ROUND UP: The pick of three lots of classic jewellery at Sotheby’s latest antiquities sale in New York from the collection built by Jan Mitchell was this 4th century BC Greek gold wreath of two olive branches bound with shoots of ribbed leaves and berries.
Measuring 9½in (24cm), it took a
five-times-estimate $275,000 (£185,810). It is similar to a wreath
dated to the much later Hellenistic period, which took £150,000 at
Christie's London in April.
Other jewellery lots included a pair of
Etruscan earrings dating from the late 4th/early 3rd century BC
which almost doubled the estimate at $150,000 (£101,351) and a late
3rd/early 4th century AD Roman gold armlet decorated with small
rosettes and miniature theatre masks, which went at $190,000
(£128,378) - more than six times top hopes.
The buyer's premium was 25/20/12%.
A jewellery hit in Paris
The outstanding item in this month's
300-lot antiquities sale at Pierre Bergé & Associés was a 2in (5cm)
wide, gold running-stag dress ornament from the Patti Birch
Dated to the 7th-6th century BC, it is very
similar in form to another excavated in 1897 and now in The
Hermitage. The fleeing deer motif is characteristic of the
Scythians and other peoples.
It sold at €500,000 (£416,665) at the
auction on June 1.
Another great rarity in this wide-ranging
sale was a very well-preserved ancient Egyptian pleated linen tunic
dated to the 6th-11th Dynasties, which sold below estimate at
The buyer's premium was 25/17.9%.
Above: The gold stag dress ornament that
made €500,000 (£416,665) atPierre Bergé& Associés.
Egyptian vase sparks
The 265-lot sale of antiquities from two
private collections held by Binoche et
Giquello (26% buyer's premium) on May 30 produced a major
surprise in the form of an early Dynastic Period cylinder vase
inscribed in hieroglyphs with the name of King Narmer.
The 8in (20cm) high diorite vessel, dating
from c.3150BC, was broken at the top and a large part of the rim
was missing but it retained the all-important scratched inscription
of a catfish over a chisel surmounted by a falcon, which spelled
out the name of the first Pharaoh of unified Egypt.
Anyone hoping to buy it at the published
estimate of €15,000-20,000 had to think again as bidding rose to
Also going way over estimate was a 7in
(18cm) high, Fourth Dynasty ointment jar of flared cylindrical form
with a spreading foot.
Once again there were considerable losses
but the scratched inscription was still fresh and clear. In this
case the hieroglyphs included the name of Djedefre, a Pharaoh whose
effigy in the form of a sphinx head excavated at Abu Rawash is one
of the treasures of the Louvre. Bidding on this reached €280,000