Sotheby's June sale of Egyptian, Classical, and Western Asiatic Antiquities offers a wide selection of fine classical marble sculpture, Egyptian art, Greek pottery, Near Eastern antiquities, and Islamic works of art.
The highlights of the sale are three impressive and important Roman marble sculptures with long collecting histories. An extraordinarily fine and imposing over life-size Marble Torso of an Emperor once stood in the Forum of Salona in Dalmatia (present day Croatia). Depicting one of the Julio-Claudian rulers of the Roman Empire, probably Augustus, Tiberius, or Claudius, it has been in an Austrian family collection since the mid-19th century. From the same Austrian family comes a unique circa 1st century marble group of Three Satyrs Battling a Serpent. It is the only ancient sculpture in the round positively known to have been in the collection of the great Florentine ruler, antiquarian, and patron of the arts, Lorenzo de' Medici. While in the collection of 'Il Magnifico' it was seen by a young Michelangelo, and inspired one of his earliest known sculptures, the Battle of the Centaurs. An enchanting Roman Marble Bust of Athena dating from the 2nd century derives from the Greek prototype known as the 'Athena Giustiniani' so called after another Roman example now in the Vatican Museums.
Other highlights include an Egyptian Limestone Relief Fragment of a Queen, from Amarna; a fine Cycladic Marble Figure of a Goddess; a large Roman Marble Figure of Hermes; and a Roman Marble Head of the Goddess Isis. Represented in the June auction are private collections and estates from America, Europe, and Australia, including a selection from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections.