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Antiquities

Christie's

10AM, June 9, 2004

Sale 1384

Egyptian falcon mummy and sacrophagus

Lot 113, "Falcon mummy and sacrophagus," Egyptian, Late Period to Ptolemaic Period, 664-30 B.C., 19 5/8 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

The morning auction of Antiquities at Christie's June 9, 2004, is relatively small with few major works, but the afternoon section devoted to the Morven Collection (see The City Review article) is fabulous.

There are several nice Egyptian pieces in this auction.

Lot 113, "Falcon mummy and sacrophagus," is dated Late Period to Ptolemaic Period, 664-30 B.C. The mummiform falcon-headed wood lid and base is black with very nice gold details. The catalogue notes that the lid "is adorned with Isis and Nephthys on the lappets, a broad collar, a winged scarab and three colums of hieroglyphs flanked by the Four Suns of Horus and images of recumbent Anubis flanking the tomb's door at the feet." "The resin-coated mummy," it continued, "with linen bandanges and a gilt linen Osiris visage within the hollowed-out base, the back inscribed at the top with an Apis bull beneath a winged scarab and flanked by seated figures of Ibis-headed Thoth." This fine lot is 19 5/8 inches high and has a very conservative estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. It sold $71,000 including the buyer's premium as do all the results mentioned in this article.

Bronze figure of a pharoah

Lot 109, "Bronze figure of a pharaoh," Egyptian, Third Intermediate Period, 1070-712 B.C., 2 1/8 inches high

Lot 109 is a small but fine bronze figure of a pharaoh that is dated Third Intermediate Period, 1070-712 B.C. Only 2 1/8 inches high, the kneeling figure is missing his projecting arms. His eyes and details of the headcloth and kilt are inlaid with a contrasting metal and the catalogue notes that the work might have been originally mounted on a censor. It was once in the collection of Alice Tully. It has a modest estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It failed to sell.

Relief of the Pharaoh Rameses II

Lot 105, "Relief of the Pharaoh Rameses II," Egyptian, sandstone, New Kingdom, Dynasty XIX, Reign of Rameses II, 1290-1224 B.C., 24 3/4 inches high

Lot 105 is a nice sandstone relief that depicts Pharaoh Rameses II. The Egyptian piece is dated New Kingdom, Dynasty XIX, reign of Rameses II, 1290-1224. It is 24 3/4 inches high and has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $101,575.

Syro-Palestinian bronze goddess

Lot 84, "Goddess," Syro-Palestinian, bronze, circa first half of the 2nd Millennium B.C., 8 3/4 inches high

Among other highlights is Lot 84, a nicely stylized bronze statue of a goddess that is attributed to Syro-Palestinian circa first half of the 2nd Millennium B.C. The 8 3/4-inch high figure has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $26,290. The elongated nude figure, the catalogue notes, is adorned with anklets, bracelets and armlets and her long hair is in three braids. The eyes were once inlaid.

Mesapotamian gypsum male worshipper

Lot 83, "male worshipper," Mesopotamian, gypsum, Syria, early Dynastic III, circa 2550-2250 B.C., 3 1/8 inches high

Dimunitive, but cuddly, Lot 83 is a good Mesopotamian gypsum male worshipper figure from Syria, early Dynastic III, circa 2550-2250 B.C. The 3 1/8-inch-high figure has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. It sold for $26,290. The worshipper's hair is tied in a chignon.

Cycladic head

Lot 21, head, marble, Cycladic, late Spedos variety, circa 2500-2400 B.C., 5 3/4 inches high

Lot 21 is a fine Cycladic marble head of the late Spedos variety. Dated circa 2500-2400 B.C., it is 5 3/4 inches high. It was once in the collection of Ian Woodner. It has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. It sold for $197,900.

Attic black-figured Panathenaic amphora

Lot 29, "Black-figured Panathenaic Amphora," Attic, near the Kleophrades Painter, circa 490 B.C.

Lot 29 is an impressive Attic black-figured Panathenaic amphora that depicts Athena carrying a spear and a shield with the winged horse Pegasus as the blazon. There are remains of an inscription. The 25 5/8-inch-high amphora has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $119,500.

The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"The most important festova; celebrated in ancient Athens was the Panathenaia, the state festival honoring the city's patron deity, Athena Polias. Every fourth year was the Great Panathenaic festival, which included musical and athletic competitions. The victors were awarded huge prize amphoae containing one metrates (over ten gallons) of oil from the goddess's sacred grove. The obverse of these pottery jars always depicts the goddess between columns, usually surmounted by cocks, and accompanied from the inscription TON ATHENETHEN ATHLON, 'from the games at Athens.' The reverse depicts the event for which the vase served as the prize. On the present vase the reverse shows two competitors from the penthathlion, which was a five-part contest consisting of footrace, discus, long or broad jump, javelin and wrestling...." The vase was illustrated in J. D. Beazley's "Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters," which was published in 1978 and the catalogue notes that Beazley "considered the painter of the present vase as 'very close' to the Kleophrades painter."

Roman portrait Head of Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Lot 69, "Portrait head of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius," Roman, marble, circa 170-180 A.D., 14 inches high

The cover illustration of the catalogue is Lot 69, a Roman portrait head of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Dated circa 170-180 A.D., this impressive head is 14 inches high and has an estimate of $75,000 to $100,000. It was withdrawn. The catalogue observes that this head "finds a close parallel with a portrait of the Emperor found in the sea near Ayvalik, and now in the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul....," adding that "Both have the characteristic curly hair and pointed beard, and both wear the corona triumphalis."

Roman marble torso of Hercules

Lot 64, "Torso of Hercules," Roman, marble, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., 52 inches high

Lot 64 is a stunning torso of Hercules. The Roman marble torso is dated circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., and is 52 inches high. "The present example is a rare Roman depiction of the hero, not known from any other surviving examples in the round, but surely based on or inspired by a Greek original of the Late Classical Period," according to the catalogue. "Closest to our marble," the catalogue entry continued," in terms of the treatment of the muscular body is the Albertini Herakles in the Museo Nazionale, Rome..., but here the lionskin is draped over the left arm rather than the shoulder....Closer still to our marble is a depiction of Herakles on an Apulian red-figured column-krater in the Metropolitan Museum of Art...where a sculptor attends to the finishing touches by applying color to the lionskin. The lot has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000. It sold for $791,500.

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

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