Carter B. Horsley
offerings of antiquities December 9, 2005 is highlighted by an
excellent group of Egyptian Art from the Harer Family Trust Collection
and some spectacular Roman busts in the regular antiquities auction.
In addition, Christie's has a good selection of ancient jewelry
that it is offering in a separate auction December 8, 2005.
Dr. W. Benson Harer writes in
for this auction that "for over twenty years I started each
day with a cup of coffee sitting quietly with Nefertari,"
a standard-bearing statue of Queen Nefertari, shown above, that
is dated to the New Kingdom in Egypt, Dynasty XIX, Reign of Ramesses
II, 1290-1224 B.C. The 37-inch high black granite statue, Dr.
Benson continued, "set a tone that prepared me for whatever
the challenge that the practice of obstretics and gynecology might
bring," adding that he has retired "and realize that
her hope for immortality vastly exceeds my one."
Dr. Harer's first purchase of
"a scarab necklace for my wife in 1955," adding that
"we began collectively actively in 1973 and purchased thirty
items - mostly under $300 and mostly fake!....It was a bit daunting
to know I set a new world record for the purchase of a New Kingdom
artifact when I bought the Standard-Bearing Statue of Queen Nefertari
at Christie's in 1979. I spent ten times more than I had ever
paid for any previous antiquity, but I believed it was a once
in a lifetime opportunity. this was later confirmed when Madame
Desroches-Noblecourt, curator at the Louvre, told me the museum
was the under bidder."
Dr. Harer was the first
become a Governor of the American Research Center in Egypt in
1981 and was appointed adjunct professor of Egyptology in the
department of humanities at the California State University in
San Bernardino in 1990.
Lot 14 has an "estimate on
It sold for $2,256,000 including the buyer's premium as do
all results mentioned in this article.
major work in this auction is Lot 37, a black basalt block statue
of Wahibre, priest of Amen, Ptolemaic Period, 304-30 B.C. The
13 1/8-inch high statute has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
It sold for $240,000.
Lot 17 is
a very fine and impressive limestone Egyptian shabti, New Kingdom,
Dynasty XIX, 1307-1196 B.C. The statue is10 7/8 inches high and
has a modest estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for
Lot 23 is
a superb Egyptian bronze statue of Osiris, Late Period, Dynasty
XXVI-XXX, 664-343 B.C. The 7 1/2-inch-high statue is is marvelous
condition and has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. It sold
Lots 8 and
9 are good wood fertility figures from the Middle Kingdom, Dynasty
XI, 2040-1991 B.C. Lot 8 is 7 1/8 inches high and has an estimate
of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $36,000. Lot 9
but better. It is 6 1/4 inches and has an estimate of $12,000
to $18,000. It sold for $42,000.
sometimes have an allure that complete figures lack. Lot 20, for
example, is an exquisite fragment of a green graywacke statue
of Osiris. It only is a fine modelled upper torso, but the broken-off
bottom and top are strategically fortuitous, resulting in a very
pleasing sculpture on its own. It has a modest estimate of $15,000
to $20,000. It sold for $54,000.
Lot 24 consists
of 37 Egyptian glass amuletic inlays, the largest of which is
only 2 3/16 inches long. The inlays date to the Late Period, Dynasty
XXVII-XXX, 525-343 B.C. The lot has an estimate of $50,000 to
$70,000. It sold for $66,000.
Lot 2 is
an adorable Egyptian white limestone hippopotamus that is only
1 1/4 inches long. It is dated Predynastic Period, circa 3200
B.C., and has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. The piece is perforated
vertically and horizontally for suspension. In the
it was in the collection of Dr. Elie Borowski. It failed to
small but excellent work is Lot 5, a gold amulet of an Ibis that
is only 7/8 inches long. The lot was was in the collection of
Anthony J. Drexel Jr., the Detroit Institute in Philadelphia and
the Minnepolis Institute of Art. It has an estimate of $10,000
to $15,000. It sold for $26,400.
regular Antiquities auction
is highlighted by several superb Classical marble sculptures and
an early Egyptian group sculpture.
is a charming, small Mesopotamian amulet made of aragonite. It
is dated Late Uruk/Emdet Nasr Period, circa 3200-2900 B.C. It
is 1 1/16 inches high and has a modest estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.
It sold for $7,200.
is a Mesopotamian gypsum head of a worshipper, Syria, Early Dynastic
III, circa 2550-2250 B.C. It was once in the collection of Dr.
Elie Borowski. It is 4 1/4 inches high and has a modest estimate
of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $38,400.
is a very beautiful Greek marble bust of Aphrodite. It is dated
to the Hellenistic Period, circa 3rd-2nd Century B.C. It is 11
3/8 inches high. It has a modest estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
It sold for $240,000.
Lot 48 is
a very impressive Egyptian limestone statue of Ka-Nefer and his
family. It is dated Old Kingdom, Dynasty V, 2465-2323 B.C., and
is 14 inches high. It has an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.
It sold for $2,816,000.
Lot 50 is
a fine limestone relief for Ipi that is 48 3/4 inches high. It
is dated to Old Kingdom, Dynasty V, 2465-2323 B.C. It has an estimate
of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $120,000.
is a wonderful Roman marble sacrophagus panel from the Antonine
Period, circa 160 A.D. It depicts a battle of Lapiths and Cenaurs
at the wedding of Perithoos and Hippodameia with the Greek warriors
depicted nude and the half-equine monsters all bearded with huruly
hair and the violent scene is framed by two draped female onlookers.
It is 77 inches wide and has a modest estimate of $200,000 to
$300,000. It sold for $486,000.
spectacular work in the auction is Lot 326, an "over-life-sized"
Roman bronze portrait of the Emperor Antoninus Pius" from
the Antonine Period, circa mid-2nd Century A.D. It is 16 1/4 inches
high and was with the British Rail Pension Fund from 1978-1996
and in 1996 with Robin Symes Ltd., in London. Antoninus Pius became
Emperor at the age of 52. The catalogue entry for this lot notes
that "It seems likely that this is a posthumous portrait,
based on the large dreamy eyes with heavy upper lids, which finds
parallels with the portraits of his successor Marcus Aurelius
and Caracalla." The lot has an estimate of $1,000,000 to
$1,500,000. It sold for $2,256,000.
is an impressive Roman marble of Apollo that is dated circa 130-150
A.D. It is 14 inches high and has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.
It is in pretty good condition and is notable for the stylistic
and dramatic treatment of hair. It sold for $307,200.
is a nice Greek marble veiled head of a goddess, Hellenistic Period,
circa 4th-2nd Century B.C. It is 13 1/4 inches high and comes
from the collection of Evelyn Annenberg Hall and had been with
C. Dikran Kelekian in 1965. It has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.
It sold for $98,400.
is a charming Roman marble sculpture Venus and Cupid, circa 2nd
Century A.D. It is 11 3/8 inches high and has a modest estimate
of $10,000 to $15,000. It failed to sell.
One of this
auction's highlights is a fine terracotta statue of Alexander
the Great or a successor that is dated to the Hellenistic Period,
circa 4th Century-early 3rd Century B.C. It is 22 1/2 inches high
and has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. The catalogue entry
for this lot noted that it is "hand-modelled, perhaps a modello
for a large-scale sculpture in bronze, manneristically depicted."
"As court painter to Alexander, Lysippos is thought to hae
created the originals of all the approved Alexander portrait types
in the round. The most renowned, the Alexander with a Lance, has
not survived, but his recorded by Plutarch....The present terracotta,"
it continued, "may be a more accurate reflection of this
lost original....It is traditionally held that Alexander was left
handed and here the young king is portrayed with his right arm
relaxed and his left arm bent acutely to hold his lance, a trait
which our terracotta shares with only a few other examples....Outside
of a cultic context, Greek terracotta sculpture from the Hellenistic
Period in this impressive scale is exceedingly rare....The
to be unique for the Alexander portraits in all media."
is a nice copper combat group that is Western Asiatic, Mesopotamian
or Elamite, circa mid-3rd Millennium B.C. It is 5 inches high
and has a modest estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. It sold for
Lot 79 is
a nice bronze Egyptian statue of a pantheistic deity. Dated Late
Period to Roman Period, 664 B.C.-100 A.D., it is 5 1/2 inches
high. It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for
Lot 94 is
a good Egyptian bronze statue of a falcon, Late Period to Ptolemaic
Period, 664-30 B.C. It is 11 5/16 inches high and has an estimate
of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $42,000.
One of the
better Greek vases in this auction is Lot 226, an Attic black-figured
neck-amphora from the Group of Toronto 305. Dated circa 520 B.C.,
it is 16 5/8 inches high and has a modest estimate of $25,000
to $35,000. It sold for $54,000.
is a impressive Greek bronze "pseudo-Corinthian" helmet,
North Apulian, Classical Period, circa 450-400 B.C. It is 9 1/8
inches high and is incised with confronting boards and has three
plume-holders. It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It
failed to sell.