13-12-2016 – 01-01-1970
Auction 243: Ancient Art
Comprehensive collections of ancient jewelry, glass and aegyptiaca
Roughly 900 lots comprising ancient art – covering early and modern times, Egypt, the classical civilizations of the Mediterranean area, Byzantium, Islam and later imitations – will be sold in Auction 243 of Gorny & Mosch in their own rooms on December 14, 2016. Each object, even when forming part of the large series of multiple lots, has a provenance. Several specialized collections will cross the auction block as well, including a comprehensive selection of ancient jewelry, a large amount of glass, aegyptiaca, and an interesting assortment of icons, some of these of an early date.
Lot 5: Torso of a shepherd. Roman, 1st cent. AD. H 76. White-grey mottled marble. From A. Bade Collection, Bavaria, from Elio Sello-Conti Collection, Locarno Solduno, 1980s. Estimate: 40,000 euros.
It hardly needs mentioning that Auction 243 also contains spectacular individual items with estimates in the five-digit region. They can be found among the marble sculptures, the bronze statuettes, and ancient ceramics. Let us look at one example for each category:
The slightly less than life-size torso of a shepherd, made from white-grey marble, was sculpted in the 1st cent. AD. It is a Roman copy of a late Hellenistic original dating from the 1st cent. BC. The impressive sculpture is a high-quality work of art which renders the shepherd’s body in a realistic manner (estimate: 40,000 euros).
Made between ca. 500 and 490 BC, an Etruscan bronze statuette depicting Heracles is estimated at 40,000 euros. In 1991, the 13.5 cm high object was part of the exhibition “Italy of the Etruscans” in the Israel Museum and is published accordingly in the accompanying catalog.
Ancient ceramics is represented by a magnificent Apulian situla by the Lycurgus Painter, made between 360 and 350 BC. It features a Dionysiac scene. Intact except for a small crack which was retouched, this situla is a splendid testimony to the artistic skills with which the Lycurgus Painter created his works at a time when Apulian vase painting was at its peak (estimate: 30,000 euros).
Lot 173: Pair of lion-griffin earrings. Hellenistic, 1st half of 3rd cent. BC. 6.83 g. From V. L. Collection, Rhineland, acquired 1925-1979. Estimate: 2,800 euros.
Not just the individual objects enthrall but, most of all, the many collections. More than 150 lots with ancient jewelry, stemming from different private collections, form part of Auction 243. The connoisseur discovers necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, pearls, fibulae and rings, many of these beautiful collector items of which some can still be worn. Most of the relevant estimates range between 500 and 3,000 euros. So you don’t have to be a millionaire to acquire one of these gorgeous objects.
As an example of an exquisite collector item we would like to mention two gilded hair spirals of the Etruscans which stem from the V. L. Collection, Rhineland, and were made in the 7th cent. BC. Their open endings are sculpted in the form of a delicate snake’s head and decorated with filigree wires (estimate: 2,500 euros).
From the same collection comes a pair of still wearable Parthian gold earrings with a garnet stone, probably made in the 2nd cent. AD (estimate: 2,500 euros), and a pair of Hellenistic lion-griffin earrings with a plastically rendered lion’s head with horns terminal (estimate: 2,800 euros).
They are followed up by almost 40 lots consisting of cameos, gems and seals, among these interesting items, as a magical gem featuring Abraxas, made of red and black jasper interspersed with chalcedony (estimate: 750 euros).
Lot 346: Delicate violet ribbed bowl. Roman, 1st to 3rd quarter of 1st cent. AD. H 7 cm. From Bavarian A. L. private collection, acquired from Tyll Kroha, Cologne, ca. 2010.
Estimate: 1,500 euros.
More than 110 lots of ancient, primarily Roman glass form the second collection to be auctioned off in Gorny & Mosch Auction 243. The majority of objects belong to the collection of A. L., Bavaria. The spectrum ranges from an ash urn from Roman Imperial times, dating to the 1st/2nd cent. AD (estimate: 3,000 euros), delicate Roman ribbed bowls (with estimates ranging from 500 to 1,000 euros), as well as small flasks in the shape of a date as they were almost exclusively produced in the Levant (estimate: 800 euros).
Everybody fascinated by ancient glass is given the unique opportunity to get a fitting addition to his or her collection here.
Lot 456: Great Osiris. Late Period, 26th-30th dynasty, 664-332 BC. H 30 cm. Solid bronze cast. From D. T. Collection, Germany, acquired before 1980. Estimate: 12,000 euros.
This also applies to the collectors of Egyptian art. Nearly 70 lots from different possessions are offered by Gorny & Mosch in Auction 243. Except for some few items – for example, two black-rimmed bowls, Naqada I (estimate 800 euros and 600 euros) or the figure of a male servant from the 6th dynasty (estimate: 4,500 euros) – all objects date from the New Empire and the Late Period, or the times when Egypt was under Ptolemaic or Roman rule.
The main objects of this department are the 30 cm high bronze statue of mummified great Osiris, from between 664 and 332, from the D. T. Collection (estimate: 12,000 euros) and a large ushebti from the New Empire, ca. 1270-1080, made from black basalt, that was part of the K. M. Collection, Thuringia, since the late 1940s (estimate: 10,000 euros).
Of great charm is a Roman mummy portrait that features a woman with terracotta-colored teint and black hair. Her wide-open eyes have inlays made from black and white glass (estimate: 5,000 euros).
Lot 629: Icon: Annunciation. Russia, around 1600. H 44 cm, W 39.5 cm. From V.S.-K. Collection, Munich, acquired in the early 1980s. Estimate: 4,000 euros.
The marvelous eyes of such a mummy portrait seem to survive in the icons of Byzantine times. This makes a perfect transition to the fourth specialized collection to be sold in Auction 243. Mainly stemming from the V.S.-K. Collection, Munich, the more than 60 lots with icons will cross the auction block, ranging in date from the end of the 15th to the 19th century. The estimates start at 800 euros and end at 4,500 euros. Depictions of the various types of Mary, Mother of God, of different – sometimes rare and sought-after – saints like Cosmas and Damian, or Christophoros Kynokephalos, icons featuring the saints of one month as well as illustrations of the solemnities: The icons’ themes are various and reflect the profound special knowledge with which the previous owner has assembled his collection over many decades. Most of the items on offer come with a detailed description of the collector.
Of particular interest, as always, are the multiple lots which contain reasonably assembled assortments of interesting objects. Gorny & Mosch has made sure that, even when being sold as part of a multiple lot, the provenance of the individual items won’t be lost. Thorough viewing will pay off.
The catalog 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 June 2017. Consignments will be taken in up to March 2017.