Christie’s New York Spring Sale of Antiquities June 9

. May 26, 2011 . 0 Comments

Christie’s announces the sale of Antiquities on June 9, which will offer over 200 lots with a magnificent selection of Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Near Eastern works of art.

Leading the sale is the de Clercq Pan and Hermaphrodite, a Roman marble group that depicts a struggle between the goat-legged god Pan and Hermaphrodite, who is portrayed with a sensuous female body but with the addition of male genitalia. The group was sculpted during the early Roman Imperial period, circa 1st century A.D., but is based on an original from the mid-2nd century B.C., when illustrations of the struggles between bestial forces and a nymph or Hermaphrodite were immensely popular. In the Roman Period, such sculptural groups were usually displayed in the gardens of wealthy Romans, where the bestial nature of the groups contrasts with the well-ordered layout and plantings of the garden. Viewers would have been able to walk around it completely and even see it from above. When positioned properly, the viewer might at first have thought they were seeing a beautiful nymph struggling with an aggressive Pan. The shock and surprise of the identification of this figure as Hermaphrodite is only afforded from the front. Due to the loss of some extremities and the absence of Hermaphrodite’s head, one will never know if this was a case of distress or playfulness.

A SELECTION OF HIGHLIGHTS

A SYRIAN COPPER VESSEL, LATE URUK PERIOD, CIRCA 3000 B.C.
Depictions of hedgehogs in the ancient Near East are confined primarily to two regions, Syria and south-western Iran. The species depicted here is most likely Hemiechinus auritus, which has a round body, short legs and prominent ears. The present example, rendered approximately lifesized, is unusually well articulated. Estimate $150,000 – 250,000

AN EGYPTIAN GRANITE HEAD OF AN OFFICIAL NEW KINGDOM, LATE DYNASTY XVIII CIRCA 1400-1390 B.C.
This superb portrait of a courtier, shown wearing a festive double wig, dates from late in the reign of Thutmose IV or early Amenhotep III. The details dating it to this period are most importantly the eyebrows, of which the inner-most portions are straight.
Estimate $300,000 – 500,000

AN ATTIC RED-FIGURED EYE-CUP ATTRIBUTED TO THE BOWDOIN EYE PAINTER, CIRCA 520-500 B.C.
The Bowdoin Eye Painter, a contemporary of Epiktetos, was named for a cup at Bowdoin College with a nude warrior in the tondo. The satyr in this tondo exemplifies how close the Bowdoin Eye Painter can come to the work of Epiktetos, particularly when compared to the satyr in the tondo of a cup signed by Epiktetos, now at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Estimate $150,000 – 200,000

THE WILTON HOUSE APOLLO A ROMAN MARBLE HEAD OF APOLLO CIRCA LATE 1ST-EARLY 2ND CENTURY A.D.
Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke, (1654-1732), amassed one of the premier collections of ancient art, which he displayed at his stately home, Wilton House, in Wiltshire. The Wilton House Apollo is a version of the so-called Anzio Apollo, recognized in nearly twenty Roman copies.
Estimate $200,000 – 300,000

THE HOPE ISIS A ROMAN MARBLE ISIS CIRCA 1ST-2ND CENTURY A.D.
The Hope Isis has been known since at least 1801, has appeared in numerous publications and named after Thomas Hope (1769-1831), the British author and virtuoso. Hope acquired the Isis in 1801 at the Christie’s sale of the collection of Sir William Hamilton, the famous antiquarian, from whom Hope had earlier acquired a collection of Greek vases.
Estimate $500,000 – 800,000

THE DE CLERCQ VENUS A ROMAN MARBLE VENUS CIRCA 2ND CENTURY A.D.
The basic pose of the de Clercq Venus (standing in contrapposto with the left arm lowered, the hand centered above the pudendum, the right arm bent, the hand over the left breast) is known from numerous Roman versions, and is ultimately inspired by a Greek original, likely the Knidian Aphrodite of Praxiteles.
Estimate $350,000 – 550,000

Auction: Antiquities June 9
Viewing: Christie’s Rockefeller Galleries June 4- 8

Image: A Roman Marble Group of Pan and Hermaphrodite, circa 1st century A.D. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2011.

Category: Sales

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