Skip to main content

The Geddes Collection at Auction

Bonhams managed to attract significant adverse publicity when they attempted to auction part of the collection formerly owned by Graham Geddes in 2008.

I note that the sale of antiquities next week (October 24, 2012) includes four ex-Geddes pieces:
  • lot 81. Apulian red-figured hydria, attributed to the Truro painter. Surfaced: Sotheby's, London, 9 December 1985, lot 375. Exhibited: the University of Melbourne, March 1988-July 2003; the Museum of Mediterranean Antiquities, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, November 2005-April 2008 .
  • lot 82. Apulian hydria, attributed to the Patera painter. Surfaced: Sotheby's London, 21 May 1984, lot 222. Exhibited: the Borchardt Library, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, March 1986-April 2008.
  • lot 85. Gnathian volute krater. Surfaced: Sotheby's London, 9 Dec 1985, lot 378. Exhibited: University of Melbourne, Australia, March 1986 - February 1994.
  • lot 86. Campanian red-figured neck-amphora, attributed to the Pilos Head group. Surfaced: Sotheby's London, July 11th, 1988, lot 178. Exhibited: the Museum of Mediterranean Antiquities, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, December 1989 - April 2008.
It should be noted that these four pieces surfaced at Sotheby's, London between 1984 and 1988. Such a shared "pedigree" can be noted for other Geddes pieces. The May 1984 sale is particularly significant. Will Bonhams reveal who consigned these four pieces to Sothebys in 1984, 1985, and 1988? What sort of due diligence checks have been made?

The loan of material to various Australian collections is also of note.

Some of the ex-Geddes material can now be found in the Mougins Museum of Classical Archaeology and the National Museum of Archaeology in Madrid.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

kyri said…
hi david,if im not mistaken,all these lots were bought from the geddes sale by mr levette,for his museum.i wonder why he is getting rid of them now?i also bought in the same sale but avoided anything with a sothebys provenance like the plague.as for your question,do you really think bonhams know who consignd these pieces to sothebys in the 80s,i dont think they do.the only innocent party in all this is graham geddes,buying antiquities in the early 80s was different than what it is today.
kyri.

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…