Saturday, 4 July 2020

Septimius Severus from Santa Maria Capua Vetere

It has been reported (by ARCA) that a portrait of the emperor Septimius Severus that had been stolen from the Antiquarium of Santa Maria Capua Vetere in November 1985 has been seized at Christie's New York (June 2020) after being offered at auction by them on 28 October 2019, Faces of the Past: Ancient Sculpture from the Collection of Dr. Anton Pestalozzi.

According to the stated history, the head first passed to Jean-Luc Chalmin, London. Chalmin also supplied antiquities to the Stanford Place collection and to the Fleischman collection (apparently the fourth most important supplier). The Severus then passed to Galerie Arete in Zurich in 1993. (The same gallery appears to have handled ex-Becchina material.) It was then sold to Dr Pestalozzi.

How did the portrait appear at auction when it had been reported as stolen? Was the history of the piece checked? What was the due diligence process?


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

1 comment:

David Gill said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/17/arts/design/antiquities-manhattan-da.html

"Valued at up to $600,000, this portrait bust was seized in 2020 from Christie’s New York, where it had been up for sale. In 1985, Italian authorities say, armed robbers stole it from Santa Maria Capua Vetere, a town in Italy’s Campanian region. It was laundered through the Zurich antiquities market in 1998, then acquired by “a private Swiss collector,” investigators say. The marble head resurfaced on the auction market in 2019, and was spotted in an auction catalog, leading investigators to pursue its seizure."

2023: Looking Ahead

New York MMA inv. L.2022.38.47 What stories are likely to dominate LM in 2023? The loan of the Leonard Stern collection of Cycladica to New ...