Friday, December 2, 2016

A Gnathian squat lekythos and the Becchina Archive

Source: Becchina archive
Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has spotted that a Gnathian squat lekythos that is due to be auctioned by Gorny & Mosch (lot 127). The collecting history is provided:
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.
Tsirogiannis points out that the Becchina photograph is dated to 24 September 1988. The objects appear to have been supplied by Raffaele Montichelli.

The significance of the collecting history is that the object was offered for auction at Christie's (London) on 15 April 2015 (lot 113). This is one of four lots withdrawn from the Christie's sale after Tsirogiannis had raised concerns about their collecting histories. It is perhaps noteworthy that the online Christie's catalogue has removed information about the askos.

This raises a number of questions:

  • Was the askos sold at Christie's in spite of being withdrawn?
  • Was the askos returned to its vendor?
  • Is the vendor at Gorny & Mosch the same as at Christie's?
This raises further issues about the lack of sufficient rigour on the part of the team at Gorny & Mosch. Were they unaware of the controversy surrounding the askos at last year's sale?

Gorny & Mosch need to take responsible action and withdraw the askos from the auction and to contact the Italian authorities.


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