On May 27, Hindman Auctions
will present its biannual Antiquities and Ancient Art auction, offering collectors an opportunity to acquire objects from the worlds earliest civilizations. Comprised of more than 180 lots, the sale spans nearly four millennia and includes Roman mosaics, Greek pottery, Byzantine jewelry, and Egyptian stone and faience amulets. Most noteworthy is an impressive selection of marble portrait heads from the Greco-Roman world. Collections include the Property from an Important Midwest Private Collection, the Estate of Lewis B. Cullman, and a New York Trust.
The sale will start with early European stone tools and ancient jewelry. Stone tools such as these show sculpture in their most essential forms, while intricate jewelry illustrates the use of tools in their creation and the significance of gemstones early on.
Royal portraiture will also be showcased throughout the sale. This includes marble portrait heads of Roman emperors such as the Young Caracalla (lot 156; estimate: $80,000-120,000), Trajan (lot 146; estimate: $40,000-60,000), and Nero (lot 139; estimate: $20,000-25,000). Other portrait heads include a Hellenistic man (lot 125; estimate: $30,000-50,000), Herodes Atticus (lot 160; estimate: $40,000-60,000), and the Pharaoh Ptolemy III (lot 124; estimate: $30,000-50,000).
A remarkable marble panther head from ancient Greece made in the third to second century B.C. is the cover lot (lot 114; estimate: $40,000-60,000). In classical antiquity, panthers were the companion animal to Dionysos and the two were often depicted together in sculpture.
The auction will also feature exquisite mosaics, such as a late Roman polychrome stone mosaic from the third to fourth century A.D. (lot 177; estimate: $50,000-80,000). Scenes of exotic wild animals were popular subject matters in Roman art, particularly in large mosaic floors such as this one. Other important mosaics on offer include two fragment panels from part of a floor discovered near Rome on Monte Rosario about half a mile beyond the Porta Portensis on the banks of the Tiber (lot 175 and 176; estimates: $4,000-6,000 and 5,000-7,000 respectively). These mosaic fragments are published in A. Michaelis compendium on ancient marbles found in Great Britains treasure houses, and previously lived on the same floor as the mosaic panels currently on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Other standout lots include a Palmyrene limestone relief from the third century A.D. that depicts two merchants engaging in trade (lot 181; estimate: $50,000-70,000), an Egyptian sandstone relief of a river god from the Ptolemaic Period (lot 81; estimate: $20,000-30,000), and a Greek marble funerary stele of Eurynome from the early fourth century B.C. (lot 113; estimate: $35,000-55,000).
Bidding for the May 27 auction begins at 10am CT and is available via absentee bid, by phone, and online through the Digital Bid Room, Hindmans recently launched online and mobile bidding platform.