auction's catalogue is Lot 10, a fine and
highly stylized Cycladic marble figure of a goddess, early Bronze
Age II, circa 2600-2500 B.C. The 8 5/8-inch-high statue comes
from the collection of the late Martha Goldman and had formerly
been in the collection of Mathias Komor. It has an estimate of
$50,000 to $80,000. It sold for $185,000 including the
premium as do all results mentioned in this article. Although
only about three-quarters, a not spectacular ratio, of the 169
lots offered in the morning session sold for a total of $5,909,895,
the auction was quite strong with many lots, especially Egyptian,
significantly exceeding their high estimates. A slightly lower
percentage sold for the afternoon session.
Greek vases, Lot 29, an Attic black-figured Nikosthenic amphora,
signed by Nikosthenes, circa 530 B.C., is a standout. The 12
vase was once in the collection of Robert Hoe III, a famous book
collector and a founder of the Grolier Club. It has a continuous
frieze that shows three runners racing towards a judge, two boxers
flanked an athlete and an umpire, and two wrestlers accompanied
by an umpire. The broad handles are decorated with a hoplite holding
a spear and helmet. The base has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000.
It sold for $174,500.
Lot 11 is
a stunning Greek marble head of a god that was formerly in the
collection of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. It has a
conservative estimate of $60,000 to $90,000. It sold for
Lot 26 is
a fine Greek bronze helmet, circa early 5th Century, B.C. The
12 1/2-inch-high helmet represents, according to the catalogue,
"the latest and most developed form of the Corinthian helmet
and was frequently used, both by Classical Greek sculptors and
Roman copyists, for statues of Athena. It has an estimate of $80,000
to $120,000. It sold for $174,500.
Lot 13 is a very fine marble torso of a god or athlete, Hellenistic
or early Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century B.C./1st Century A.D.
The 7 3/8-inch-high sculpture was once in the collection of the
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and has an estimate of $30,000 to
$50,000. It sold for $32,862.
Lot 14 is
a very nice marble torso of a woman, circa 1st Century B.C., or
earlier. The 12-inch high sculpture of a woman has lovely drapery
and a modest estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It sold for
Lot 17 is a powerfully sculpted marble torso of an athlete, Roman
Imperial, circa 1st Century, A.D. The 30-inch-high torso is modeled
after a Greek sculpture of the 5th Century B.C., probably the
Diadoumenos of Polykleitos. It has an estimate of $100,000 to
$150,000. It sold for $119,500.
Lot 23 is
a lovely Greek bronze figure of a woman, 3 1/8 inches high, circa
470-450 B.C. The woman is holding the folds of her dress in her
right hand, but is missing her left arm. It has a modest estimate
of $2,000 to $3,000. It sold for $7,170.
Lot 36 is
a 72-inch-high Hellenistic marble figure of a muse, circa 1st
Century B.C., that was once in the collection of Elie Borowski
of Basel. The impressive but rather weighty statue is missing
the muse's arms and has an ambitious estimate of $1,000,000 to
$1,500,000. It sold for $1,549,500.
Hellenistic work is Lot 43, a superb bronze head of a man, circa
late 2nd Century B.C. to 1st Century A.D. The 12-inch-high sculpture
has an estimate of $400,000 to $500,000 and is in fine condition.
It failed to sell.
Lot 46 is
a striking pair of Hellenistic bronze fulcrum terminals in the
figures of mules, one 6 3/4 inches long and the other 6 1/16 inches
long. Dated circa 2nd half of the 1st Century B.C., the pair is
closely related to an example in the Louvre. Mules often served
as mounts for satyrs. The lot, which has a beautiful blue-green
patina, has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000. It sold for
There are numerous good Roman sculptures.
Lot 72 is
a highly animated bronze terminal with a pantheress rampant over
the heads of two deities, Roman Imperial, circa 2nd-3rd Century,
A.D. The 8 3/4-inch-long terminal was once in the collection of
Mathias Komor. It has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It
sold for $11,950.
Lot 38 is a quite voluptuous and fine marble torso of Aphrodite
Anadyomene, Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century, A.D. The 14 1/2-inch
high torso has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for
Lot 40 is a beautiful marble torso of a satyr, Roman Imperial,
circa 1st Century A.D. Modeled after a Hellenistic prototype,
the figure's body is dynamically turned to the left and wears
an animal skin draped over his right shoulder. The 22-inch-high
statue has a conservative estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It
sold for $53,775.
While the Egyptian section of the auction has no blockbusters,
there are several handsome lots.
Lot 86 is
an exquisitely carved blue-green faience figure of a baboon from
the 26th to the 30th Dynasty, 664-525. The 3 1/8-inch high figure
is seated on a fragmentary base. It has an estimate of $20,000
to $30,000. It sold for $107,550.
is a beautiful small bronze head of a divinity or ruler, probably
reign of Sheshonk I/Osorkon I, 944-888 B.C., cast for attachment
to a figure in bronze or other material. The 1 3/4-inch high head
has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000 and is illustrated on the
back cover of the auction's catalogue. It sold for $152,500.
is a fine bronze statue of Bastet, the goddess of the Egyptian
city of Bubastis. The 6-inch-high figure is dated to the 26th
Dynasty, 664-525 B.C. The goddess has the head of a cat and the
body, in a close-fitting dress, of a woman. The catalogue notes
that the choker with the Eye of Horus is unusual in this popular
statue. It was once in the collection of Captain Edward George
Spencer-Churchill. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000. It
sold for $141,500.
bronze bust of the goddess Sekhmet, Lot 105, from the 21st/26th
Dynasty, 1075-525 B.C. was once in the collection of Mathias Komor
of New York. The 9 1/4-inch high bust has an estimate of $40,000
to $60,000. It sold for $47,800.
A very interesting
and impressive bronze sculpture of Harpocrates Enthroned, Lot
108, is 8 5/8 inches high and is dated 26th/30th Dynasty, 664-342
B.C. The young prince is surrounded by an entourage of deities.
The lot has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It failed to
Lot 95 is
a nice limestone sphinx of a king from the Ptolemaic Period, 304-30
B.C. The 15 1/2-inch high sculpture has an estimate of $20,000
to $30,000. It sold for $53,775.
a turquoise faience bowl,, Early 18th Dynasty, circa 1540-1400
B.C., had a high estimate of $15,000 and sold for $71,700. The
4 5/16-inch diameter bowl is decorated with fish and is chipped
a cobalt blue glazed steatite knife handle, Late Period, 716-30
BC., had a high estimate of $30,000 and sold for $130,500. The
4-inch long handle terminated in a figure of a grasshopper.