Friday - 12 February 2016

€900,000 – the price on emperor’s head

20 May 2014Written by Anne Crane

An ancient Roman marble bust of the Emperor Hadrian that had been in the same private collection for over half a century was the runaway highlight in a recent sale held by Tessier Sarrou & Associés at Drouot in Paris.

The bearded portrait bust, shown here, stands 23in (59cm) high and its Imperial status is indicated by a crown of laurel centred by a medallion. It was dated on a stylistic basis to the first half of the 2nd century AD, favouring an attribution to Hadrian, who ruled from 117-138AD.

The carving had a provenance to the collection of the Baronne Yvonne Clément de Givry (née Grémaud), was acquired in 1947 and had passed down by descent until its appearance in this 235-lot, mixed-discipline auction of paintings, furniture and works of art on April 30.

Entered with an estimate of €150,000-200,000, it was pursued to five times that level to sell for €900,000 (£775,860).

The buyer's premium was 20%.

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