|Attic black-figured amphora|
Source: Schinousa archive, courtesy of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis
The post-excavation histories of objects are important as we map the that cultural property passes through collections and the markets. This is clear for an Attic black-figured amphora, attributed to Group E, that is due to be auctioned at Christie's New York on October 31, 2018 (lot 31). It shows Herakles and the Nemean lion, and Theseus and the Minotaur.
The auction catalogue claims that it surfaced in the hands of John Hewett in London in 1970 (or earlier), then to a private collection in Europe, followed by a series of auctions:
- A European private collection; Antiquities Sotheby's, London, 11 July 1988, lot 130
- thence to a private collection, New York
- Antiquities Christie's, New York, 15 December 1992, lot 81
- Antiquities Sotheby's, New York, 17 December 1996, lot 50
- Antiquities, Sotheby's, New York, 4 June 1998, lot 102
- 1: London, market
- 2: London, market, Sotheby's
- 3: New York (NY), market, Sotheby's
- 4: London, private
- 5: New York (NY), market, Sotheby's
When did the amphora reside with Robin Symes? Was this the European private collection? Or was this the London private collection between December 1996 and June 1998? Or are these private collections different again?
The amphora was known to Sir John Beazley and was listed by him in 1971. It is, however, surprising that the auction catalogue entry and the BAPD record do not coincide more closely. And the amphora's presence in the hands of Robin Symes adds to our knowledge of how the amphora passed through the market.