Carter B. Horsley
The December 6, 2006
Antiquities auction at
Sotheby's is highlighted by a good selection of Egyptian and Roman
art including a fine block statue of a man, very good Egyptian
statues of Sobek, the crocodile-headed god, and Hathor, the cow-headed
goddess, a wonderful Roman bronze sculpture of a foot, and an
excellent Roman head of Zeus.
Lot 70 is a fine Egyptian
statue of a seated man and the sacred baboon of Thoth that is
dated to the 26th/30th Dynasty, 664-342 B.C. The 13-inch-high
sculpture comes from the Frits Phillips Collection in Eindhoven.
Frederick "Frits" Phillips died in 2005 and was the
son of Anton Phillips (1878-1951), a co-founder with his brother
Gerard of the Royal Phillips Electronics N.V., which today is
Phillips Electronics N.V. Anton Phillips married Anna de Jongh,
the daughter of an important Rotterdam industrialist, and their
art collection included not only Egyptian works of art, such as
this lot, but also old master paintings and furniture. Frits Phillips
expanded his parent's art collection and during the occupatation
of the Netherlands by the Nazis he prevented, according to the
catalogue, the deportation of several hundred Jewish workers by
convincing the occupying forces they were indispensable to the
production process of Phillips. The majority of the Frits Phillips
collection will be sold by Sotheby's at the Voluon in Eindhoven
December 4 and 5, 2006.
The lot has an estimate of
$350,000 to $450,000.
It sold for $856,000 including the buyer's premium as do all
the results mentioned in this article. The buyer was a European
private collector. The sale was extremely successful with most
lots in all categories selling for considerably above their pre-sale
high estimates and in many cases at multiples of those estimates.
Of the 176 lots offered, 96 percent sold. Richard M. Keresey,
worldwide director of Sotheby's Antiquities Department, said that
the sale totalled $5.7 million, "far surpassing the high
estimate of $3.1 million," adding that "Buyers were
clearly willing to pay for works of high quality with illustrious
provenances, as so many of the objects in this sale had."
is a nice Egyptian basalt
statue of a man holding a naos with a standing figure of Osiris.
The statue is 11 7/16 inches high and is dated late 26th/27th
Dynasty, circa 500-404 B.C. The work was once in the collection
of Alice Tully. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000. It
sold for $144,000.
Lot 88 is an impressive and
very fine Egyptian
bronze statue of the figure of Nefertum. It is dated to the 21st/22nd
Dynasty, 1080-746 B.C., and is 14 5/8 inches high. Nefertum was
the son of Ptah and he holds the khepresh saer inhis right hand
and has a braided beard with gold or electrum remained, and his
headdress is composed of an open lotus flower flanked by menats
and surmounted by plumes and an eye of Horus plague in front.
His eyes have traces of silver overlay. The lot has a modest estimte
of $60,000 to $90,000. It sold for $168,000.
Lot 90 is an excellent Egyptian
of Sobek that is 10 1/8 inches high. It is dated to the 26th Dynasty,
664-525 B.C. The crocodile-headed deity at one time held a scepter
in his left hand and an ankh in his right hand. The
notes that related examples are in the Louvre and the Ny Carlsberg
Glyptothek in Copenhagen. The lot has a modest estimate of $30,000
to $50,000. It sold for $60,000.
Another excellent Egyptian
bronze statue is
Lot 89, a figure of Hathor, the cow-headed goddess, Late Period,
716-30 B.C. It is 9 3/8 inches high and has an estimate of $20,000
to $30,000. It sold for $102,000.
Lot 69 is a superb Egyptian
of a lady that is 8 1/4 inches high and is dated to the 18th Dynasty,
Period of Amenhotep III/Horemhab, 1390-1292 B.C. She is striding
and holds a menat necklace and wears a diaphonous pleated gown
and a long full wig parted in the center and bound in a diadem
with ltus flower. She has a modest estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.
This lot was withdrawn.
Lot 90 is a very impressive
lion that is very imposing despite its less than perfect condition.
The 37-inch long sculpture condition is quite fragile but nonetheless
is very regal and has the added charm of having his tail wrap
about the base. It is dated to the Ptolemaic Period, 30th Dynasty,
380-342 B.C. The catalogue notes other examples of this lion,
probably inspired by the famous monumental granite lions of Nectanebo
I in the Vatican. The lot has a very modest estimate of $3,000
to $5,000. It sold for $32,400.
Lot 95 is a lovely Egyptian
wood mummy mask
that is dated to the 26th Dynasty, 664-525 B.C. It is 18 3/4 inches
high. The eyes and eyebrows are inlaid with bronze, shell and
translucent cobalt-blue glass that the catalogue notes are "probably
a later addition" but of the same period. The lot was auctioned
at Sotheby's December 13, 1991 when it had an estimate of $4,000
to $6,000. This auction the lot has a modest estimate of $6,000
to $8,000. It sold for $36,000.
The auction has several
Egyptian works of art
that were formerly in the collection of Edward Roger Pratt (1789-1863)
of Ryston Hall, Norfolk, England. Lot 75 is an impressive black
steatite ushabti of Amenemhat, late 18th/early 19th Dynasty, circa
1320-1250 B.C. It is 6 1/2 inches high and is notable for the
very fine detailing of the duble wig of zigzag and echeloned curls.
It has a modest estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It sold for
Another excellent piece from
the Pratt collectionis
Lot 85, an excellent bronze statue of Ptah, 26th/30th Dynasty,
664-342 B.C. It is 5 1/3 inches high and has very fine detailing
of the broad beaded collar, striated beard and bracelets. It has
a modest estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It sold for $33,000.
Lot 79, also from the Pratt
a pale green faience ushabti of Pakhadisu that is 7 7/8 inches
high. It is dated to the 30th Dynasty, 380-243 B.C., and is notable
for its fine detailing and the fact that the lines of inscription
are slightly angled. It has an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000.
It sold for $21,600.
Lot 82 is a good bronze
Egyptian statue of
Osiris that is deated to the 26th/30th Dynasty, 663-342 B.C. It
is 6 7/16 inches high and is very nice despite some patina condition
problems. It has an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000. It sold for
Lot 66 is a striking and finely
indurated limestone canopic jar lid of a man wearing a striated
wig with a striated beard. The lid is dated to the 12th Dynasty,
1938-1640 B.C., and is 6 1/2 inches high. It has a modest estimate
of $5,000 to $8,000. It sold for $57,000.
Lot 64 is a very impressive
bronze foot from a monumental statue, circa late 2nd/early 3rd
Century A.D. It is 13 inches high and the catalogue notes that
the statue was probably an emperor. The foot was consigned by
the Al Held Foundation of Boiceville, New York. It has a modest
estimate of $15,000 to $25,000. It sold for $48,000.
Another excellent work that was
by Al Held, the artist who died in 2005, is Lot 42, a very charming
Hellenistic terracotta figure of a boy, circa 3rd Century B.C.
The figure is 17 7/8 inches high and has a modest estimate of
$12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $25,200.
Lot 40 is a very beautiful
Roman marble head
of a goddess, circa 1st Century A.D. It is 13 inches high and
has a modest estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for
Another fine marble head, this
Zeus, is Lot 36, Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century A.D. It is
13 1.2 inches high and has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.
It sold for $78,000.
Lot 35 is a striking
Hellenistic marble head
of a goddess, circa late 2nd/early 1st Century B.C. It is 17 1/2
inches high and the catalogue notes that it comes from a monumental
figure and that its back is hollowed out "and probably once
completed in a different material," adding that "the
present head was designed to fit, together with other extremities,
into the body of a ery large draped cult statue made of a different
material, either of a coarser stype of stone, or of sheet bronze
oever a wooden structure. It has an estimate of $125,000 to $175,000.
It sold for $486,400 to the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta.
Lot 54 is a haunting Roman
bust of a man, late 1st Century B.C./1st Century A.D. It is 13
3/4 inches high and was once in the collection of David Sylvester.
It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. It sold for $45,000.
Lot 55 is an imposing marble
statue of a woman
that is Roman Imperial, Flavian, late 1st Century A.D. The work
is 78 inches high and is notable for her coiffure of drilled curls.
It was once in the collection of Frederick E. Guest and Amy Phipps
guest of Palm Beach. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.
It sold for $114,000.
Lot 44 is a good Gallo-Roman
bronze of Rosmerta
or Maia, circa 2nd Century A.D. It is 6 1/16 inches high. Rosmerta
was the consort of Esus/Hermes, and the wings emerging from her
hair are "a very rare feature on representations of female
deities," according to thecatalogue. The lot has a modest
estimte of $3,000 to $5,000. It sold for $8,400.
Lot 45 is a wonderful Roman
bronze figure of
a drunken Herakles, circa 1st Century A.D. It is 4 3/16 inches
high. The figure is missing its right foot and a club that would
have been held in its right hand. It has a modest estimate of
$2,000 to $3,000. It sold for $7,800.
Another very animated work and
one of the most
delightful works in the auction is also one of the smallest. Lot
116 is a Roman bronze figure of a satyr dancing and playing with
the krotala over his head. It is dated to the 1st Century A.D.
It has a modest estimate of $1,200 to $1,800. It sold for
Lot 126 is a wonderful Roman
marble torso of
Artemis that has been highly abraded but has a very fine and dynamic
pose and some nice detailing. It is dated circa 1st Century A.D.,
and is 21 inches high. It's not as fine,of course, as Winged Victory
in the Louvre, but for a studio apartment it's fine. It has a
very modest estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It sold for $24,000.