Goodwill find in Texas turns out to be Ancient Roman bust

 Taking home the Portrait of a man after purchasing the bust at the Goodwill in Austin. Image courtesy of Laura Young


Taking home the Portrait of a man after purchasing the bust at the Goodwill in Austin. Image courtesy of Laura Young

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — When Austin, Texas-based art collector Laura Young purchased a marble bust at a local Goodwill store in 2018, she didn’t know that she had accidentally stumbled upon a centuries-old sculpture that once belonged in the collection of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The work, which was initially identified by Sotheby’s consultant Jorg Deterling and further authenticated by the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens, and Lakes, is now on view at the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) through May 2023.

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US authorities have returned a cache of looted antiquities to Libya, among them a Hellenic bust of a veiled woman dating to circa 350 BCE. Image courtesy of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

US returns smuggled ancient artifacts to Libya

US authorities have returned a cache of looted antiquities to Libya, among them a Hellenic bust of a veiled woman (left) and a work dubbed ‘Veiled Head of a Female,’ (right) both dating to circa 350 BCE. Images courtesy of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

US authorities have returned a cache of looted antiquities to Libya, among them a Hellenic bust of a veiled woman (left) and a work dubbed ‘Veiled Head of a Female,’ (right) both dating to circa 350 BCE. Images courtesy of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) – The United States on March 31 returned a cache of smuggled ancient artifacts to Libya as the oil-rich Mediterranean country struggles to protect its heritage against the backdrop of years of war, turmoil and unrest. The repatriated items include two sculptures dating to the 4th century BCE from the ancient city of Cyrene.

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November 2011 image of an ancient Buddhist settlement at Mes Anyak in Afghanistan. Taliban leaders who once ordered the destruction of Buddhist sculptures are now committed to preserving Mes Anyak’s art and artifacts to please Chinese investors attracted by a nearby copper mine. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, photo credit Jerome Starkey. Shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

With an eye on funding from China, Taliban now preserves Buddhas

November 2011 image of an ancient Buddhist settlement at Mes Anyak in Afghanistan. Taliban leaders who once ordered the destruction of Buddhist sculptures are now committed to preserving Mes Anyak’s art and artifacts to please Chinese investors attracted by a nearby copper mine. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, photo credit Jerome Starkey. Shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.


November 2011 image of an ancient Buddhist settlement at Mes Anyak in Afghanistan. Taliban leaders who once ordered the destruction of Buddhist sculptures are now committed to preserving Mes Anyak’s art and artifacts to please Chinese investors attracted by a nearby copper mine. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, photo credit Jerome Starkey. Shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

MES AYNAK, Afghanistan (AP) – The ancient Buddha statues sit in serene meditation in the caves carved into the russet cliffs of rural Afghanistan. Hundreds of meters below lies what is believed to be the world’s largest deposit of copper. Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers are pinning their hopes on Beijing to turn that rich vein into revenue to salvage the cash-starved country amid crippling international sanctions.

The fighters standing guard by the rocky hillside may once have considered destroying the terracotta Buddhas. Two decades ago when the Islamic hard-line Taliban were first in power, they sparked world outrage by blowing up gigantic Buddha statues in another part of the country, calling them pagan symbols that must be purged. But now they are intent on preserving the relics of the Mes Aynak copper mine. Doing so is key to unlocking billions in Chinese investment, said Hakumullah Mubariz, the Taliban head of security at the site, peering into the remnants of a monastery built by first-century Buddhist monks.

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Indian Ambassador Santosh Jha and Art Recovery International (ARI) founder Christopher A. Marinello pose with the third century Indian limestone panel, which had been stolen from a museum in the mid-1990s and was recently recovered and returned to India. Image courtesy of Art Recovery International

Ancient limestone panel recovered and returned to India

Indian Ambassador Santosh Jha and Art Recovery International (ARI) founder Christopher A. Marinello pose with the third century Indian limestone panel, which had been stolen from a museum in the mid-1990s and was recently recovered and returned to India. Image courtesy of Art Recovery International

Indian Ambassador Santosh Jha and Art Recovery International (ARI) founder Christopher A. Marinello pose with the third-century Indian limestone panel, which had been stolen from a museum in the mid-1990s and was recently recovered and returned to India. Image courtesy of Art Recovery International

BRUSSELS, Belgium – Art Recovery International has announced the recovery of a part of India’s cultural heritage dating from the second half of the 3rd century. This is the third such repatriation of stolen and looted Indian art in the last three months for Art Recovery International (ARI) working in partnership with The India Pride Project (IPP).

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Bell from Columbus’ Santa Maria will toll at Affiliated auction, March 2

The naval bell that was once aboard the Santa Maria, one of the three ships Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World, will be auctioned on March 2. It is estimated at $2.5 million-$5 million.

The naval bell that was once aboard the Santa Maria, one of the three ships Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World, will be auctioned on March 2. It is estimated at $2.5 million-$5 million.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Affiliated Auctions and Realty, LLC landed “the historical object of a lifetime” when the bell of the Santa Maria arrived at their auction house last month. The naval bell reportedly was aboard the largest of Christopher Columbus’ fleet of ships used during his first voyage of discovery and new lands in 1492. The auction house will offer the bell for public sale on Wednesday, March 2. Its estimate is $2.5 million-$5 million. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Burton Agnes chalk drum, chalk ball and bone pin, 3005-2890 BCE. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

British Museum unveils exciting prehistoric art discovery

Burton Agnes chalk drum, chalk ball and bone pin, 3005-2890 BCE. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Burton Agnes chalk drum, chalk ball and bone pin, 3005-2890 BCE. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

LONDON – On February 9, The British Museum and Allen Archaeology announced the discovery of what they call “the most important piece of prehistoric art to be found in Britain in the last 100 years.” The object is a 5,000-year-old chalk sculpture that was found on a country estate near the village of Burton Agnes in East Yorkshire.

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1860 Pony Express envelope to Lincoln heads to auction Jan. 26

Pony Express envelope addressed to Abraham Lincoln, sent from San Francisco, and postmarked Aug. 18, 1860. Image courtesy of H.R. Harmer Fine Stamp Auctions

NEW YORK – On January 26, a philatelic auction gallery in New York will be offering the sixth installment of 10 featuring the “Erivan” Collection of United and Confederate States Postal History. This particular installment is distinguished by its inclusion of a Pony Express envelope addressed to Abraham Lincoln.

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Italian museum sending Parthenon fragment to Athens in nudge to UK

The Parthenon temple, shown at night. The A. Salinas Archaeological Museum in Sicily, Italy announced a four-year loan of a Parthenon frieze fragment to the Acropolis Museum in Athens, an act designed to nudge the British Museum and other European institutions to return their holdings of Parthenon marbles to Greece. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, taken by Athanasios Benisis in September 2004 and shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

The Parthenon temple, shown at night. The A. Salinas Archaeological Museum in Sicily, Italy announced a four-year loan of a Parthenon frieze fragment to the Acropolis Museum in Athens, an act designed to nudge the British Museum and other European institutions to return their holdings of Parthenon marbles to Greece. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, taken by Athanasios Benisis in September 2004 and shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

ROME (AP) – An Italian museum is lending a fragment of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, in what both sides hope will become a permanent return that might encourage others – the British Museum, in particular – to send their own pieces of the works back, too.

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The Stag’s Head Rhyton, dating to circa 400 BCE, is one of several antiquities Michael Steinhardt relinquished for repatriation. Image courtesy of the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Hedge fund founder Steinhardt to return looted antiquities

Pictured (from left to right): The Larnax, a death mask, and the Stag’s Head Rhyton. Hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt surrendered the three and more in a deal that permitted him to return $70 million worth of stolen antiquities and accept a lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities. Images courtesy of the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Pictured (from left to right): The Larnax, a death mask, and the Stag’s Head Rhyton. Hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt surrendered the three and more in a deal that permitted him to return $70 million worth of stolen antiquities and accept a lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities. Images courtesy of the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

NEW YORK (AP) – Billionaire hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt has agreed to turn over more than $70 million worth of stolen antiquities and will be subject to an unprecedented lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities, the Manhattan district attorney announced December 6.

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Yongzheng-marked bowl, estimated at $500-$800, commands $160K

 

Chinese porcelain bowl with lid bearing Yongzheng markings

Chinese porcelain bowl with lid bearing Yongzheng markings, sold by Stefek’s for $160,000 + buyer’s premium on Oct. 28

ROSEVILLE, Mich. – A porcelain bowl with lid bearing Yongzheng period (1678-1735) marks and assigned an estimate of $500-$800 sold on October 28 for the stunning sum of $160,000 plus buyer’s premium at Stefek’s Auctioneers & Appraisers. Absentee and Internet live bidding during the sale was provided by LiveAuctioneers.

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