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247

A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF ARISTOTLE, CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

UK: Greenford Park Warehouse

Estimate:

80,000

to
- 120,000 GBP

Property from a European Private Collection

A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF ARISTOTLE, CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF ARISTOTLE, CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

Estimate:

80,000

to
- 120,000 GBP

Lot sold:

100,000

GBP

Property from a European Private Collection

A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF ARISTOTLE, CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.


with broad rounded beard, slightly parted lips, weary heavy-lidded eyes, crow’s feet, furrowed brow, and wrinkled forehead, his hair brushed forward from the crown and falling in thin wavy strands low over the balding pate and temples, the back carved separately, the neck carved for insertion into a herm; no restorations.

Height 34.5 cm.

Fragmentary as shown. Surface slightly worn and with minor chips and scratches. Remains of a metal pin on flat surface in back of head, probably for securing of now missing separately-carved crown.


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Nils Ebbessøn Astrup (1901-1972), Oslo, acquired in the 1950s/1960s on the advice of Prof. Hans Peter L'Orange (1903-1983), founder and then Director of the Norwegian Institute in Rome, seen by Siri Sande with Nils Astrup between 1965 and 1969

by descent to the current owner


Published

Gisela M. A. Richter, The Portraits of the Greeks, Supplement, London, 1972, p. 7, no. 19 (“Head in the collection of Mr. N. Astrup [so Mr. Seeberg has informed me]“); 

Siri Sande, Greek and Roman Portraits in Norwegian Collections (ActaAArtHist, vol. 10), Rome, 1991, p. 12, no. 3, pl. 3 and dust jacket cover illus.

Karl Schefold, Die Bildnisse des antiken Dichter, Redner und Denker, Basel, 1997, p. 506

This head belongs to a type known in several replicas; for an overview see G. Richter, The Portraits of the Greeks, vol. 2, 1965, pp. 170ff., figs. 976ff. The Greek original is dated to the late 4th Century B.C. on stylistic grounds and convincingly identified as the portrait of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 B.C.). The last replica of this type to appear at auction was at Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, December 11th, 1980, no. 163. For the possible location of the original see E. Voutiras, in: J. Bergemann, ed., Wissenschaft mit Enthusiasmus. Klaus Fittschen gewidmet, 2001, pp. 123ff.

For other marbles from the Nils Astrup Collection sold at Sotheby’s see New York, June 8th, 2011, no. 42 ("Pseudo-Seneca"), and June 3rd, 2015, no. 28 (bearded head of Dionysos), and no. 50 (Julio-Claudian portrait bust of a man).