Skip to main content

Head from the Keros Haul at Auction

The head of a marble Cycladic figure is due to be auctioned at Christie's New York, Rockefeller Plaza on 11 December 2009, lot 78 [entry]. The estimate is $20,000-$30,000. The head is attributed to "the Goulandris sculptor". The head had passed through the hands of Charles Ede (2005), and is sold as "property from the collection of Mr. &  Mrs. Charles W. Newhall, III".

The head surfaced in the 1977 Karlsruhe exhibition, Art and Culture of the Cyclades, Karlsruhe, 1977, no. 172. It then resided in the Kurt Flimm collection; there was no known find-spot ("provenance unknown").

However Pat Getz-Preziosi (Sculptors of the Cyclades, Individual and Tradition in the Third Millennium B.C., Ann Arbor, 1987, 160, no. 34) subsequently placed the head in the so-called "Keros Hoard" (or to be more accurate the Keros Haul) [earlier comments of this misnomer with on-line links]. This information was repeated in P. Getz-Gentle, Personal Styles in Early Cycladic Sculpture, Madison, 2001, 163, no. 34.

The head also appears in Peggy Sotirakopoulou, The "Keros Hoard": Myth or Reality? Searching for the Lost Pieces of a Puzzle, Athens: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, 2005, 214-15, no. 210.

Why does the Christie's entry fail to mention Getz-Preziosi's / Getz-Gentle's attribution to the Keros Haul? Why was there no mention of Sotirakopoulou's study in the catalogue entry?


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

David Gill said…
The head was sold for $60,000. Additional bibliographical references were added to the entry to acknowledge the link with the Keros haul.

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 …

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…

Metropolitan Museum of Art hands over Paestan krater

In May 2014 I commented on a Paestan krater acquired by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art after it had been identified by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis in photographic images seized from Giacomo Medici. Tsirogiannis published his full concerns in the Journal of Art Crime in 2014, but it has taken a further three years for the museum to respond.

The krater showing Dionysos in a hand-drawn cart was purchased in 1989 from the Bothmer Purchase Fund (details from the Museum's website, inv. 1989.11.4). The krater surfaced through Sotheby's New York in June 1989.

It is unclear who consigned the krater to Sotheby's New York.

It has now been revealed that the krater has been handed over to the US authorities after a warrant had been issued (Tom Mashberg, "Ancient Vase Seized From Met Museum on Suspicion It Was Looted", New York Times July 31, 2018).

It appears that the museum did make an attempt to resolve the case in December 2016. Mashberg notes:
The Met, for its par…