Thursday, December 6, 2007
The Sale of Egyptian Antiquities at Sotheby's: a Reflection
The sale of the Guennol Lioness - "said to have been found at a site near Baghdad" and displayed at the Brooklyn Museum since 1948 - at Sotheby's in New York this week for US$57.161 million has captured attention.
But this is the third best year since 1998 for the sale of Egyptian antiquities at Sotheby's with a total of US$6.586 million in 2007. First place is 2004 with US$9.414 million, and second is 1999 with US$6.811 million.
Egyptian antiquities now represent 16% of the total sales of antiquities for the period 1998-2007 fetching some US$42.826 million. Antiquities in general - and that includes the Guennol Lioness - have raised some US$216.306 million for Sotheby's.
And what are the sources for these Egyptian antiquities?
Just over 95% lots have no stated find-spot. And some 68% were first known after 1973.
Figures revised in December 2008.