CHICAGO – On November 18, Hindman Auctions achieved $1,121,063 in its Antiquities and Ethnographic Art auction, which included remarkable engagement with ancient Egyptian sculpture. Figural stone sculptures and portrait heads also saw strong bidding activity. The auction offered objects from the fifth millennium BCE to the 20th century CE.
Emerging as the top lot of the auction was an Egyptian granodiorite falcon, which shattered its presale estimate of $7,000-$9,000 to sell for $93,750. The falcon is seen as a powerful and fierce bird in ancient culture. Bidders recognized value in the fine craftmanship and overall condition.
Other Egyptian sculpture that saw fervent bidding activity was an Egyptian alabaster canopic jar, which climbed well past its estimate of $30,000-$50,000 to achieve $87,500. This jar is from the reign of Tuthmosis III, yet remains impressively intact with much of its original pigment. The inscription is for a scribe named Apis, reading in five lines: “Oh Selket, (you) have wrapped (your) two arms around. What is in (you) so that (you) may protect Quebehsenuef who is in you, and the one revered before Quebehsenuef, the Osiris, the Scribe, Apis, True of Voice.”
An Egyptian limestone sarcophagus lid from the Late Period (26th-30th dynasty, 664-343 BCE) sold for a fantastic price of $68,750. An Egyptian limestone round-topped stele realized $37,500, more than four times its presale estimate.
Figural stone sculptures and portrait heads also saw passionate bidding. Examples included a Roman marble Alexander the Great, circa the 1st or 2nd century CE, which sold for $59,375, exceeding its presale estimate of $35,000-$45,000.
A rediscovered black marble Roman torso of the goddess Venus realized $53,125 compared to a presale estimate of $40,000-$50,000. An iconic image from antiquity, this sculpture’s unique dark hue is what makes it so distinctive.
Other ethnographic highlights included a Zapotec terracotta jaguar, which sold well above its presale estimate of $3,000-$6,000, realizing $18,750. A Greek bronze Chalcidian helmet sold for $20,000 against a presale estimate of $12,000-$18,000, and three Syrian stone spectacle idols realized $15,000.
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