As the demand for ancient art continues to grow, Christies
announces the upcoming Antiquities sale on 6 October 2011. The auction will feature 252 lots, with items dating from 4th millennium B.C. to the 15th century A.D.. Offering a broad spectrum of quality pieces from Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire and the Near East at a wide range of prices, the auction will include several important pieces over £100,000. The sale as a whole is expected to realize between £2.8 million and £4.2 million, and follows the success of Christies April sale of Antiquities which achieved the highest total for the category in London since 2002.
A Private German Collection
Highlighting the sale are four important vases offered from a Private German Collection, which together are expected to realize a total in excess of £430,000. It is an exceptional selection, and a wonderful opportunity for collectors to indulge in some of the greatest examples by some of the best-known painters of Attic red-figured vases on the market. The collection is led by an Attic red-figured pointed neck-amphora attributed to Syriskos, circa 475-450 B.C. (Lot 85- estimate: £250,000-350,000). The body of the vase is extensively decorated with a scene from Greek mythology: the hero Herakles is shown in the garden of the Hesperides seated alongside the river gods Strymon and Oceanos. Also on offer are two Attic red-figured lekythoi attributed to the Brygos Painter, circa 480-470 B.C. (Lot 83 - estimate: £80,000-100,000), and an Attic red-figured stamnos attributed to the Peleus Painter, circa 440 B.C. (Lot 84 - estimate: £100,000-200,000).
The Gabrielle Keiller Collection
Three Cycladic figures from The Keiller Collection are offered to market for the first time in thirty years. The works were acquired in 1981 by Gabrielle Keiller (1908-1988), wife of archaeologist, and Dundee marmalade firm heir Alexander Keiller, as a fitting addition to her extensive collection of modern art. Leicestershire-born Gabrielle Keiller (née Ritchie) was an avid golfer for the first half of her life before giving up the sport after losing her third husband and golfing companion, Alexander Keiller, to cancer. Her interest in antiquities had been fuelled upon meeting archaeologist Alexander Keiller, whose private collection included Egyptian antiquities, however, he was most passionate about Prehistoric archaeology, which led to him financing excavations, as well as building and founding a museum in his name in Avebury, Wiltshire. The Alexander Keiller Museum is now run and owned by English Heritage and the National Trust. After her husband died in 1955, Mrs Keiller volunteered at the British Museum and participated in many published studies in the field of ancient art. From around 1960 onwards she began collecting modern art, including works by Dali, Magritte, Freud, Munch, Miró and others, which were bequeathed to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1988. The three antiquities on offer at Christies are to be sold by her family, led by the Cycladic marble figure attributed to the Goulandris sculptor, late Spedos variety, circa 2500 B.C. (Lot 55 - estimate: £30,000-40,000).
A superb piece with particularly detailed provenance is an exceptionally fine quality Greek bust of Dionysus with a provenance that can be traced back to the Collection of Captain George Spencer-Churchill (1876-1964). Following Spencer-Churchills death, his famous collection at Northwick Park was auctioned at Christies London in 1965. This piece was bought for £1,470, it is now expected to realize £7,000-10,000.
Offered from various owners, the sale also includes a number of fine marble and bronze portrait heads, of both Greek and Roman origin, dating from circa 3rd century B.C. through to the 3rd century A.D. The characters depicted include a portrait of Germanicus (lot 120), as well as two beautiful Greek portraits of the goddess Isis-Aphrodite, probably from Alexandria (lots 117 and 118), a stunning Greek portrait of a young girl (lot 115), and an imposing Roman bronze portrait head of a male, from the period of the Soldier Emperors, circa mid-3rd century A.D. (lot 145).