Sotheby’s Ancient Sculpture & Works of Art Soars Above Estimates

  1. Jeremy
  2. July 11, 2018 9:00 am

Sotheby's Ancient Sculpture & Works of Art Soars Above Estimates

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The sale of Ancient Sculpture and Works of Art soared above the pre-sale estimate of £3.2-4.7 million to bring
£5,445,000 – the highest result for the series since it began in London in May 2016. 70% of sold lots went above the
high estimate.

The sale was led by an Egyptian indurated limestone figure of the Scribe Nekht-Ankh dating to circa 1800-1700 B.C.
The cloaked figure had been on display in the Main Hall at Palais Stoclet since 1905, amidst the frescoes and mosaics
of Gustav Klimt, and sold for £1.5 million (est. £1-1.5 million).

A Roman marble funerary altar from the 1st century A.D., first recorded in the garden of Agostino Andrea Chigi’s
villa, at the same time that Raphael was painting the interior, sold for £187,500, over three times the high estimate
(£45,000-60,000). A Roman marble torso of Hermes from the 2nd century A.D. provoked a lengthy bidding battle
which saw the messenger god fly three times over the high estimate to bring £218,750 (est. £45,000-65,000). A
rediscovered Roman wall-painting fragment which once hung in Horace Walpole’s gothic castle, Strawberry Hill
House, sold for £16,250 (est. £15,000-25,000). Two ancient Egyptian mummy masks mesmerised buyers, selling for
£162,500 (est. £60,000-90,000) and £200,000 (est. £100,000-150,000) respectively.

Ancient jewellery saw strong results, with all four lots selling far above estimate: a pair of Greek gold earrings sold
for £40,000 (est. £15,000-25,000); an Egyptian glass and carnelian bead necklace sold for £16,250 (est. £7,000-
10,000); a gold torque, probably Sarmatian, sold for £68,750 (est. £10,000-15,000), and a Sarmatian gold lion griffin head appliqué sold for £112,500 (est. £3,500-4,500).

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