29-06-2017 – 01-01-1970
Auction 248: Ancient Art
Objects from the Moussaieff Collection at Gorny & Mosch
On June 30, 2017, Gorny & Mosch will conduct Auction 248 in their business premises. The auction hall is likely to be crowded because there will certainly be a big rush. The roughly 935 lots to be called out comprise many a spectacular item with good provenances as well. The impressive offer of bronzes and glass from the collection of Israeli jeweler Shlomo Moussaieff (1925-2015) and the collection of pre-Columbian art of German architect Dr. Günther Marschall (1913-1997) constitute the auction’s core. But there are many more great names to be found in the catalog. Among the recorded previous owners are collectors as Lord Elgin and archaeologist Ernst Langlotz.
Everybody involved in ancient art is familiar with Shlomo Moussaieff. The renowned jeweler was one of the world’s foremost collectors. Having specialized in ancient art related to the Bible, he nevertheless acquired other interesting objects as well. He estimated his collection to comprise 60,000 or so objects. In the upcoming Gorny & Mosch auction, a number of items from his collections of bronze art and ancient glass will be available. All objects from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection come with an export license of the Israeli Antiquities Authority. Every lot on offer testifies to the collector having had an exquisite taste.
Lot 151: Helios. Roman Imperial times, 2nd / 3rd cent. AD. Bronze hollow cast, H 31 cm. From the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, since 1948, Israel. Estimate: 80,000,- euros.
A telling example is the statuette of sun-god Helios. Larger than 30 centimeters in height, the bronze was produced in the hollow casting technique. It was made in Roman Imperial times and exhibits a beautiful green patina with traces of gilding (Lot 151, estimate: 80,000 euros).
A bronze statuette of Dionysus, Braschi type, is of great academic importance. This type is also attested in large-scale sculpture. The Munich Glyptothek owns an example that has been found in Terracine. Its head, on the other hand, has not survived. Until now, a statuette in the Paris Louvre provided the basis for the reconstruction. That statuette is of a poorer quality than the object offered here which is therefore very likely to provide essential clues to the reconstruction of the Braschi type in the future (Lot 152, estimate: 35,000 euros).
Lot 154: River-god Acheloos. Greek, 4th cent. BC. Solid silver. H 4.7 cm, L 7 cm. From the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, since 1948, Israel. Estimate: 40,000,- euros.
The 4th century BC is represented by a small statuette of river-god Acheloos made of solid silver. He is shown as a bull with a human head, matching the iconography known from many Greek coins (Lot 154, Estimate: 40,000 euros).
Of a particularly fine style are the head of Artemis Selene, made in late Hellenistic-early Imperial times produced in the hollow casting technique (Lot 182, estimate: 40,000 euros), and a late Hellenistic bust of Silenus from the 1st cent. AD whose eyes, their glass inlays still preserved, fix the viewer with their stare (Lot 185, estimate: 15,000 euros).
Lot 234: Oceanus-shaped bronze lamp with attachment in the shape of a ship. Roman, 1st-2nd cent. AD. From the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, since 1948, Israel. Estimate: 50,000,- euros.
A bronze lamp is made in the unusual shape of a bearded head of Oceanus with crab claws. Made in the 1st-2nd cent. AD, it has an attachment in the shape of a Roman galley with a lot of intriguing details (Lot 234, estimate: 50,000 euros)
Lot 426: Multi-handled bottle. Eastern Mediterranean, 6th cent. AD. H 22.6 cm. From the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, since 1948, Israel. Estimate: 18,000,- euros.
The specialist in glass will discover spectacular objects in the Moussaieff Collection, for instance the kohl tube with tiny bells dating from the 5th-7th cent. AD (Lot 425, estimate: 10,000 euros), a multi-handled bottle produced in the 6th cent. AD (Lot 426, estimate: 18,000 euros), and a cast little flask made around the birth of Christ (Lot 430, estimate: 15,000 euros).
The collection of architect and urban planner Günther Marschall will cross the auction block as well. His name is closely linked to the city of Marl. He designed not only numerous functional buildings but also the “Marler Stern” (translates as “Marl Star”), an artificially created modern city center connecting many smaller villages which had been combined and now form the city of Marl.
Lot 600: Stone yoke. Veracruz, AD 250-450. L ca. 45 cm, W ca. 33 cm. Grey basalt. From the Prof. Dr. Günther Marschall Collection, Hamburg. Acquired 1967-1975. Estimate: 6,000,- euros.
In his spare time, he fostered an interest in the Egyptian, Anatolian and, most of all, pre-Columbian civilization. From 1966 to 1975, he assembled a comprehensive collection of Central and South American art. Chronologically, the spectrum ranges from the Olmecs to the time shortly before the arrival of the Spanish.
A particularly interesting item from the Marschall Collection is a large stone object from Veracruz that was carved from grey basalt between AD 250 and 450. Rich in detail, the relief depicts a Mesoamerican ball player belt (Lot 600, estimate: 6,000 euros).
Lot 591: Stone mask. Teotihuacan, AD 100-650. H 20 cm. W 18.5 cm. Alabaster. From the Prof. Dr. Günther Marschall Collection, Hamburg. Acquired 1967-1975. Estimate: 3,000,- euros.
The connoisseur will also find numerous clay statuettes, vessels and objects, such as the stone mask made of alabaster from the Teotihuacan civilization that can be dated to AD 100 and 650 (Lot 591, estimate: 3,000 euros)
Lot 15: Attic lekythos, circle of Aischines Painter. Around 450 BC. From the Lord Elgin Collection, published in Münzen und Medaillen AG, Basel, Sonderliste N (May 1971), 48. Estimate: 800,- euros.
Shlomo Moussaieff and Günther Marschall constitute not the only well-known names in Gorny & Mosch Auction 248. Among others, a large number of vessels from the collection of archaeologist Ernst Langlotz (1895-1978) and even an Attic lekythos from the Lord Elgin Collection will come under the hammer (Lot 15, estimate: 800 euros).
Having been meaningfully assembled and reasonably estimated by the Gorny & Mosch experts, the 212 multiple lots should not be underestimated, either. In this department, the collector discovers interesting objects that do not cost a fortune. It will pay off to invest some time and examine the multiple lots with care.
The catalog can be viewed on the internet.
Gorny & Mosch would also be happy to provide you with a printed catalog. Please request your copy at Gorny & Mosch, Giessener Münzhandlung, Maximiliansplatz 20, D-80333 Munich, phone +49 / (0)89 / 24 22 643-0, fax +49 / (0)89 / 22 85 513. The next auction of “Ancient Art” is scheduled for December 2017. Consignments will be taken in up to September 2017.