Friday, December 12, 2014

Controversial Egyptian Statue Fails to Sell at Sotheby's Auction

An Egyptian statute failed to sell at Sotheby's Egyptian, Classical, and Western Asiatic Antiquities auction held today in New York. Valued at over $400,000, bidding for "Lot 6" collapsed at $350,000 and did not reach the reserve price.

CHL has been probing the history of the curious piece for several weeks and expects to publish its findings in a future blog post.

In the meantime, this week Glasgow researcher Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis found the archaeological artifact listed in the Schinoussa archive. That is the set of photographs seized by Italian authorities in 2006 at the villa of antiquities dealers Robin Symes and Christos Michaelides. Click here for Peter Watson's article about the pair. The archive catalogs suspicious antiquities.

The Egyptian statue was one of six lots that did not sell today.

Purchasers found a few bargains at today's event, but many pieces commanded high prices. A small clay tablet containing cuneiform script and valued at $9000 sold for $43,750. An Egyptian black granite statue valued at $30,000 fetched $137,000. And a red-figured krater was purchased for $137,000, more than double its appraised value of $50,000.

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