Archive | Ancient Near East

the Guennol Goddess sold.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the goddess exceeded all expectations, selling for $57,161,000., including buyers premium, at Sotheby’s. That is fifty seven million dollars, when I thought the estimate was ambitious at 14 to 18 million dollars. To me, that is a frightening amount of money; while I think the object is priceless, this is enough money to fund a small nation, to remake a museum, or city in the US, it is allot of money. It is abstract, which might be the whole point, when it comes to objects of world class importance and unquestioned provenance, the money is meaningless, nothing is too much. I went to the reception at Sotheby’s on Monday evening and the theatrical display of the goddess complimented the little video about it on their website. They created a room with panels of cloth, with huge blow up images of the figure in front of it, you entered behind one such image to go into a black draped room, in the center of which was a black stand with the goddess […]

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The Antiquities Auctions and the Guennol Goddess

It is upon us, the fall/winter antiquity auctions, Sotheby’s and Christies in New York, the first week of December. There are two antiquity auctions each year, one in summer, the second in early December. This past summer saw the sale of items from the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY, which had the spectacular Artemis which went for so much money.(See my old post “Out with the old, in with the New”) This upcoming auction has another star, the Guennol Goddess, which has been on loan for decades to the Brooklyn Museum, but the owners have decided to sell it now. Statuette of lioness goddess, Elamite, ca. 3000 B.C. Magnesite or crystaline limestone, Height: 3 1/4 inches.  This monumental miniature statue depicts a mysterious goddess in the form of a lioness, with drilled holes which may have been fitted with tufts of fur for tail, mane and ornaments. Very little is known about the figure, it was purchased in the early 20th Century in Baghdad, and then handled by Joseph Brummer, the venerable dealer of […]

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