This South American carved gourd bowl has been sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the US for a five-figure sum by dealership Thomas Coulborn & Sons.

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New York Met buys bowl from dealer

Dealer Thomas Coulborn & Sons has sold a carved gourd bowl to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The item of South American heritage was created to celebrate the liberation of New Spain (now Mexico) from Spanish rule.

Jonathan Coulborn of the Sutton Coldf ield, West Midlands, dealership said: “The carefully chosen symbols and satirical imagery of this composition celebrate the triumph of Mesoamerica and the pre-Columbian cultures of this region over Spain’s conquistadores. The main figure has taken control of the horse (which had been a symbol of the Spanish) and the broken sceptre of imperial power lies at his feet. The triumphant, obviously Aztec ‘archangel’ also mocks the traditions of the vanquished conquistador.”

The Met said the gourd bowl “joins a small group of recently acquired artworks from post-colonial Mexico”.

It was purchased for a five-figure sum by the museum.

Thomas Coulborn & Sons sells a number of items to museums. Earlier this year ATG reported on the sale of an 18th century commode to Leeds Museums & Galleries (ATG No 2515).

Ex-Christie’s man now at 1st Dibs


Matthew Rubinger of 1stDibs.

Matthew Rubinger has joined 1stDibs as chief commercial officer. He was previously at Christie’s for the past seven years in Hong Kong, London and New York and was most recently its global head of corporate and digital marketing.

Rubinger will oversee all aspects of the 1stDibs’ relationships with its 4300 sellers and will support the company’s growth strategy, including expansion into new categories such as NFTs, auctions, international and overall supply growth.

‘Mary of Guise’ panels purchase


One of the four armorials bought at Bonhams’ The Dunrobin Attic sale on April 20 for £14,000 and now in the collection of The National Museums Scotland.

The National Museums Scotland has bought a group of armorial panels associated with Marie de Guise, mother of Mary Queen of Scots, at auction.

The four oak panels from a house inhabited by Marie de Guise, who was Regent of Scotland and wife of James V, have now been conserved by the museum.

They were purchased at Bonhams’ The Dunrobin Attic sale on April 20 for £14,000 (£17,750 with premium).

The group is said to have come from a house in Blyth’s Close, in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, where Marie de Guise lived from c.1543-54. One carries the combined coats of arms of James and Marie, later used by their daughter Mary herself.

Dr Anna Groundwater, principal curator in Renaissance and early modern history at National Museums Scotland, said: “These armorial panels are important pieces in their own right and complement our existing collection of material associated with Marie de Guise already on display.”

Roman bust heads to Getty museum


The bust of Germanicus acquired by the Getty Museum.

The J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired an early first-century marble bust of the Roman general Germanicus, the adopted son of the Emperor Tiberius and father of Caligula.

The bust was long part of the collection of the Earls of Elgin and Kincardine and is thought to have been acquired in Rome c.1798 by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin (1766-1841) – he of ‘Elgin Marbles’ fame.

It stayed with Elgin’s heirs at Broomhall House in Scotland until it was sold at auction at Sotheby’s New York in December 2012, where it fetched a premium-inclusive $8.15m (£5.07m) from a private collector. The Sotheby’s catalogue stated that the 20½in (52cm) high bust was probably among the ‘marbles’ that Elgin had instructed his private secretary William Robert Hamilton to buy on his behalf shortly before his departure for Constantinople, where he was to assume the role of British Ambassador to the Sultan.

This bust depicts the young Germanicus before the depositio barbae, the Roman ritual first shaving of the beard. While the image, or portrait type, was created at the time of his adoption, this bust is a posthumous portrait of Germanicus.

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The hammer price for a unique medal sold on December 6: an original screen-used prop offered in the East Bristol Auctions Only Fools and Horses 40th anniversary sale. The medal was awarded to Trigger (played by Roger Lloyd Pack) for his Roadsweeping Services in the episode Heroes & Villains and was largely seen during the famous ‘this old broom has had 17 new heads and 14 new handles’ scene.