57, torso of an Emperor, Roman Imperial, Julio-Claudian, 1st half of
1st Century A.D., marble, 43 5/16 inches high
Carter B. Horsley
This June 11, 2010 auction of Antiquities at
Sotheby's is small in quality but very high in quality with some very
impressive Roman sculpture and some nice Egyptian works.
The most spectacular work is Lot 57, a large,
Roman marble torso of an emperior from the Roman Imperiod
Julio-Claudian Period in the first half of the 1st Century
The statue is 43 5/16 inches high and although it
is missing a head, arms and legs it is an animated pose. It
is, in fact, perhaps more impressive than a naked god or goddess that
might have smooth and seemingly surfaces as the torso here is clad in a
highly ornate uniform with rich sculptural groupings and a marvelously
The top of the
"skirt" has two rows of highly decorative flaps.
catalogue suggests that the sculpture probably represents Augustus,
Tiberius, or Claudius and is carved in two parts and is standing with
the weight on his right leg. It is "wearing a tunic, leather
corselet with fringed lappets falling at the waist and shoulders,
bronze cuirass, and paludamentum falling from the left shoulder over
the back and formerly over the extended left forearm, the bronze
brestplate decorated in relief on the chest with the god Sol emerging
from the waters in a front quadriga and on the adboment with two
Victories flanking a trophy and handing shield onto it, a large
inverted palmette below with scrolling acanthus and rosettes on eiter
side, the upper row of pteryges decorated with alternativing feline
heads above lotus flowers and saddorsed rams' heads above palmettes,
the lower row with alternativng gorgoneira and palmettes, a bearded
head interrupting the sequence on the right hip."
29, Three Satyrs Fighting a Serpent, Roman, marble, Roman Imperial,
circa 1st Century A.D., 25 1/4 by 31 1/2 inches
18, Bust of the Athena Giustiniani, Roman, Roman Imperial, marble,
circa 2nd Century A.D., 22 5/8 inches high
classical Greek sculpture prototype known as the "Athena Giustinani" is
named after its best preserved and most famous Roman version, a
monumental statue of the goddess which was once the pride of the
Giustinani Collection in Rome and is now in the Vatican Museums.
The Greek bronze original might have been the cult statue of
Athena Sunias in the temple dedicated to her at Cape Souunion.
Lot 18 appears to be the only known bust of the Athena
Giustiniani type originally carved as a bust. It
was once in the collection of Baron Joseph van der Elst of Brussels and
Biot, a collector of Old Master Paintings. It has an estimate
of $600,000 to $900,000. It
sold for $4,114,500.
95, Head of Silenus Emerging From a Calyx, Roman Syria, circa 2nd
Century A.D., limestone, 15 inches high
Lot 95 is a
charming and impressive and large limestone "Head of Silenus Emerging
From a Calyx." It is from Roman Syria,circa 2nd Century,
A.D., and is 15 inches high, It has an estimate of $12,000 to
sold for $21,250.
22, head of Pan or a satyr, Roman, rosso antico marble, Roman Imperial,
circa 1st Century A.D., 7 inches high
Lot 22 is a
smaller but equally animated sculpture of a similar bearded man,
perhaps Pan or a satur, from the Roman Imperial Period, circa 1st
Century A.D. It is made of rosso antico marble and is7 inches
high. It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $40,624.
31, head of Aphrodite, Roman, marble, Roman Imperial, circa 2nd Century
A.D., 6 inches high 15-25 18,750
Lot 31 is a
good, small, marble head of Aphrodite, also from the Roman Imperial
Period, circa 2nd Century A.D. It is 6 inches high and has an
estimate of $15,000 to $25,000. It sold for $18,750.
30, figure of Herakles Wearing the Nemean Lion Skin, Etruscan,
terracotta, cira 2nd-1st Century B.C., 22 3/4 inches, 20- 30
30 is a large Etruscan terracotta of "Herakles Wearing the Nemean Lion
Skin." It is 22 3/4 inches high and has an estimate of
$20,000 to $30,000. It
sold for $34,375.
45, Panther Trapezophoros, Roman, marble, Roman Imperial, circa 1st
Century A.D. 27 3/8 inches high
is a striking and quite beautiful Roman marble table leg in the form of
a panther. It is Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century A.D. and
27 3/8 inches high. It has an estimate of $25,000 to $30,000.
It sold for
The auction has several nice Egyptian
works. Lot 5 is a superb wooden figure of a woman from the
12th Dynasty, 1938-1759 B.C. It is 12 inches high and has a
fine finish. It has a conservative estimate of $7,000 to
sold for $16,250.
9, head of a king, Egyptian, granite, 30th Dynasty, 380-342 B.C., 9 3/4
inches high. Estimate $50,000 to $80,000. It sold
Lot 9 is a very
fine granite head of a king from the 30th Dynasty, 380-342 B.C.
It is 9 3/4 inches high. It has a modest estimate
of $50,000 to $80,000. It
sold for $62,500.