History under the hammer
ANTIQUITY collectors have a rare opportunity to acquire original Greek, Roman and Etruscan sculpture on June 12, when Sotheby’s holds an auction devoted to ancient marbles. Among the sale’s most important pieces is a group of four Roman statues, which originally date from about the 2nd century AD and have adorned the Jamaican villa of American jewellers Douglas and Diene Cooper since 1968, and a bust of a military officer, also dating from the 2nd century AD, which was carved out of a single piece of marble and has been at the Denver Museum of Art since 1965.
‘The storied pasts of ancient marbles are central to their allure, transporting the viewer back thousands of years and capturing the imaginations of institutions and private collectors alike,’ says Florent Heintz, worldwide head of ancient sculpture and works of art at Sotheby’s. ‘This can be felt particularly in the top lot of the sale, the magnificent Roman bust, whose character shines through from the exuberance of his hair to the direct power of his gaze.’
Although the bust has an estimate of £300,000 to £500,000, the auction also includes some smaller pieces that would suit new collectors.
These Roman statues from the 2nd century AD are part of an upcoming sale of ancient marbles