Roman marble sculptures ride high in Hindman May 27 auction

Roman marble Eros riding a dolphin, which sold for $137,500

Roman marble sculpture of Eros riding a dolphin, first to second century, which sold for $137,500

CHICAGO — Hindman realized more than $1 million in its biannual Antiquities and Ancient Art auction on May 27. Outstanding Roman and Greek marble sculptures were among standout lots, including portrait heads and Egyptian bronzes. Property from a midwest private collection; the collection of Tina and Simon Beriro of Aspen, Colorado; the estate of Lewis B. Cullman; and an important midwestern collector saw fantastic engagement. This was the first auction under new Director and Specialist of Antiquities and Pre-Columbian Art Jacob Coley, and the sale received strong interest across multiple channels, leading to great success.

“We were delighted to see how buyers responded to the rare and exceptional selection we presented in this auction,” said Coley. “As only the third sale for the department, we were thrilled to see the positive response, and are eager to continue to develop and expand our already impressive offerings.”

Highlighting the auction was a Roman marble sculpture of Eros riding a dolphin and dating from the first to second century, which soared past its presale estimate of $25,000-$35,000 to achieve $137,500. Another top lot was a Roman marble lower torso of a satyr from the second century, which sold for $75,000, triple its presale estimate. A Greek marble funerary stele of Eurynome from the early fourth century B.C. was another strong performer, which exceeded its estimate to achieve $56,250. A remarkable marble panther head from ancient Greece, made in the third to second century B.C., sold for $68,750. In classical antiquity, panthers were the companion animal to Dionysos, and the two were often depicted together in sculpture.

Roman marble lower torso of a satyr, which sold for $75,000

Roman marble lower torso of a satyr, second century, which sold for $75,000

Marble portraiture achieved strong prices, such as a Roman marble portrait head of Emperor Trajan, which sold for $43,670. A Greek marble portrait head of Ptolemy III also reached the impressive price of $37,500, and a Roman marble portrait bust of a man ultimately realized $22,500. A portrait bust of a general and a head of Emperor Marcus Aurelius sold for $15,000 and $12,500, respectively.

From ancient Egypt, a painted wood Ptah-Sokar-Osiris  saw excellent interest, ultimately realizing $37,500. A common occurrence in later Egyptian religious liturgy, Ptah-Sokar-Osiris was a conflation of three separate deities, all of whom were identified with fertility and regeneration as well as death and burial. Other highlights included an Egyptian bronze cat, which sold for $18,750, and an Egyptian limestone relief fragment, which more than doubled its estimate to achieve $13,750.


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