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.
several nice Egyptian pieces in this auction.
"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.
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
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
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
nude figure, the catalogue notes, is adorned with anklets, bracelets
and armlets and her long hair is in three braids. The eyes were
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
hair is tied in a chignon.
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.
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
amphora has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for
provides the following commentary:
most important festova; celebrated in ancient Athens was the
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."
The cover illustration of the
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."
Lot 64 is a stunning torso of
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