• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12256

    Antiquities

    12 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 128

    A ROMAN ONYX CAMEO

    CIRCA 2ND-3RD CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN ONYX CAMEO
    CIRCA 2ND-3RD CENTURY A.D.
    Sculpted in two layers, white on black, with a seated bearded poet to the right, wearing a mantle over his shoulder and across his waist, holding a mask before him in his right hand, a standing actor before him, nude but for a mantle enveloping his right arm, holding a staff in his left hand; on a groundline, enclosed within a scrolling wreath centered by a rosette above, and a band of bead and reel
    13/16 in. (2 cm.) wide


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    For the subject compare the marble reliefs in Princeton and the Lateran with Menander seated, holding a mask before him, figs. 316 & 317a in M. Bieber, The History of the Greek and Roman Theater, Princeton, 1961.

    Provenance

    G. Sangiorgi Collection (1886-1965), Rome.
    Private Collection, Monaco, 1970s; thence by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTOR

    Giorgio Sangiorgi (1886-1965) was a principle of the most renowned art-dealing family in Rome. The firm was located at 117 via Ripetta at Palazzo Borghese and was famous for many important auctions, with catalogues written in collaboration with leading scholars. The galleria specialized in ancient art, furniture, ceramics and textiles. As a private collector, Sangiorgi assembled an important ancient glass collection, which he published in 1914. Masterpieces from it were sold in the 1960s and are now the pride of numerous institutions such as the Toledo Museum of Art and the Corning Museum of Glass; the bulk of the collection was sold here at Christie’s New York in June 1999, “Ancient Glass formerly in the G. Sangiorgi Collection.” As with the glass collection, many of the objects in his personal collection, such as the gems presented here, were acquired throughout Europe and never imported into Italy.