Saturday, 12 June 2021

An amphora attributed to the manner of the Princeton painter

Photo: Becchina Archive
Source: Christos Tsirogiannis
An Attic black-figured amphora attributed to the manner of the Princeton painter has been "passed" by the Artemis Gallery of of Louisville CO (June 10, 2021, lot
0029). (The scholar who made the attribution has not been indicated.) The piece shows, "Both sides present a nude youth riding a horse to the right followed by a bird in flight and set between two cloaked confronting figures." 

The history of the piece is presented as follows (although the sequence is not made clear):
East Coast, USA collection; ex-California, USA collection, acquired at Auktion 5, Jean-David Cahn, Basel, 5 September 2005, lot 36; ex-collection, Switzerland (Dr. Gregor Berger, CH-Jona SG, Collection of his father, the late Professor Dr. H.C. Mult Ernst Hern (1928-2006) - former Director of the Basel Museum
However, Christos Tsirogiannis has identified the amphora from the Becchina archive.  He suggested that Becchina sold the amphora at Christie's (Geneva) on May 5, 1979. If so, is this the unattributed amphora ('Horseman between onlookers, bird' on both sides) noted on the Beazley Archive (BAPD 2495)?

What is the sequence of this amphora? Could we suggest the following?
Becchina; sold in Geneva by Christie's (May 5, 1979); Professor Dr. H.C. Mult Ernst Hern (1928-2006), former Director of the Basel Museum; inherited by Dr. Gregor Berger; sold in Basel, Jean-David Cahn (September 5, 2005); California collection; East Coast collection.
When did this amphora leave the tomb (hence, 'intact and quite excellent') in which it was placed?

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A Couchant Horned Goat from the Medici Dossier


The goat has surfaced (as was re-spotted by Tsirogiannis) as "Masterful Greek Hellenistic Ceramic Goat Vessel" in the Artemis Gallery in Louisville CO, as lot 0054. The history is given as "East Coast, USA collection; ex-Royal-Athena Galleries, New York, USA, acquired in the 2000s". The lot was "passed" on June 10, 2021. 

The Artemis catalogue does not mention any link with Italy, but the RAG catalogue of 2010 helpfully noted 'South Italy, 4th century BC'.  Will the Italian authorities be seeking its return?

This was one of 16 pieces identified on the New York market back in 2010, yet it has remained available for sale. 


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An amphora attributed to the manner of the Princeton painter

Photo: Becchina Archive Source: Christos Tsirogiannis An Attic black-figured amphora attributed to the manner of the Princeton painter has b...