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Antiquities
Sotheby's
2 PM, June 6, 2006
Sale 8215

Aphrodite, Roman Imperial, marble

Lot 23, Aphrodite, Roman Imperial, marble, circa late 1st/early 2nd Century A.D., 47 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

This Antiquities auction at Sotheby's June 6, 2006 is highlighted by an impressive Roman Imperial marble sculpture of Aphrodite, a very good Roman Imperial marble sculpture of Kybele, a Roman Imperial bronze candelabrum, a Roman Imperial marble figure of Pan, a nice Roman marble cinerarium, a good Roman Imperial marble relief fragment, a good Roman marble portrait head of the Empress Livia, a fine Egyptian wood arm from the Middle Kingdom, a very fine Egyptian limestone relief fragment, an excellent Egyptian, indurated limestone head of King Ptolemy II, a superb Egyptian polychrome wood face mask, an Egyptian bronze figure of an ibis, an Egyptian bronze figure of Maat, and an excellent Egyptian bronze figure of Wadjet.

Lot 23 is a marble figure of Aphrodite, Roman Imperial, circa last 1st/early 2nd Century A.D. It is 47 inches high and is property of Mrs. Lawrence Copley Thaw Sr. It is of the Capitoline type, after a late Hellenistic work ultimately inspired by the Aphrodite of Knidos. The goddess stands on an oval base and Eros is riding a dolphin atop a rocky outcrop. The goddess is missing her head, right arm and most of her left hand. The lot has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $968,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

Pan, Roman Imperial, marble

Lot 38, Pan, marble, Roman Imperial, 1st/early 2nd Century A.D., 23 inches high

Lot 38 is an impressive marble statue of Pan that is 23 inches high and is Roman Imperial, 1st/early 2nd Century A.D. For several generations it was in the collection of the Earls of Lonsdale, Lowther Castle, Penrith, Westmoreland. It is after a Hellenistic prototype with the goat-legged shepherd deity striding with his left leg advanced and his mouth open as in song. He is wearing a goat skin. The lot has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $132,000.

Kybele, marble, Roman Imperial

Lot 13, Kybele, marble, Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century A.D., 22 11/16 inches high

Lot 13 is a marble figure of Kybele, Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century A.D., that the catalogue states is "ultimately derived from the Pheidian cult-statue of the 5th Century B.C., with the Mother of the Gods majestically enthroned with her feet resting on a trapezoidal plinth and flanked by two lions seated on the armrests, one now missing, and wearing a long-sleeved chiton…, the centrally parted wavy hair bound in a diadem…and surmounted by a mural crown with towers, gates and masonry indicated." The lot has an estimate of $35,000 to $45,000. It sold for $144,000.

Bronze Roman Imperial candelabrum

Lot 32, candelabrum, bronze, Roman Imperial, circa 2nd/3rd Century A.D., 18 inches high

Lot 32 is a very fine bronze Roman Imperial candelabrum, circa 2nd/3rd Century A.D. The 18 -inch-high candelabrum has a triangular voluted base with a cylindrical shaft ornamented with the twelve labors of Herakles in four registers of three vignettes each, and is topped with an elaborate Corinthian capital supporting a bell-shaped cup. "In the highly inventive and eclectic fashion typical of late antique decorative arts," the catalogue entry for this lot maintained, "the present lampstand successfully combines and transforms disparate elements drawn from the repertoire of larger-scale classical architecture and ritual furniture. The lot has an estimate of $50,000 to $80,000. It sold for $60,000.

Roman marble cinerarium

Lot 41, cinerarium, marble, Roman, 2nd Century A.D., 12 by 14 by 12 inches

Lot 41 is a charming Roman marble cinerarium, 2nd Century A.D. It measures 12 by 14 by 12 inches. It has a pedimented lid decorated in front with two confronted birds and the front panel has an eagle with outstretched wings at each corner with two confronted hares in the center. The lot has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $24,000.

Roman marble relief fragment

Lot 42, relief fragment, marble, Roman Imperial, Gallienic, A.D. 250-270, 12 by 60 inches

Lot 42 is a marble relief fragment that is Roman Imperial, Gallienic and is dated A.D. 250-270. It measures 12 by 60 inches and was discovered off the Via Appia Antica in Rome and was once in the collection of J. J. Klejman. There is a related example in the Vatican. The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"The present lid once rested on a strigillated sacrophagus in a family hypogeurn, or underground burial chamber, located above the main staircase leading down to the Catacombe della Santa Croce, off the Via Appia Antica in rome. The sacrophagus itself had a central medallion with female portrait bust in the center anad a Season in each corner….; prior to 1972 it was transferred without its lid, to the nearby Museum of the Catacombe di Pretestato on the Via Appia, where it was given the inventory no. 905." It has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $96,000.

Marble portrait head of Empress Livia

Lot 54, portrait head of the Empress Livia, marble, Roman Imperial, Julio-Claudian, early 1st Century A.D., 12 9/16 inches high

Lot 54 is a very nice marble portrait head of the Empress Livia, Roman Imperial, Julio-Claudian, early 1st Century A.D. It is 12 9/16 inches high. The lot has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $154,000.

Egyptian wood arm

Lot 61, arm from an over-lifesize figure of a man, wood, Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, probably 12th Dynasty, 1938-1759 B.C, 15 inches long

Lot 61 is a beautiful wood arm that comes from an over-lifesize figure of a man. It is Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, probably 12th Dynasty, 1938-1759 B.C., and measures 15 inches long. The clenched hand at one time held a walking staff and three of the fingers have ivory or shell inset fingernails remaining. The lot has an ambitious estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It failed to sell.

Egyptian limestone relief fragment

Lot 64, limestone relief fragment, Egyptian, 30th Dynasty/early Ptolemaic Period, circa 380-200 B.C., 3 7/8 by 6 5/8 inches

Lot 64 is a lovely limestone relief fragment depicting a crouching lion. It is Egyptian, 30th Dynasty/early Ptolemaic Period, circa 380-200 B.C. It measures 3 7/8 by 6 5/8 inches. It is the cover illustration of the catalogue and has a modest estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $114,000.

Egyptian limestone head of Ptolemy II

Lot 72, head of King Ptolemy II, indurated limestone, Egyptian, Ptolemaic period, reign of Ptolemy II, 285-246 B.C., 6 1/8 inches high

Lot 72 is a very fine indurated limestone head of King Ptolemy II, Egyptian, Ptolemaic period, reign of Ptolemy II, 285-246 B.C. It is 6 1/8 inches high. It has a modest estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $60,000.

Egyptian face mask

Lot 78, polychromed face mask, wood, Egyptian, 19th/21st Dynasty, 1305-946 B.C., 8 7/8 inches wide

Lot 78 is a beautiful polychromed wood face mask, Egyptian 19th/21st Dynasty, 1305-946 B.C. It is 8 7/8 inches wide and is from the inner coffin of a large sacrophagus. It is property from the Charles Pankow Collection. It has an estimate of $125,000 to $175,000. It sold for $307,800.

Egyptian bronze statue of Wadjet

Lot 84, Goddess Wadjet, bronze, Egyptian, 21st/30th Dynasty, 1075-342 B.C., 21 1/8 inches high

Lot 84 is an impressive bronze Egyptian statue of the Goddess Wadjet from the 21st to 30th Dynasty, 1075-342 B.C. Its height on its modern base is 21 1/8 inches. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $464,000.

Egyptian statue of ibis

Lot 87, Ibis, bronze and blue glass imitating lapis lazuli, Egyptian, Late Period, 664-30 B.C., 8 7/8 inches long

Lot 87 is a good Egyptian statue of an ibis. It is bronze with tail feathers inlaid in blue glass paste imitating lapis lazuli. It is 8 7/8 inches long and is Late Period, 664-30 B.C. It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $108,000.

Egyptian bronze statue of Maat

Lot 88, Goddess Maat, bronze, Egyptian, 21st/26th Dynasty, 1075-525 B.C., 8 inches high

One of the nicest Egyptian works in the auction is Lot 88, a bronze statue of the Goddess Maat that is 21st/26th Dynasty, 1075-525 B.C. It is 8 inches high. The catalogue notes that the "goddess of truth seated on an openwork shrine and wearing an enveloping shroud and tripartite wig bound in a diadem and surmounted by her name sign the ostrich plume." A related example is at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It has an estimate of $35,000 to $45,000. It sold for $84,000.

 

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