Wednesday, November 30, 2016

New Surfacings and Re-surfacings in Germany

Source: Schinoussa archive
Cambridge based archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogannis has made a number of new identifications for items that are due to be auctioned by Gorny & Mosch in Munich on 14 December 2016.

Below is a text based on Tsirogiannis' notes and reproduced with his permission.

1. An Etruscan bronze figure of a youth (lot 19)
Mid 5th century B.C.
Collecting history: 'Ex Sammlung R.G., Deutschland. Bei Royal Athena Galleries, New York, Catalogue XXI, 2010, 43. Ex Sotheby´s Catalogue of Antiquities 13. Juli 1981, 341'.
Tsirogiannis had previously identified the same figure from the Symes archive when it was on offer in the Royal Athena Galleries on October 2010. It was one of several pieces identified from the Medici and the Becchina archives. In January 2011 these identifications were presented in brief through 'Looting Matters' and by the Italian journalist Fabio Isman in Il Giornale dell'Arte (see here). It is unclear why this piece has resurfaced given the earlier discussion.

2. An Apulian red-figure situla attributed to the Lycurgus painter. (Lot 87)  
360 - 350 B.C.
collecting history: 'Provenienz: Aus der James Stirt Collection, Vevey in der Schweiz, erworben 1997 bei Heidi Vollmöller, Zürich'.
This situla is shown covered with soil and salt encrustations from an image in the Becchina archive.
A handwritten note indicates that the images were sent from Raffaele Montichelli to Becchina on 18 March 1988. this predates the collecting history presented by Gorny & Mosch.

3. An Apulian red-figure bell-krater attributed to the Dechter painter (Lot 88)
350 - 340 B.C.
Collecting history: 'Ex Galerie Palladion, Basel; ex Privatsammlung von Frau Borowzova, Binnigen in der Schweiz, erworben 1976 von Elie Borowski, Basel'.
The Gallerie Palladion [Antike Kunst] was associated with Becchina. An image from the Becchina archive shows the krater covered with soil and salt encrustations. The date printed on the image reads 'APR 4 '89' (4 April 1989), making almost impossible the attested involvement of Elie Borowski 13 years earlier in the collecting history of the krater.

4. A Gnathian squat alabastron with the bust of a winged woman with sakkos, attributed to the White Sakkos Painter (Lot 127)  
Apulia, 320 - 310 B.C.
Collecting history: 'Ex Christie´s London, 15.04.2015, ex 113; aus der Privatsammlung von Hans Humbel, Schweiz, erworben bei der Galerie Arete, Zürich in den frühen 1990er Jahren'.
This alabastron is also depicted in the Becchina archive in an image dating 24 September 1988, sent to Becchina again by Raffaele Montichelli. Again the date on the image is pre-dates the collecting history given by Gorny & Mosch.
However, the most significant element of this case is that it is the first example of an object reappearing after it was withdrawn following one of Tsiirgiannis' identifications.This alabastron was one of the two vases comprising lot 113, in Christie's 15/4/2015 antiquities auction in London. At that point the alabastron was among four identifications Tsirogiannis made and all four antiquities were withdrawn before the auction. All four cases and the image of the alabastron were published on the ARCA blog. It seems that the owner of the alabastron is trying to sell the vase in the antiquities market of a different country, thinking that Tsirogiannis would not notice the piece.

Tsirogiannis reports that Interpol as well as German and Italian authorities have been informed.

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