Coming from the region of Boeotia in the 6th century BC, the regal-looking figure was possibly made to depict the goddess Demeter or her daughter Persephone as both had cult centres and sanctuaries located to the south of Thebes.
Rare, highly decorative and academically significant – similar examples are in the British Museum and The Met – the diminitive 9in (23cm) figurine more than doubled expectations to sell for £75,000 in Antiquity: A Personal View, a small single-owner sale conducted online throughout July by Christie’s (25/20/13.5% buyer’s premium).
It had increased in value since its last appearance at auction a dozen years ago when it sold for £42,000 as part of the collection of graphic designer Hans Schleger, best known for his Second World War propaganda posters and modernisation of the ‘circle and bar’ symbol for London Transport.
Other top performers from the London series included a commanding Etruscan bronze figure of a kore that attracted 26 bids before it sold for £180,000 (estimate £40,000-60,000) at Sotheby’s (25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) on July 9.
A Late Republican marble bust of a man, bearing a striking resemblance to Julius Caesar and descended through the family of German arms manufacturer Emil Georg Bührle (1890-1956), sold for £160,000 (estimate £80,000-120,000) at Christie’s main antiquities sale from July 6-27.
An accomplished Hellenistic head carving of a veiled woman topped Bonhams’ (27.5/25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) antiquities sale on July 23 at £42,000 (estimate £30,000-50,000).