CHICAGO – Hindman’s Antiquities & Ancient Art auction on Thursday, May 25 will feature more than 240 objects from the ancient Mediterranean world. From an Egyptian faience hippopotamus to a large Cycladic marble head, this auction features a selection of ancient works that will appeal to a wide range of collectors. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
An Egyptian faience hippopotamus, estimated at $40,000-$60,000, is among the most closely watched lots leading up to the auction. It dates to Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, 1991-1783 B.C.
“Based on our research, there are only five of these Egyptian hippopotami known, including this example. We are delighted to have it on offer with us,” said Hindman Director & Senior Specialist of Antiquities & Ancient Art Jacob Coley. “We are anticipating that this dynamic statuette will see significant attention on auction day.”
While its meaning remains ambiguous and scholars continue to debate its significance, it is clear the hippopotamus has played a critical role in Egypt’s material culture.
Additional noteworthy lots include:
An Egyptian green jasper plaque, estimated at $80,000-$120,000. This plaque is a royal celebration of the horse, and depicts a very specific moment in Egyptian history: the co-regency between two pharaohs from the New Kingdom. On one side, Tuthmose III is shown as a charioteer in battle, while the reverse portrays his son and successor, Amenhotep II, in a more intimate setting, feeding his favorite steed.
A large Cycladic marble head with an estimate of $100,000-$150,000. The Cycladic head is 5 ¾in long and once belonged to an exceptionally slender figure (likely female) of nearly three feet in length. The strikingly elongated shape is punctuated by a precisely carved aquiline nose, which emerges as a ridge from the otherwise featureless face.
A group of seven intaglios, offered as lots 175-182, which were originally from the Prince Stanislas Poniatowski collection of approximately 25,000 intaglios. Once thought to be ancient masterpieces that were scattered around the world after their age was contested, intaglios are now being rediscovered and sought after by collectors of engraved gems. A strong example from the group is a Neoclassical carnelian intaglio that depicts Minerva and Cadmus sowing the dragon’s teeth. It appears as lot 177 and its estimate is $1,500-$2,500.
The collection of Arnold-Peter C. Weiss, M.D., which comprises lots 221-229 in the May 25 auction, examines anatomy through the lens of ancient art. Weiss is an internationally known hand surgeon and professor of orthopaedic surgery at both Brown University Medical School and the Medical University of South Carolina. This group of ancient hands and arms from his collection was built during nearly three decades and chosen for their aesthetic appeal.
A Greek bronze right arm, estimated at $80,000-$100,000, is among notable lots in the group. Likely cast by a royal workshop, this highly naturalistic larger than life-size arm displays a striking degree of anatomical precision.
Completing the highlights are pieces from the collection of Stephen Joel Albert (1941-1992), an American composer who also had a keen interest in history. He is best known for his 1983 work Symphony No. 1, RiverRun, written for the National Symphony Orchestra, which won a Pulitzer Prize for music.
Albert developed a passion for collecting antiquities after he won the Rome Prize Fellowship to work independently at the American Academy in Rome. Albert would go on to form a sizeable collection of objects from the ancient Mediterranean world, the majority of which will be offered across lots 1-57. A standout among these is a Roman marble relief with a female head, which has an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.
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