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Antiquities

Christie's London

10 AM, October 25, 2012

Sale 7207


 
Roman bronze statue of seated Mercury

Lot 112, Roman bronze statue of seated Mercury, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., 4 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

The October 25, 2012 Antiquities auction at Christie's in London has numerous works of very high quality including a pair of Roman bronze panthers, a lovely bronze of Mercury, a large marble owl, a marble relief of the Three Graces, and an Egyptian greywacke statue of a seated Isis.

Lot 112 is an exquisite small Roman bronze statue of Mercury, seated on a jagged rock, holding a turtle.  It is dated circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., and is 4 inches long.  It is based on a lost 4th Century B.C. Greek original by Lysippos and a later version in the Museo Archaeologica Nazionale di Napoli.  It has an estimate of $61,000 to $90,000.  It failed to sell.

Romand bronze attachment of hunting pantheress

Lot 117, one  of two Roman bronze attachments of hunting panthers, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., 16 1/4 inches long

Lot 117 is a very impressive pair of Roman bronze panthers resting on the head of an antelope.  The bronzes date circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., and are 16 1/4 inches long.  They are attrachments, most likely for chariot fittings, alluding to the panthers that drew the chariot of Dionysus as part of the mythological cortege accompanying the god's triumphal return from Asia.  The catalogue suggests that because of their large size they may have decorated a large throne.  The lot has a very modest estimate of $160,000 to $230,000.  It failed to sell.


Roman marble relief of the Three Graces

Lot 115, Three Graces, Roman marble relief, circa 2nd Century A.D., 27 inches high

Lot 115 is a Roman marble relief of the Three Graces, circa 2nd Century A.D.  It is 27 inches high.  The Greek Kharites, or Gratiae in their Latin form, personified grace and loveliness and were goddesses of the natural beauty of fertility and beauty.  The lot has a modest estimate of $$160,000 to $230,000. It failed to sell.


Roman marble owl

Lot 116, Owl, marble, Roman, circa 1st Century A.D., 20 1/2 inches high

Lot 116 is a large marble owl that is Roman, circa 1st Century A.D.  It is 20 1/2 inches high.  The owl is the symbolic attribute of Athena and represents her judicious wisdom.  The lot has an estimate of $160,000 to $230,000. It sold for $407,986 to an American collector.


Crane, Greek, bronze

Lot 88, Crane, Greek, classial period, circa 5th Century B.C., bronze, 2 7/8 inches high

Lot 88 is a lovely Greek bronze figure of a crane from the Classical Period, circa 5th Century B.C.  It is 2 7/8 inches high.  It was once in the collection of Norbert Schimmel of New York and has been exhibited in 1978 in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.   It has an estimate of $46,000 to $75,000.  It sold for 34,850 pounds including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

Despite some major disappointments, the auction total was $13,017,786.

Laetitia Delaloye, specialist and head of the sale for Christie's London, said "We are delighted," adding that "The Egyptian section witnessed particularly strong prices."


Elymanean gilt silver bowl

Lot 23, bowl, gilt silver, Elymaean, circa 2nd Century A.D., 3 inches high


Lot 23 is an exquisite Elymanean gilt silver bowl, circa 2nd Century A.D.  It is 3 inches high and 4 3/8 inches in diameter.   The bowl was acquired in Iran in 1964 and the catalogue notes that Elymais was a local, so-called Hellenistic dynasty in south-western Iran that flourished during the Selecuid and Arsakid periods, circa 188 B.C. to 222 A.D.  "The Elmaean dialect of Aramaic," according to the catalogue, "is known only from the coinage of the rulers of Elymais and a few short rock inscriptions and is still not fully deciphered.  The present inscription seems to record the presentation of the bowl by a lady named as 'Atahana, daughter of Madubara...of King Orodes Farah.'"

It has an estimate of $380,000 to $530,000.  It failed to sell.



Graeco-Roman gold and carnelian cameo ring

Lot 129, gold and carnelian cameo ring, Graeco-Roman, circa 1st Century B.C.-1st Century A.D., 1 1/8 inches long

Lot 129 is a very impressive Graeco-Roman cameo ring with a bust of Zeus in a gold setting, circa 1st Century B.C.-1st Century A.D.  It is 1 1/8 inches long and has a large oval bezel decorated with a band of repoussť ovolo.  The cameo bust of Zeus has finely detailed luxuriously curling hair and beard with a long curving moustache and drapery of his left shoulder.  It has an estimate of $31,000 to $38,000.  It failed to sell.

Byzantine gold, lapis lazuli, glass and pearl bracelets

Lot 139, pair of gold, lapis lazuli, glass and pearl bracelets, Byzantine, circa 5th-7th Century A.D.,  2 5/16 inches diameter

Lot 139 is a very beautiful pair of Byzantine bracelets with gold, lapis lazuli, glass and peals.  The catalogue dates it circa 5th-7th Century A.D.  Each bracelet is 2 5/16-inches in diameter.  The catalogue notes the pair is closely related in construction and decorative scheme to those from the Assiut Teasures and particularly to the pair in the Antikensammlung in Berlin.  It also notes that the hoop and hinges are comparable to a pair from the Cyprus Treasure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, adding that "typologically, these bracelets are probably most closely related to the pair from Varna in the Narodni Museum in Bulgaria."  It also notes that the fourth attendant on the left of the Empress Theodora in the mosaic at Ravenna wears an articulated bracelet similar to the present pair.  The lot has an estimate of $310,000 to $450,000.  It failed to sell.

Egyptian greywacke Isis

Lot 57, Isis, greywacke, Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty XXVI, circa 664-525 B.C., 28 3/4 inches high

Lot 57, the impressive greywacke statue of Isis seated on a throne is Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty XXVI, circa 664-525 B.C.  It is 28 3/4 inches high.  There are inscriptions on the four sides of the throne with a magical incantation for the Royal Acquaintance, Ptahirdis, True of voice, son of Wepwawetemsaf, begotten of Merprahites."  The statue is very close, according to the catalogue, to one in the Cairo Museum.  The lot has an estimate of $610,000 to $900,000.  It sold to Daniel Katz Ltd., for $5,930,494, a world auction record for an ancient Egyptian work of art.


Egyptian glass falcon head inlay

Lot 76, Falcon head glass inlay, Egyptian, Ptolemaic Period, circa 332-30 B.C., 3 1/8 inches long

Lot 76 is a gorgeous Egyptian Falcon head glass inlay from the Ptolemaic Period, circa 332-30 B.C.  It is 3 1/8 inches long.  The catalogue notes that a similar head is in the Brooklyn Museum in a gold mount,  It has an estimate of $380,000 to $530,000.  It failed to sell.

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See The City Review Article on the Fall 2006 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's

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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

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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

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