Gorny & Mosch, Giessener Münzhandlung, Munich

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19-06-2012 – 01-01-1970

Auction 206: Ancient Art

The Waltz Collection was a tremendous success

On June 20, 2012, Gorny & Mosch, Giessener Münzhandlung held its 206th auction in Munich, offering up yet another formidable collection of ancient art from a number of different fields. Much like the auction in December 2011, the highlight was still the Waltz Collection, with its 49 objects spanning Greek prehistory right through to Byzantine times.

1 WALTZ COLLECTION. Cycladic female idol, early Cycladic II, Spedos-type. ca. 2700-2300 BC. White fine crystalline marble. H. 30.5 cm. Estimate: 40,000 / Final Price: 149,500 EUR.

The first lot alone was a sensation – the simple Cycladic female idol from the 3rd millennium BC had been estimated at 40,000 EUR and reached a staggering final price of 149,500 EUR!* That made it the most expensive object of the entire auction, despite the fact that other pieces from the Waltz collection also went for many times more than their estimates.

10 WALTZ COLLECTION. Cycladic collared jar with conical neck, early Cycladic II, ca. 2700-2300 BC. Clay. H. 22.0 cm. Estimate: 2,000 / Final Price: 28,750 EUR.

Let’s spend a bit more time in the early Greek era: A simple, extremely modern-looking head of a Cycladic idol climbed from an opening price of 12,000 EUR to a final price of more than 55,000 EUR; the torso of another Cycladic idol went from 8,000 EUR to almost 44,000 EUR. A 22 cm Cycladic collared jar with a conical neck was estimated at 2,000 EUR, but sold to its new owner for almost 29,000 EUR.

Collectors reacted just as eagerly to the ceramic pieces in the Waltz Collection. The first lot, an Eastern Anatolian elegant rhyton in the form of a ram, went for more than ten times its estimate of 2,500 EUR, with a final price of 27,600 EUR. A large Attic neck-amphora from the Middle Geometric Period, made sometime between 800 und 750 BC, had been estimated at 7,500 EUR, only to be sold for more than 39,000 EUR.

24 WALTZ COLLECTION. Tyrrhenian neck-amphora of the Castellani Painter. 560-550 BC. H. 40.3 cm. Estimate: 15,000 / Final Price: 115,000 EUR.

The result for a Tyrrhenian neck-amphora of the Castellani Painter, made between 560-550 BC, was a huge surprise. The piece, manufactured in Athens for export to Etruria, depicts the battle between Achill und Penthesilea on the main frieze on its shoulder. Collectors were so taken with the skillfully done archaic design that the final price reached 115,000 EUR instead of the estimated 15,000!

Several other spectacular price increases included a Middle Geometric pyxis with lid from Athens (1,500 / 23,000 EUR), an amphora of the Painter of Munich 2335, featuring the design of a satyr and a maenad (20,000 / 97,750 EUR) and an Attic red-figure lekythos in the Bowdoin Painter style, 480-470 BC (1,500 / 11,500 EUR).
Since only two minor Waltz Collection lots rested unsold, participants got to revel in impressive bidding wars right up until the final lots – two lots of Byzantine Sgraffito bowls with engraved decor that had both been estimated at 500 EUR sold instead for 4,830 EUR each.

63 Hymenaios, Roman Imperial Age, 1st century AD. White fine crystalline marble. H 51 cm. Estimate: 15,000 / Final Price: 29,900 EUR.

And that was just the beginning! Up next was the ‘special objects’ category, from which we’ll highlight just a few of the pieces, the first being a Roman Imperial statue of a boy (Hymenaios) from the 1st century AD. The charming marble piece was called at an opening price of 12,000 EUR only to climb to a final price of almost 30,000 EUR. A Strigilis sarcophagus from the first half of the 3rd century went for even more – the piece, verifiable since 1930, was estimated at 20,000 EUR and went for 50,600 EUR. An Illyrian helmet from the first half of the 6th century BC cost its new owner 23,000 EUR (Estimate: 12,000).
The results for the ‘normal object’ items also made it abundantly clear that there’s a thriving market for high-quality ancient art. Here are just a few examples attesting to this: a white marble warrior head, 3rd century AD (1,500 / 10,925 EUR) …

265 Votive relief with two ears, Eastern Mediterranean Region, Roman Imperial Age, 1st-3rd century AD. Marble. Estimate: 10,000 / Final Price: 19,550 EUR.

… a marble votive relief with two ears from the Eastern Mediterranean region, 1st-3rd century AD (10,000 / 19,550 EUR), a victoria in solid-cast bronze, 1st century AD (1,000 / 8,050 EUR), a Celt-Iberian kalathos, 2nd-1st century BC (4,000 / 8,050 EUR), a Laconian black-figure cup, 560-550 BC (4,000 / 14,950 EUR) and a massive bronze votive bracelet from the Balkan peninsula, made between the 12th and 10th century BC (1,000 / 5,750 EUR).
Despite the impressive prices realized for many pieces, there’s still ancient art to suit every budget. Even those with not so deep pockets could find their dream item. For example, ancient rings were available for just 400 EUR and a small collection of four gems was knocked down at about 750 EUR. Clay lamps proved even more affordable – the successful bidder of lot no. 552, for example, managed to acquire six figurative Roman lamps for approximately 150 EUR.

You can find more prices realized on the Gorny & Mosch website.

There, you can also choose among the remaining lots, with a few pieces still available for a reasonable price.
Don’t miss the next Gorny & Mosch auction – order the auction catalogue today at Gorny & Mosch Giessener Münzhandlung, Maximiliansplatz 20, 80333 Munich, Tel: +49-89/24 22 643-0, Fax: +49-89/22 85 513.

*All final prices include a 15 % surcharge/buyer’s fee.