Friday, March 28, 2014

Becchina, Ariadne and a London sale

My Cambridge colleague Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has spotted that a Canosan polychrome painted and lidded pottery pyxis being offered at Bonhams London next week (April 3, 2014, lot 22) seems to appear in two photographs from the Becchina Archive. The pyxis has an estimated value of £3000-£5000. The stated collecting history is: "American private collection, New York, acquired from Ariadne Galleries, New York City in the late 1980s". Did Becchina sell the pyxis to the Ariadne Galleries as the paperwork seems to suggest? (And what else did Ariadne Galleries acquire from this source?)

British readers will know that the Ariadne Galleries are associated with the infamous case of the Icklingham Bronzes. (When will they be returned to the UK?)

Will Bonhams be contacting the Italian authorities? How has Bonhams tightened up it due diligence process? How has it changed since the Geddes issue?

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