His­tory un­der the ham­mer

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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

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