Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Euboean amphora from the Borowski collection

One of the pieces to note in Christie's forthcoming sale in June is a Euboean black-figured amphora showing a seated woman and a sphinx (lot 540). The amphora first surfaced in an anonymous sale at Sotheby's (London) December 3, 1991, lot 383. It then entered the collection of Dr Elie Borowski and was sold for $10,575 at Christie's (Rockefeller Plaza) on June 12, 2000 (lot 27; "Ancient Greek Vases formerly in the private collection of Dr. Elie Borowski"). It was then sold twice by Royal-Athena Galleries, New York, 2001 (Art of the Ancient World, vol. XII, no. 172) and 2010 (1000 Years of Ancient Greek Vases, no. 31).

Cambridge University researcher Christos Tsirogiannis has spotted the amphora in the Medici Dossier. This suggests that Medici, or one of his agents, consigned the pot to Sotheby's in London. (See other pieces that passed through Sotheby's in London and since returned to Italy.) The amphora seems to have been photographed prior to surface cleaning.

Will one of the staff at Christie's be contacting the Italian authorities to clarify the full collecting history of this piece?

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