Skip to main content

Recovered Masterpieces: ex Tempelsman collection

Among the antiquities displayed in the Rome exhibition, "Nostoi: Capolavori ritrovati", are objects formerly residing in well-known North American museums and significant private collections.

These include part of the former Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman collection that had been sold or donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum. Three further pieces had once formed part of the Maurice Tempelsman collection. These include a pair of griffins attacking a doe that featured in the Rome trial against Robert Hecht (Elisabetta Povoledo, "Photographs of Getty Griffins Shown at Antiquities Trial in Rome", New York Times, June 1, 2006):
According to court documents, the Getty bought the griffins from the New York diamond magnate Maurice Tempelsman in 1985 in a deal totaling $6,486,004. The sale was handled through the London dealer Robin Symes, the documents indicate.
Hecht reported the find-spot for the two polychome pieces was from Orta Nova. Giacomo Medici is quoted as saying that the Apollo came from a nearby villa.

The Tempelsman pieces are (using the numbers from the exhibition handlist):
56. Two griffins attacking a fallen doe. Marble, polychrome. Ex Getty 85.AA.106. Bibl. Gill and Chippindale 2007, Appendix A, no. 3.

57. Lekanis. Marble, polychrome. Ex Getty 85.AA.107. Bibl. Gill and Chippindale 2007, Appendix A, no. 2.

66. Marble statue of Apollo. Ex Getty 85.AA.108. Bibl. Gill and Chippindale 2007, Appendix A, no. 1.

References
Gill, D. W. J., and C. Chippindale. 2007. "From Malibu to Rome: further developments on the return of antiquities." International Journal of Cultural Property 14: 205-40.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Codename: Ainsbrook

I have been watching (UK) Channel 4's Time Team this evening. The programme looked at an undisclosed field (under a potato crop) where a Viking burial had been found. The location in Yorkshire was so sensitive that it was given a codename: Ainsbrook. Here is the summary:
In late 2003 two metal detectorists were working in a field in Yorkshire. They found 'treasure' buried just beneath the surface – a collection of Viking material next to a body. Although they had been detecting on the site for a number of years, during which time they had made large numbers of finds, nothing they had uncovered previously compared with this. They decided to share their discovery with archaeologists.The programme explored the tension between metal-detectorists and the English Heritage sponsored archaeologists putting six trenches into the field based on a geo-physical survey. Finds made by the metal-detectorists did not easily map onto the archaeological features.

Part of the programme had an …

The scale of the returns to Italy

I have been busy working on an overview, "Returning Archaeological Objects to Italy". The scale of the returns to Italy from North American collections and galleries is staggering: in excess of 350 objects. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the material that has surfaced on the market without a history that can be traced back to the period before 1970. 

I will provide more information in due course, but the researcher is a reminder that we need to take due diligence seriously when it comes to making acquisitions.

Stele returns to Greece

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture has announced (Saturday 8 September 2018) that a stele that had been due to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London in June 2017 has been returned to Greece (Friday 7 September 2018). The identification had been made by Cambridge-based forensic archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.

It appeared that the stele had been supplied with a falsified history as its presence with Becchina until 1990 contradicted the published sale catalogue entry. It then moved into the hands of George Ortiz.

A year ago it was suggested that Sotheby's should contact the Greek authorities. Those negotiations appear to have concluded successfully.

The 4th century BC stele fragment, with the personal name, Hestiaios, will be displayed in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens. It appears to have come from a cemetery in Attica.