Monday, September 1, 2008

Sotheby's (London) and the Returns to Italy

Common threads are beginning to emerge from a study of the recent returns to Italy. It is possible to start building up a picture, even though some of the institutions (and the single private collector) have yet to issue detailed information (see earlier comments).

At least seven of the pieces appear to have "surfaced" at a Sotheby's auction in London. These were clearly purchased in "good faith".
  1. New York, MMA 1985.11.5. Attic red-figured amphora, attributed to the Berlin painter. S (L) 1982 December 13-14, lot 220.
  2. Boston, MFA 1998.588. Lucanian nestoris. S (L) 1982 December 13-14, lot 298.
  3. Boston, MFA 1988.431. Apulian loutrophoros, attributed to the White Sakkos painter. S (L) 1984 December 10, lot 366.
  4. New York, Jerome Eisenberg. 1992. Attic black-figured neck-amphora, attributed to the Leagros gorup. S (L) 1985 July 17-18, lot 257 (it then passed through Galerie Günter Puhze in Freiburg; reported to have been acquired by Royal-Athena Galleries in 1992).
  5. New York, Shelby White. Attic black-figured neck-amphora of Panathenaic shape, attributed to the painter of Louvre F 6. Glories no. 104; S (L) 1985 July 17, lot 313.
  6. New York, Jerome Eisenberg. 1991. Attic red-figured column-krater, attributed to the Geras painter. S (L) 1987 December 14, lot 295.
  7. Boston, MFA 1999.735. Attic red-figured bell-krater, attributed to the painter of the Louvre Centauromachy. S (L) 1995 December 14, lot 95.
Who consigned the pieces?

Peter Watson's study, Sotheby's, the inside story (London: Bloomsbury, 1997), pp. 117, 120, commented on two of these specific sales:
  • July 1985: '104 unprovenanced antiquities' consigned by Christian Boursaud of Geneva (PO Box 41, 57 Avenue Bois de la Chapelle, 1213 Onex, Geneva)
  • December 1987: '360 lots, 101 were sent in by Editions Service' (of Geneva)

Image
Apulian loutrophoros, attributed to the White Sakkos painter. © MiBAC.

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