Art/Auctions logo

Antiquities
Christie's
10 AM, December 7, 2006
Sale 1734

Catalogue cover

Catalogue Cover showing detail of interior of sacrophagus for Neskhons, Lot 26, Egyptian, Third Intermediate Period

By Carter B. Horsley

The Antiquities auction at Christie's December 7, 2006 has a sensational mummy with its complete encasements that are extraordinarily beautiful and in wonderful condition. The auction also has several other museum-quality works.

Sarcophagus for Neskhons

Lot 26, Sarcophagus and mummy for Neskhons, Egyptian, painted sycamore fig wood, 74 3/4 inches long, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXI, circa 990-940 B.C.

Lot 26, it is a painted sycamore fig wood sarcophagus and mummy from the Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXI, circa 990-940 B.C. The sarcophagus is 74 3/4 inches long and has been consigned by the Western Reserve Historical Society, which was given it by Liberty E. Holden, the publisher of The Plains Dealer in Cleveland who had acquired it from Sheik Mahmud Hassan, an antiquities dealer in Luxor, Egypt, in 1900.

"At the time the mummy was named Othphto, a fantasy name likely coined by the Luxor dealer....As was the fashion since the early 19th Century, the coffin was ceremoniously opened and the mummy partially unwrapped in the Society's auditorium. A partial reading of the inscriptions led to the mummy's identificantion as Djed-Khons-Iwef-Ankh, but it is now clear the Neshkons was the original owner of the sracophagus," the catalogue states.

Mummified Head of Neskhons

Head of Neskhons's mummy

"The ancient Egyuptians had long built lavish tombs, beginning the Old Kingdom (2575-2134 B.C.) and continuing into the New Kingdom (1550-1070 B.C.). The walls of these tombs were embellished with beautifully painted or sculpted scenes. However, toward the end of the Ramesside period at the end of the New Kingdom, such tombs, royal and private, became the focus of relentless despoliation. This lead, during the Third Intermediate Period, to the use of caches for burials. These caches were often located within temple enclosures. The focus of mortuary provisions shifted from the tomb walls to the coffins. The best examples from this period have brilliantly painted scenes, often with fine minute detail; they are the most extravagant sarcophagi ever produced in ancient Egypt. Dozens of Third Intermediate Period sacrocophagi for priests of Amun are known, now mostly residing in museums around the world. .....The texts of this sacrophagus inform that the deceased, Neskhons, served as a Stolist, one who performs a ritual for anointing, clothing and otherwise potentiating the cult-image of the god in his Temple," the catalogue entry for this lot continued.

This spectacular lot, not surprisingly, has an "estimate on request." It sold for $1,136,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

Egyptian blue faience dog

Lot 20, dog, Egyptian, faience, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty XII-Early Dynasty XIII, 1991-1600 B.C., 2 3/8 inches long

Lot 20 is a very charming Egyptian blue faience dog that is 2 3/8 inches long and in reasonable good condition. It is dated to the Middle Kingdom, Dynasty XII-Early Dynasty XIII, 1991-1600 B.C. A larger blue faience hippopotamus is the "mascot" of the Metropolitan Museum and such objects are the stars of any collection. This lot has a modest estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It sold for $26,400.

Lot 27 is a fine Egyptian bronze of Atum, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty XXI-XXII, 1070-712 B.C. It is 14 5/8 inches high and has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $192,000.

Lot 32 is a very fine Egyptian bronze of Harpokrates on a lotus, Late Period to Ptolemaic Period, 664-30 B.C. It is 10 3/8 inches high. It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $38,400.

Mesopotamian marble and lapis lazuli calf

Lot 44, calf, Mesopotamian, marble and lapis lazuli, Late Uruk-Jemdet Nasr Period, circa 3300-2900 B.C., 4 1/8 inches long

A larger and equally wonderful animal figure is another jewel in this auction. Lot 44, it is a Mesopotamian marble and lapis lazuli cow, Late Uruk-Jemdet Nasr Period, circa 3300-2900 B.C. It is 4 1/8 inches long. It was once in the collection of Dr. Elie Borowski. It has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $168,000.

Sumerian figure of Ur-Nammu

Lot 47, figure of Ur-Nammu, Neo-Sumerian, copper, Third Dynasty of Ur, reign of Ur-Nammu, 2111-2094 B.C., 10 5/8 inches high

Lot 47 is a Neo-Sumerian copper figure of Ur-Nammu, Third Dynasty of Ur, reign of Ur-Nammu, 2111-2094 B.C. The figure is 10 5/8 inches high and depicts the king with his arms raised above his head holding a basket of earth to make bricks for the construction of a temple and the catalogue notes that "by placing the figure, or multiple figures, in the temple, the king is preserved as perpetually present in the temple he erected, and forever in the act of serving the deity therein." The catalogue entry also states that "several identical figures of Ur-Nammu are known, two excavated at Uruk; one from the Enlil temple in Nippur, now in Baghdad...; one on the British Museum; one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art....; and one in the Burrell collection, Glasgow." The lot has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It sold for $374,400.

Bactrian birdman idol

Lot 46, idol, Bactrian, white stone, circa 3rd Millennium B.C., 4 1/2 inches high

Lot 46 is an excellent Bactrian white stone idol of a birdman, circa 3rd Millennium B.C. The figure is 4 1/2 inches high and has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $33,600.

Roman figure of Polykleitos's Diskophorous

Lot 123, figure of Polykleitos' "Diskophoros," Roman, Julio-Claudian, bronze, circa late 1st Century B.C./early 1st Century A.D., 12 inches high

Lot 123 is a magnificent Roman bronze figure of Polykleitos's "Diskophoros" that is dated to the Julio-Claudian period, circa late 1st Century B.C./1st Century A.D. The figure, which is missing its right hand and an implement that had been held in the left hand and has a hole between its shoulder blades, is 12 inches high. It has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $284,800. The catalogue entry notes that Polykleitos "was one of the most famous and influential Greek sculptors of the High Classical Period" and was "a native of Argos in the Peloponnesus...[and] flourished circa 460-420 B.C....None of the master's original works are known to have survived, but several are recognized in Roman copies." The catalogue also notes that the "disk-thrower" type of statue "was very popular with the Romans as evinced by the numerous life-sized copies in marble that survive, some of which were used as portrait statues, There are also a number of versions in samller scale in bronze, such as the present example."

Hellenistic bronze satyr

Lot 109, satyr, Greek, bronze, Hellenistic Period, circa 2nd -1st Century B.C., 4 5/8 inches high

Lot 109 is an excellent Hellenistic bronze, circa 2nd-1st Century B.C., of a satyr. It is 4 5/8 inches high and is missing its right arm. It has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $12,000.

Roman marble torso

Lot 138, torso of a god or victorious athlete, Roman, marble, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., 5 3/4 inches high

Lot 138 is a gorgeous Roman marble torso of a god or victorious athlete that is dated circa 1st-2nd Century A.D. It is 5 3/4 inches high. It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $54,000.

Roman marble marriage sarcophagus panel

Lot 149, Marriage sarcophagus panel, Roman, marble, North African, circa 3rd Century A.D., 70 1/8 inches long

Lot 149 is a good Roman North African marble marriage sarcophagus panel, circa 3rd Century A.D. It is 70 1/8 inches long and has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $284,800.

Roman head of an Olympian

Lot 145, Head of an Olympian, Roman, marble, circa 2nd Century A.D., 14 1/2 inches high

Lot 145 is an impressive Roman marble head of an Olympian. It is dated circa 2nd Century A.D., and is 14 1/2 inches high. It has an estimate of $70,000 to $80,000. It sold for $102,000.

Roman head of a man

Lot 126, head of a man, Roman, marble, circa 1st Century A.D., 11 1/4 inches high

Lot 126 is a very good Roman marble head of a man that is 11 1/4 inches high and is dated circa 1st Century A.D. The head has a very distinctive personality. It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It failed to sell.

Roman marble portrait head

Lot 134, portrait head, Roman, marble, circa late 1st Century A.D., 10 inches high

Lot 134 is an excellent Roman marble portrait head. It is dated circa late 1st Century A.D., and is 10 inches high. It has a modest estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $96,000.

Hellenistic bronze statue of Eros

Lot 111, Eros, Greek, bronze, Hellenistic Period, circa 1st Century B.C., 9 inches high

Lot 111 is a graceful and very attractive Hellenistic bronze of Eros that is dated circa 1st Century B.C. The statue is missing its left hand and is 9 inches high. It was once in the collection of Mathias Komor of New York. It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. It failed to sell.

Lot 108 is a superb pair of terracotta horses in full gallop, one 10 and the other 11 inches high, Greek, Canosan, Hellenistic Period, circa 3rd Century B.C. The lot was once in the Barbara Johnson Collection. It has a modest estimate of $7,000 to $9,000. It sold for $54,000.

See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2005 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2004 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Charles Pankow Collection of Egyptian Art auction December 8, 2004, at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the December 9, 2004 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2004 Antique Jewelry Auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2004 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review on the Spring 2004 Antiquities morning auction at Christie's

See The City Review on the Spring 2004 Antiquities afternoon auction of the Morven Collection of Ancient Art at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Antiquities auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Antiquities and Antique Jewelry auctions Dec. 12-3, 2002 at Christie's

See The City Review article on the June 12, 2002 Antiquities auction at Christie's

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

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

Use the Search Box below to quickly look up articles at this site on specific artists, architects, authors, buildings and other subjects

 

Home Page of The City Review