|Oinochoe fragment |
attributed to the Harrow painter
the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Source: San Antonio Museum of Art
The Manhattan DA has reportedly returned 14 more antiquities to Italy: though the objects and images presented at the press announcement counted 16 ("D.A. Bragg Returns 14 Stolen Antiquities to Italy
", Manhattan DA February 2, 2023). Two sources were acknowledged: Shelby White and the San Antonio Museum of Art. The third, the source of a silver coin, was left anonymous in the press release.
At least three of the objects appear in the Glories of the Past catalogue of the Shelby White and Leon Levy collection. The release gives further information about the Attic black-figured hydria attributed to the Priam painter.
The piece first surfaced in Italy after being looted by Giovanni Franco Becchina, a well-known antiquities trafficker. From Italy, the piece was then smuggled and laundered by Paris-based Robert Hecht. Hecht ultimately sold the piece with false provenance to Shelby White in New York County in 1989.
These add to the 14 pieces
featured in the catalogue that have been returned to Greece, Italy and Turkey.
The nine pieces featured in the images at the press statement are derived from the San Antonio Museum of Art. The objects are derived from several sources: Sotheby's in London; Christie's in London and Geneva; Galerie Palladion Antike Kunst; Galerie Günter Puhze; Royal Athena Galleries; Robin Symes. For example, the oinochoe fragment attributed to the Harrow painter surfaced through Galerie Palladion Antike Kunst, and was sold to Gilbert M. Denman, Jr. by Robert Hecht. The nine objects may be added to other pieces that were handed over in 2022
. We are also expecting further details about three other objects derived from Frederick Schultz that have been handed over by the museum.
Three other objects featuring in the press statement have yet to be linked in a formal way to a specific collection though Christos Tsirogiannis has identified two of them in the Becchina archive and one in the Schinousa archive.
The final piece is a silver coin.
The Sicily Naxos Coin. Minted circa 430 B.C.E in the Greek colony of Naxos, on Sicily, this silver coin features the bearded Dionysus on one side and his squatting drinking partner, Silenus, on the reverse. The Sicily Naxos Coin first surfaced on the international art market in 2013, when a known trafficker offered the coin for sale with no provenance whatsoever. Prior to its appearance at a London-based auction house, a co-conspirator of the trafficker supplied false provenance for the coin. The Sicily Naxos Coin is currently valued at $500,000 and was among a group of coins seized at JFK airport as it was being smuggled into New York pursuant to an ongoing joint investigation between this Office, HSI, and Italy. At least one individual has been arrested in the course of this investigation with more to follow.
Three Shelby White pieces, nine objects from San Antonio, one silver coin, and three other pieces equal 16 objects (not 14).
Objects from the San Antonio Museum of Art and in the Shelby White and Leon Levy collection were the subject of an extended discussion by Chippindale and Gill in the American Journal of Archaeology back in 2000.
Chippindale, C., and D. W. J. Gill. 2000. "Material consequences of contemporary classical collecting." AJA 104: 463-511. [DOI
LM expects to add further detail to this summary in due course.