Skip to main content

Hellenistic Gold Wreath at Bonhams


The gold wreath due to be auctioned at Bonhams (lot 240) next week is discussed on "Archaeology Matters". There is a link to a report in the Greek press (N. Kontrarou-Rassia, "Στο σφυρί μοναδικά και πανάκριβα αρχαία", Eleutherotypia, April 9, 2010). It appears that Greek archaeologists have contacted Bonhams asking for further information about the wreath and requesting additional photographs.

The first documented appearance of the wreath was at Sotheby's in London (July 11, 1988, lot 83). However it is also stated that the wreath resided in an unspecified private Swiss collection; the date of acquisition is uncertain ("between the 1930s-60s"). This sounds like one of the "interesting provenances" that was highlighted in the press release issued by Bonhams.


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

David Gill said…
The wreath was unsold.

Lot No: 240
A Hellenistic gold oak wreath
Circa 4th-3rd Century B.C.
Composed of numerous projecting sprays of sheet gold oak leaves with serrated edges and veins, miniature acorns nestling amongst them, each spray attached by twisted gold wire to a circular gold tube, the overlapping ends bound together to form a crown, 17in (43cm) diam, 5½in (14cm) deep, mounted on a perspex stand

Estimate: £100,000 - 120,000

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…