Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Symes Torso

Torso from the Schinousa Archive
Back in 2009 I noted the Roman marble torso in the Yves Saint Laurent et Lieree Bergé sale in Paris. Cambridge University researcher, Dr Christos Tsirogiannis, reminds me that this torso features in the Schinousa archive and is therefore linked to Robin Symes.

The same torso is now on offer again at Christie's in London (24 October 2013, lot 77) with an estimate of $1,277,600-$1,916,400. The collecting history is provided as follows:

  • with Galerie Marc Lagrand, Paris. 
  • Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008), acquired prior to 1974. 
  • Collection Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé; Christie's, Paris, 25 February 2009, lot 680
  • Private collection, Switzerland.

So when was it in the hands of Robin Symes? What was the source for Symes?

It is likely that the Italian authorities will be interested in this.

But were Christie's aware that this piece of sculpture comes from such a controversial source?

Note: the torso sold for $1,671,995 in 2009. 

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4 comments:

kyri said...

symes was handling perfectly legitimate pieces,as well as the looted ones.i remember reading that he handled the sales of some stately home collections dating back over 100 years.was everything in the schinnoussa archives stolen/looted?is that a proven fact? or is this a case of guilty by association without any hard evidence..
kyri.

David Gill said...

The association with Robin Symes is important and could be significant. It is also part of the collecting history of the torso. It would be helpful to learn of the torso's pathway prior to Symes.

Zsombor said...

Let me call your attention to another object of dubious provenance, which was to be sold at the same Christie's auction.
For details see http://paul-barford.blogspot.de/2013/10/christies-inscribed-silver-beaker-of.html

Zsombor said...

Note that it was, unfortunately, sold today for £962,500 ($1,560,213).

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