Covering an unprecedented spectrum of objects from Classical Greece and Rome to Ancient Egypt and the Near East, Sotheby’s sale of Ancient Sculpture and Works of Art soared beyond pre-sale expectations to total £3,910,125. The auction was led by a Roman Marble Head of Ganymede, which sold for £429,000. One of the most Roman marble heads to be offered at auction in recent history, this portrayal of handsome and youthful divine hero is the only known copy of a lost Classical Greek original sculpture. An exceptionally preserved and extremely rare early Byzantine marble sigma-shaped table brought £429,000. Unusually depicting Aphrodite with maritime themes, it promotes magic, fertility, love and success to be pondered on during feasts and musical or theatrical performances. A South Arabian Funerary Stele representing a priestess or goddess, from the ancient kingdom of Qatabān soared to over eight times its pre-sale estimate to bring £339,000. Of the Ancient Egyptian offerings, a finely carved circular calcite offering table with a loaf of bread and vessels sold for £321,000, 32 times its pre-sale estimate of £8,000-12,000. A set of four Egyptian alabaster canopic jars depicting the four sons of the deity Horus sold for £200,000. Depictions of the animal kingdom also performed well, with an Egyptian bronze figure of a cat from 664-342 B.C. bringing £52,500 and an Egyptian ebony inlay head of Anubis from 1540-1190 B.C. selling for £50,000. Further highlights included a Roman black marble head of Hermes, son of Zeus and Maia, which sold for £206,250 and a striking Greek Corinthian helmet, hammered from a single sheet of bronze, which brought £168,750.
Following the outstanding results of our June 2017 auctionAncient Marbles: Classical Sculpture & Works of Art, we are pleased to announce our 29 November sale Ancient Sculpture & Works of Art, which will cover a wider spectrum of objects, from Classical Greece and Rome to Ancient Egypt and the Near East. With a wide range of estimates, the sale will present an opportunity for first-time buyers as well as seasoned collectors.