Friday, April 11, 2008

Pots Passing Through The Market (Ancient and Modern)

I have been working my way through Trademarks on Greek vases: addenda (2006). The index has a section, "Vases once on the market, present location unknown". Alan Johnston notes in the "Introduction" (p. vii):
It will not escape those even skimming the following pages that the bulk [sc. of new material] has appeared, depressingly, on the antiquities market, virtually always without provenance; I retain a column "provenance" in the catalogue, but it is thinly populated indeed with respect to the addenda.
Here are some of the recent "surfacings" (but "present location unknown") on the largely unnamed North American and Swiss markets (ordered by Johnston Type) since the publication of the original volume in 1979. (I exclude here the 75 or so pieces from Sotheby's, London that entered the market in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as named dealers in Switzerland). In one case it has been possible to identify the present proprietors.
  1. Type 6A, 1a. Amphora (Type B). Hesperia Arts, auction (27 November 1990, lot 28). [For comments on this sale.]
  2. Type 14A, 1a. Neck-amphora, attributed to the Antimenes painter (von Bothmer). Geneva market.
  3. Type 16A, 12a. Hydria. Previously Sotheby's (London) 7-8 July 1994, lot 289; New York market.
  4. Type 21A, 103a. Column-krater. (Information from von Bothmer). Switzerland, market.
  5. Type 27A, 8. Neck-amphora. Geneva market (information from von Bothmer).
  6. Type 2B, 1a. Hydria. Geneva market (information from von Bothmer).
  7. Type 11B, 25a. Stamnos, attributed to the Siren painter (von Bothmer). Formerly Hunt brothers (no. 12); New York market, Atlantis; Sotheby's (New York) 19 June 1990, lot 13; New York, Shelby White and Leon Levy.
  8. Type 13B, 17a. Neck-amphora. Geneva market (information from von Bothmer).
  9. Type 2F, 18a. Hydria (attributed to the Leagros group). New York market (information from Michael Padgett).
  10. Type 9F, 32b. Lekythos (attributed to the Athena painter?). New York market.
  11. Type 10F, 13a. Pelike. New York market (information from Jasper Gaunt).
The loss of contexts means that there are intellectual consequences when trying to make sense of the distribution of commercial graffiti on Greek pottery.

One of the pots "once on the market, present location unknown" has a recorded history prior to 1970 and its present location is known:
  1. Type 9E, 118a. Amphora, attributed to the Niobid painter. Raymond Duncan (1874-1966) [brother of Isadora Duncan]; Dorée Duncan Seligmann [granddaughter of Raymond Duncan], by inheritance; Robert E. Hecht, Jr., New York, 1961 [mode of acquisition unknown]; New York market, Atlantis (1990); Baltimore, Walters Art Museum 48.2712 (acquired in 1993 by purchase).
Reference
Johnston, A. W. 2006. Trademarks on Greek vases: addenda. Oxford: Aris and Phillips. [Worldcat]

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