Skip to main content

The Berlin painter krater fragments in Malibu

I have noted the return to Italy of a fragmentary red-figured krater attributed to the Berlin painter. The fragments were donated sequentially.

The earliest fragments were donated in 1977 by Herbert Lucas (inv. 77.AE.5), followed by a gift of Vasek Polak in 1982 (inv. 82.AE.124.1-42). Dietrich von Bothmer gave eight further fragments in 1984 (inv. 84.AE.972.1-8) [JSTOR] [no. 22], and two other pieces were sold from Galerie Nefer ("European art market") in 1984 (inv. 84.AE.68) [no. 21].

One of the other sellers of a fragment was Frederick H. Schultz, Jr. who was associated with Jonathan Tokely-Parry. He sold his fragment in 1987 (inv. 87.AE.51), though the J. Paul Getty Museum recorded it as a donation by Bothmer [JSTOR].

Fifteen further fragments were added in 1990 from the "London art market" (inv. 90.AE.2.1-15) [JSTOR]. A further set of loans was made in 1989 (L.89.AE.43.1-3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13-15, 20, 23, 24, 28, 30, 39).

Peter Watson has commented on these fragments in The Medici Conspiracy: "In the case of the Berlin Painter krater,  the bulk [of the fragments] came from Symes, quite a few came from Dietrich von Bothmer, a few came from Nefer Gallery, and one from Fred Schultz" (p. 227). Watson also implies that the the loan of fragments was made by Giacomo Medici who had offered to sell them for $125,000 (p. 225).

Where did Bothmer acquire the fragments that he presented?

Bibliography
Moore, M. B. 2000. "The Berlin painter and Troy." In Greek vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum, vol. 6: 159-86. Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum.
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.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

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.