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Antiquities

Sotheby's New York

10 A.M., December 6, 2012

Sale 8918


Sacrophagus with lions



Lot 37, a marble strigillated lion sarcophagus, Roman Imperial, 3rd Century, A.D., 76 inches long



By Carter B. Horsley

This December 6, 2012 Antiquities auction at Sotheby's is small, but has some very choice items that were once in the collection of Denys Sutton, two very impressive Roman striggilated sacrophagi, and numberous excellent marble busts including one of Germanicus, the father of Caligula.

Lot 37 is a spectacular marble Roman Imperial strigillated lion sacrophagus from the 3rd Century A.D.  It is 76 inches long and was once in the collection of Henry W. Poor of New York who the catalogue said "most likely acquired it from Stanford White" who designed his house, and the collection of Harold F. McCormick of Lake Forest, Illinois.  It is the perfect bathtub for hedge-funders.  It has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $182,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

Of the 88 offered lots, 80 sold, or 79.7 percent, for a total of $13,443,376.

Roman sacrophagus

Lot 38, marble Roman Imperial striggillated sacrophagus, Early Severan Period, circa A.D. 193-200, 89 inches long

Another marble Roman Imperial striggillated sacrophagus is Lot 38.  It is from the Early Severan period, circa A.D. 193-200.  It has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $68,500.


Suetonius

Lot 30, "Portrait bust of Germanicus," marble, Roman Imperial, Julio-Claudian, probably reign of Caligula or slightly later, circa AD. 37-45, 20 1/4 inches high

The cover illustration of the catalogue is Lot 30, a Roman Imperial, Julio-Claudian, probably reign of Caligula or slightly later, circa A.D. 37-45, portrait bust of Germanicus.  It is 20 1/4 inches high and is property of the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine. It has an estimate of $3,000,000 to $5,000,000.  It sold for $8,146,500.

The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"The present bust was acquired by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and Kindardine, probably through his private secretary, William Robert Hamilton, who he had instructed to buy 'marbles' in Rome in the year 1799. ...Germanicus was the father of the emperor Caligula and older brother of Caligula's successor, Claudius.  The present bust is among the finest and best preserved portraits of the young Germanicus at the time of his adoption in 4 B.C. by his uncle and soon-to-be emperor, Tiberius.  Based on the phsyiognomy and careful arrangement of the locks of hair over the forehead, it belongs to a group of about 10 known copies, all derived from an original late Augustan portrait type commonly designated Adoptionstypus in the German nomenclature of Julio-Claudian portratiure....The closest comparable exmaple...is a fragmentary marble bust of Germanicus in the Louvre, which was found in Cordoba."

Female head

Lot 14, head of a woman, marble, Greek, Attic, circa mid-5th Century,  B.C., 6 inches high

Lot 14 is a very nice, Greek small marble head of a woman, Attic, circa mid-5th Century B.C.  It is 6 inches high.  It is one of several lots in the auction that are from the collection of Denys Sutton (1917-1991), the editor of Apollo magazine.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $74,500.


Venus

Lot 20, Torso of the Capitoline Aphrodite, Roman Imperial, marble, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D., 34 1/2 inches high

Lot 20 is a very fine Roman Imperial marble statue of the torso of the Capitoline Aphrodite, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D.  It is 34 1/2 inches high.  It is modeled after a late Hellenistic Greek prototype inspired by the Aphrodite of Knidos.  It has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $158,500.

Male torso

Lot 23, "Torso of a god or athlete," marble, Roman Imperial, circa 1st/2nd Century A. D., 13 3/4 inches high

Lot 23 is an excellent Roman Imperial marble torso of a god or athlete circa 1st/2nd Century A.D.  It is 13 3/4 inches high.  It has a modest estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  It sold for $122,500.


Torso

Lot 21, Torso of Narcissus or Ganymede, marble, Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century, A.D., 40 1/4 inches

Lot 21 is a very fine Roman Imperial marble torso of Narcissus or Ganymede circa 1st Century A.D.  It is 40 1/4 inches high.  It has a modest estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  It sold for $242,500.

Drapery

Lot 24, "Figure of a Togatus," Roman Imperial, circa 2nd Century A.D., marble 56 inches high

Lot 24 is a Roman Imperial, circa 2nd Century A.D., marble figure of a togatus.  It is 56 inches high and when it was in the collection of Walter P. Chrsyler Jr. (1907-1988) it had a modern Republican-style portrait head, which has since been removed.  The catalogue said that the work at one time was in the Doria-Pamphili Collection in Rome.  It has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $158,500.


Stern man

Lot 34, Cinerary urn fragment,  Roman, marble, 1st Century A.D., 8 1/2 inches high

Lot 34 is a handsome Roman marble fragment of a cinerary urn from the 1st Century A.D.  It is 8 1/2 inches high and was once in the collection of Sue Mengers (1932-2011).  It has an estimate of $10,000 tto $15,000.  It sold for $23,750.


horns

Lot 8, "Griffin protome," Greek, bronze, circa Late 7th Century B.C., 7 3/4 inches high

One of the highlights of the group of works from the Denys Sutton  collection in this auction is Lot 8, a Greek bronze griffin protome from the Late 7th Century B.C.  It is 7 3/4 inches high and has been widely exhibited and published  It has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $290,500.


darkdrapery


Lot 48, "Torso of a man," Egyptian, Late Ptolemaic/Early Roman Period, Late 2nd/Late lst Century B.C., granite, 23 inches high

Lot 48 is an impressive Egyptian granite torso of a man from the Late Ptolemaic/Early Roman Period, Late 2nd/Late 1st Century B.C.  It is 23 inches high and has lovely drapery folds.  It once was in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Manoogian of Taylor, Michicagn, major collectors of American art.  It has a modest estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $34,375.


horns

Lot 8, "Griffin protome," Greek, bronze, circa Late 7th Century B.C., 7 3/4 inches high

One of the highlights of the group of works from the Denys Sutton  collection in this auction is Lot 8, a Greek bronze griffin protome from the Late 7th Century B.C.  It is 7 3/4 inches high and has been widely exhibited and published  It has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $290,500.


egyplady

Lot 53, "Figure of a lion-headed goddess," Egyptian, 21st/22nd Dynasty, 1075-716 B.C, 5 7/16 inches high

Another very fine piece from the collection of Denys Sutton is Lot 53, an Egyptian figure of a lion-headed goddess from the 21st/22nd Dynasty, 1075-716 B.C.  It is 5 7/16 inches high.  The goddess is wearing a long, close-fitting dress encircled by the finely detailed plumes of the vulture goddess Nehkbet and her face has deeply engraved whiskers and remains of gold or electrum in other sections.  It has an modest estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $34,375.

cat

Lot 55, "Figure of a cat," Egyptian, bronze, 21st/26th Dynasty, 1075-525 B.C., 5 7/16 inches high

A third fine Denys Sutton object is lot 55, an Egyptian bronze figure of a cat from the 21st/26th Dynasty, 1075-525 B.C.  It is 5 7/16 inches high.  It has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  It sold for $56,250.


small head

Lot 45, "Head of a man," Egyptian, Late18th/Early 19th Dynasty, probably reign of Horemhab, 1319-1292, green peridotite, 4 1/2 inches high


Lot 45 is a very fine, Egyptian head of man of green peridotite, Late 18th/Early 19th Dynasty, probably reign of Horemhab, 1319-1292.  It is 4 1/2 inches high.  The catalogue notes that the stone is only found at St. John's Island in the Red Sea, near the port of Berenike and on the same latitude as Aswan, adding that the "private statues are of very high artistic quality, but also use a less green stone than contemporary royal pieces" suggesting that the stone was a royal monopoly and that the most desirable shade of stone was dark green.  The lot has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $1,082,500.



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