Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cycladic at Auction: over $1 million

Today's auction at Sotheby's, New York, saw a Cycladic figure of Spedos type fetch US $1,022,500 (lot 27). The piece was first known as the property of Michel Dumez-Onof of Mount Street, London, (October 1980). It then appeared in the exhibition, "Classical Antiquities from Private Collections in Great Britain. A Loan Exhibition in Aid of the Ashmole Archive," Sotheby's, London, (January 15th-31st 1986), before passing into the hands of Stanley J. Seeger.

Two Egyptian pieces fetched over US $1 million. First was a royal figure, perhaps from one of the boundary stelai of Amarna (lot 15, $1,082,500). This was known to be in the hands of Leo Mildenberg, Zurich, in 1960. It then formed part of the collection of Denys Sutton, editor of Apollo. The second was an Egyptian greywacke figure of a man that was said to have been discovered by Henry Salt "in the Temple of Bubastes, Lower Egypt" (lot 17, $1,650,500). It subsequently formed part of the Warwick Castle collection, and, after its sale at Sotheby's in 1997, a private collection.

An Assyrian foundation plaque from Tukulti-Ninurta's temple of Ishtar at Assur, and acquired in 1917, sold for $932,500 (lot 62). Two of the three lots formerly from the Villa Rufolo collection were sold (Lot 50, $28,125; Lot 58, $31,250).

The sale fetched $8,899,375, substantially more than was raised at Christie's yesterday ($4,735,100). Overall this year's antiquities sales at Christie's and Sotheby's in New York have raised over $28 million.

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