Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Looking back to 1986

Peter Watson's Sotheby's: Inside Story (1997) discusses the background to the December 1986 sale at Sotheby's in London (p. 120). This marked the transition to consignments by Editions Service (and ultimately from Giacomo Medici). There is no need to rehearse here the impact of "The Medici Conspiracy" with some 120 antiquities returned from key North American museums as well as a high-profile private collections.

But the December 1986 sale is important. Two lots from the sale had to be withdrawn from the sale of the Geddes Collection at Bonham's in October 2008.
  • Lot 15: Apulian oinochoe. Surfaced: Sotheby's London, Antiquities, December 8th, 1986, lot 185.
  • Lot 28: Apulian bell-krater. Surfaced: Sotheby's London, Antiquities, December 8th, 1986, lot 188.
The impact of the bad publicity surrounding this sale has even been the subject of a speech by Lord Renfrew in the House of Lords.

Any auction-house offering material that surfaced in the December 1986 sale would want to be certain that their piece or pieces could not be linked to Medici.

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