Skip to main content

Antiquities Surfacing in Freiburg

One of the sources for antiquities that appear to be newly-surfaced is Galerie Günter Puhze in Freiburg, Germany. I say "appear to be" because there is rarely a declared history before Freiburg.

Let me give four random examples from among those listed in my research notes (KdA = Kunst der Antike, issued by Galerie Günter Puhze):
a. An Attic red-figured amphora, attributed to the Triptolemos painter. KdA 10, no. 200. Subsequently Christie's, London, November 12th, 1996, no. 142; Sotheby's, New York, June 5th, 1999, no. 171 (US$21,850); Sotheby's, New York, 6 June 2006, lot 17 (US$45,000).

b. An Apulian situla, attributed to the group of Copenhagen 4223. KdA 6 (1985), no. 226. Subsequently: Sotheby's, London, July 13, 1987, lot 308; purchased by Dr & Mrs Jerome M. Eisenberg. Now Boston, MFA 1991.242, gift of Dr and Mrs Jerome M. Eisenberg.

c. An Attic red-figured lekythos, attributed to the Oiokles painter. KdA 8 (1989), no. 211. Subsequently: Dr Elie Borowski collection; Christie's, New York, June 12, 2000, lot 79. Now: Jerusalem, Bible Lands Museum 4642.

d. An Etruscan neck amphora. KdA 6 (1985). Subsequently: Gilbert M. Denman collection. Now: San Antonio Museum of Art 85.119.8.
There should be no reason to be suspicious of the history of the pieces. After all, the Gallery is a member of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art. In the Code of Ethics is this statement:
"The members of the IADAA undertake not to purchase or sell objects until they have established to the best of their ability that such objects were not stolen from excavations. architectural monuments, public institutions or private property."
The details of former owners are not provided so it appears that Galerie Günter Puhze stands at the start of the chain. But if these pieces were known before the 1970 UNESCO Convention it would be helpful - if only for the sake of transparency - for the dealer to provide this information. Were these pieces in some old German (or other) collection? Where have such complete pots been lurking for the last few centuries? Such histories would dispel any suspicions.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return.  The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael …

Mithras relief from Tor Cervara

A fragmentary relief of Mithras was discovered in 1964 at Tor Cervara on the outskirts of Rome. It was acquired by the Museo Nazionale Romano.

A further fragment of the relief was acquired by the Badisches Landesmueum in Kalrsruhe in 1976. The source was an unstated Swiss dealer. This fragment has been reunited with the rest of the relief [press release].

Today a further fragment of the relief was reunited with the other pieces. This had been recovered during a raid in Sardinia.

The Toledo skyphos and a Swiss private collection

The Attic red-figured skyphos attributed to the Kleophon painter in the Toledo Museum of Art (inv. 1982.88) is now coming under further scrutiny following the research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. The skyphos shows Hephaistos returning to Olympos.

Tsirogiannis has identified what appears to be this skyphos in five photographs in the Medici Dossier. The museum acknowledged that the skyphos had resided in a 'private Swiss collection'. Tsirogiannis suggests that this is probably a reference to Medici.

Enquiries to the museum by Tsirogiannis elicited the information that the skyphos had been acquired from Nicholas Koutoulakis (although that information does not appear on the museum's online catalogue).

The curatorial team at the Toledo Museum of Art will, no doubt, be contacting the Italian authorities to discuss the future residence of the skyphos.

For further discussion of the Toledo Museum of Art on LM see here.

Reference
Tsirogiannis, C. 2017. "Nekyia: Museum ethics an…