19, Nike, gilt bronze, Roman Imperial, circa 2nd Century A.D., 9 3/4
By Carter B. Horsley
This December 7, 2010 auction at Sotheby's of 37 antiquities from the
collection of Clarence Day, who passed away last year at the age of 82,
is highlighted by a very beautiful Roman Imperial gilt bronze figure of
Nike, circa 2nd Century A.D., an impressive Roman poryphry sphinx, and
severa; veru impressive Roman Imperial marbles.
The gilt bronze figure of Nike, Lot 19, is 9 3/4 inches high.
It was exhibited at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford in a show
of antiquities from the collection of James Bomford in 1966 and was at
Robin Symes in London in 1987. The figure formerly held a
victor's wreath in her extended right hand and another object in her
left hand but unlike most works missing attachments this figure appears
very nicely complete. The figure is wearing a
windblown and diaphonous chiton with rosette clasps on the shoulder and
her wavy hair is bound in a diadem. It has an
estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. She is
exceedingly attractive and lovable. It sold for $116,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.
sale was extremely successful with all lots selling for a total of
$36,769,250. The pre-sale high estimate for the auction was $8.6
Mr. Day "in the course of 30 years buiult oneof thefinest private
collections in the countryh, in the traditon of of Norbert Schmmel,
Leon Pomerance, and ChristosBastis. It is not as large a
collection as these, but exhibits the same high levelof quality and
The auction will benefit The Day Foundation. Mr. Day lived in
Memphis and as a philanthropist contributed to the Mayo Clinic
Foundation, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Brooks Museum
of Art, the Early Childhood Institute at Mississippi State University
and Youth Villages.
Lot 9, bust
of Antinous, marble, Roman Imperial, reign of Hadrian, circa AD.
130-138, 33 inches high
Lot 9 is a large and
impressive marble bust of Antinous that is 33 inches high and is
missing its nose and right shoulder. It dates to Roman
Impeerial, reign of Hadrian, circa AD 130-138. It was found
in the Golan Heights and was once in the collections of M.
Pérétié, Chancellor of the French Consulate in Beirut from
1879-1882, Louis de Clercq from 1882-1901 and Robin Symes in London.
The catalogue notes that Antinous was Hadrian's "favorite."
The lot has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. It sold for $23,826,500, the third highest price ever achieved at auction for an antiquity.
7, head of Aphrodite, marble, Roman Imperial, circa Early 2nd Century
A.D., 12 1/4 inches high
A press release after the auction from Sotheby's said that "auctioneer Hugh Hildesley opened the bidding at $900,000 and two clients in the room and one on the phone began to battle. The winning bidder, a European collector, entered the fray at $6.5 million and prevailed against the three existing bidders as well as another client who only joined the competition at $11.2 million. In all, it took more than eleven minutes for the lot to sell and when the hammer finally fell the room broke out in applause."
7 is a beautiful Roman Imperial marble head of Aphrodite, circa Early
2nd Century A.D. It is 12 1/4 inches high and has a modest
estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $182,500.
8, "head of the Athena Vescovali, marble, Roman Imperial, circa 1st
Century A.D., 9 3/4 inches high
Another very beautiful work is
Lot 8, a marble Roman Imperial head of the Athena Vescovali, circa 1st
Century A.D. It is 9 3/4 inches high and Athena is wearing a
Corinthian helmet and is excellent condition except for a slightly
smashed nose and a small missing piece of marble on the left side of
her chin. The lot has an estimate of $125,000 to $175,000. It sold for $158,500.
Lot 17, head
of a man, marble, Roman Imperial, Julio-Claudian, Probably reign of
Nero, circa A.D. 54-68, 14 1/2 inches
17 is a Roman Imperial, Julio-Claudian, probably reign of Nero marble
head of a man, circa A.D. 54-68. It is 14 1/2 inches and in
marvelous condition. It has an estimate of $200,000
to $300,000. It sold for $458,500.
Lot 22, Zeus or Poseidon,
bronze, Late Hellenistic Period/Early Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century
B.C./1st Century A.D., 8 1/2 inches high
22 is a very fine bronze figure of Zeus or Poseidon that dates from the
Late Hellenistic Period/Early Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century
B.C./1st Century A.D. It is 8 1/2 inches high and was once in
the collection of Mathias Komor in New York. It has an
estimate of $60,000 to $90,000. It sold for $46,875.
Sphinx of Egyptian queen, green porphry, Roman Imperial, circa 1st
Century A.D., probably reign of Domitian,A.D. 81-96, 37 1/2 inches long
Lot 4, figure of a warrior, bronze, Greek, circa 530-520 B.C., 5 5/8 inches high
4 is a very fine Greek bronze figure of a warrior, circa 530-520 B.C.
It is 5 5/8 inches high and was once in the collection of
Christos G. Bastis (see The City Review article). It has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $662,500. It had been offered at Sotheby's December 9, 1999 when it had an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000 and sold for $387,500. The catalogue notes that a similar figure is in the
Ortiz Collection and they probably both came "from the same votive ensemble,
such as vessel and tripod, or the like." The figure's left hand once held a
circular shield and the right hand a spear."Cast solid and
in remarkable condition, the warrior represents the finest in quality of late
6th Century B.C. Archaic-period Greek sculpture," according to
Lot 3, horse, bronze, Greek, Geometric Period, circa 8th Century B.C., 5 3/4 inches high
3 is a fine Greek bronze horse from the Geometric Period, circa 8th
Century B.C. It is 5 3/4 inches high and was once in the
collection of Mathias Komor of New York. It has an estimate of
$150,000 to $250,000. It sold for $842,500.
Lot 25 is a Roman Imperial
green porphry sphinx of an Egyptian queen that is 37 1/2 inches long
and circa 1st Century A.D., probably reign of Domitian, A.D. 81-96.
It was once in the collection of Hagop Kevorkian of New York.
Considerable controversy remains about this imposing work as
to its origins. According to the catalogue it is closely
related to a black sphinx inscribed with hieroglyphics that was found
in a garden behind the apse of the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
in Rome in 1856-8. That church was built on the ruins of a
temple to Isis and Serapis, the Iseum Campense that was expanded by
Emperor Domitian. This sphinx has no hieroglyphics.
The lot has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000. It sold for $5,234,500.
Djehuty-Mose (Tothmes), polychrome limestone ushabti, Egyptian 19th
Dynasty,1292-1190 B.C., 12 3/8 inches high
27 is an Egyptian polychrome limestone ushabti of Djehuty-Mose
(Tothmes), overseer of the cattle in the temple of Amun, 19th
Dynasty, 1292-1190 B.C. It is 12 3/8 inches high and was once
in the collections of Omar Pacha Sulton of Cairo and Mathias Komor of
New York. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $1,314,500.
relief, limestone, Egyptian, 6th Dynasty, 2360-2195 B.C., 21 1/4 by 17
26 is an extremely fine Egyptian limestone relief of a man that is 6th
Dynasty, 2360-2195 B.C. It measures 21 1/4 by 17 3/4
inches and was with Mathias Komor in New York in 1979.
The catalogue notes that it probably comes from the right
side of a false door from the necropolis at Saqqara.
It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. It sold for $110,500.
auction has several excellent small pieces.
30, cat, bronze, Egyptian, 22nd/26th Dynasty, 944-525 B.C., 3 1/8
30 is an exquisite small bronze Egyptian cat from the 22nd/26th
Dynasty, 944-525 B.C. It is 3 1/8 inches high and was once in
the collection of Mathias Komor of New York in 1983. The
figure has striated detail and is wearing a neklace with Eye
of Horus pendant and the fur and the pendant are inlaid in
gold. It has an estimate of $50,000 to $80,000. It sold for $314,500.
Lot 35, lion,
bronze, Urartu, circa Late 8th Century B.C., 2 3/8inches long
35 is a very nice bronze lion from Urartu, circa Late 8th Century B.C.
It is 2 3/8 inches long and the catalogue notes it is
probably from a candelabrum. It has an estimate of $20,000 to
$30,000. It sold for $37,500.
34, warrior on horseback, bronze, Iberian, circa 5th/4th Century B.C.,
3 inches high
Lot 34 is a
delightful and quite fine Iberian bronze warrior on horseback from
circa 5th/4th Century B.C. It is 3 inches high. The
rider wears a baldric across his chest and his shield is attached at
the back and he has a sword lying on his chest and his face has very
carefully modeled eyes and ears. It has an estimate of $7,000
to $10,000. It sold for $25,000.
36, leaping panther handle, bronze, Parthian, circa 1st/2nd Century
A.D., 5 3/8 inches long
Lot 36 is a fine Parthian
bronze patera or incense burner handle in the form of a leaping
panther. Circa 1st/2nd Century A.D., it is 5 3/8 inches long
and was once with Mathias Komor in New York in 1977. It has
an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000. The panther appears to
wearing a necklace of ivy leaves. It sold for $5,000.
Lot 23, mask of a comic actor, bronze, Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century A.D., 6 1/2 inches high
23 is a very impressive Roman Imperial bronze mask of a comic actor,
circa 1st Century A.D. It is 6 1/2 inches high and was once in
the collection of Mathias Komor of New York. It has an estimate
of $60,000 to $90,000. It sold for $242,500.