Results Our sale of Antiquities held on 12 December comprised 49 lots, of which 43 were sold. Nearly 60 percent of the sold lots realized hammer prices higher than their high estimates, and nearly 30 percent within estimates. The total net sales for the entire auction exceeded the presale high estimate by half a million dollars, making it one of our most compact and successful auctions. Our sale met and exceeded our consignors' expectations more than any Antiquities sale held worldwide this year, and with the highest average lot value.
Auction Details The Antiquities sale on December 12 is particularly strong in Classical and Egyptian sculpture, including a Roman marble head of the goddess Artemis which was featured on the cover of our February 1971 sale, a late Hellenistic marble figure of a satyr holding a wineskin once in the collection of Baron Maximilian von Heyl, Saint Gallen, a Hellenistic marble group of a god and goddess formerly in the Borghese collection, a very graceful Hellenistic marble figure of Aphrodite, and an Egyptian diorite bust of a priest of the Temple of Mut at Karnak, probably Nes-ptah, son of Mentuemhat , mayor of Thebes in the 7th Century B.C. Among the other highlights is a fine Greek red-figure calyx krater attributed to the Phiale Painter, until recently only known through a drawing from 1848.
The present statue will soon be published by Olivier Perdu in the Revue d'Egyptologie. In a letter dated November 24th, 2014, the author makes a strong case for identifying the present statue as an early Ptolemaic official named Serdjehuty, "Divine father and hepet-wedjat priest." His title and the very beginning of his name appear at the bottom of the second column of inscription on the back pillar. An identical sequence of signs is attested on a block statue in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (inv. no. 48.24.8), which is securely attested as belonging to Serdjehuty. The rest of the inscription on the present statue shows epigraphical features typical of the early Ptolemaic period, such as the hare with long curving tail pointing up and the viper with downward-curving horns. Olivier Perdu argues that the double wig is a revival of 26th Dynasty fashion with Ptolemaic stylistic modifications; the vertical wavy lines on the wig can be found on a fragmentary Ptolemaic block statue in the Louvre (inv. no. E 27070; O. Perdu, Les statues privées de la fin de l'époque pharaonique [Musée du Louvre], vol. I, Paris, 2012, pp. 168-175, no. 11). In terms of proportions, the torso of the present figure is comparable to a bust in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (25.2.1) once thought to date to the 26th Dynasty and now attributed to the early 4th century B.C. (B. v. Bothmer, MDAIK, vol. 37, 1981, p. 76, no. 10; id., Quaderni de la "Ricerca scientifica", vol. 116, 1988, p. 53, fig. 7, and p. 60). A fragmentary sistrum inscribed for Serdjehuty in the Cairo Museum (inv. no. CG 1009) and once thought to connect to the present statue (see Sotheby's, New York, June 5th, 2008, footnote to lot 57) has now been conclusively shown not to be part of it. This does not in any way disprove the identification of the present statue as Serdjehuty.