CHICAGO – A Roman marble torso of the goddess Venus was among the top performers at Hindman’s biannual Antiquities & Ancient Art auction on May 25, selling for $63,000. Executed in the 1st century A.D., this nearly life-sized sculpture of the iconic goddess was one of many impressive results achieved for Roman marbles. Overall, the auction realized $1,362,028.
Venus, the goddess of sensual love, is shown in the sculpture presented here in a format traditionally used in her connection with seafaring, worshipped as Aphrodite-Venus ‘Pontia’ (of the open sea) and ‘Euploia’ (good sailing). She is depicted as if emerging from the sea nude to be admired by grateful sailors.
Noteworthy results also included a Greek bronze right arm from the collection of Arnold-Peter C. Weiss, M.D., which earned $94,500. Ancient Egyptian highlights included a Middle Kingdom faience hippopotamus, which brought $56,700 against an estimate of $40,000-$60,000.
Additional highlights of the sale included an Attic black-figured amphora, attributed to the circle of the Antimenes Painter, which realized $63,000. The Greek vase beautifully illustrates the high drama of its subject matter, with Hercules clad in the skin of Nemean lion towering over the fallen Amazonian Queen Hippolyta on the obverse.
A Cycladic marble torso, published and exhibited in 1959, soared past its $7,000-$9,000 estimate to realize $56,700.
The auction began in exciting fashion with 57 lots from the collection of Stephen Albert, a renowned American composer, which was nearly 100 percent sold.
Hindman Director & Senior Specialist of Antiquities & Ancient Art Jacob Coley said: “Overall, we are thrilled with the results of last week’s auction, and to see that the market continues to be strong across all sectors of the ancient world. From the rare and impressive Egyptian hippopotamus to the spectacular Attic amphora with Herakles and Hippolyta, it was gratifying to see enthusiastic bidding throughout the entire sale.”
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