LARGER THAN LIFE
Hercules, the greatest of the Ancient Greek heroes, is depicted standing at ease with his lion skin draped over his left shoulder, his burly form well-defined, no doubt resting after having completed his many labours. This powerful over-life-sized Roman marble torso of the mighty Hercules is fittingly one of the top lots to be offered in The Exceptional Sale taking place on 11 December.
The dedicated Antiquities sale on the same day opens with a striking array of objects from a Swiss private collection, many of which were originally collected by the connoisseur Charles Gillet (1879–1972). Ancient Egyptian highlights include a complete 6th Dynasty limestone figure of an official and an exquisite Middle Kingdom painted wood figure of a man. From Ancient Greece there is an extraordinarily rare early Geometric period bronze figure of a warrior, a Boeotian black-figured kantharos decorated with dancing revelers, and an important Athenian red-figured cup showing Dionysus with a retinue of aroused satyrs and maenads.
Christie’s is also delighted to present a superbly well-curated collection of Egyptian art from the Harer Family Trust Collection. This is the second sale from Dr Benson Harer, which features an important alabaster figural vase in the form of a pregnant woman, a steatite royal portrait likely depicting Tutankhamun (above), and a blue faience sceptre finial of the god Bes. Other important lots include: a rare marble female idol from the Ozieri culture of Sardinia; a marble portrait of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great; and a Roman bronze jug known as the Trajan jug, cast with intricate battle scenes showing the Emperor’s campaign against the Dacians, which echoes the scenes on the famous Trajan’s Column in Rome.
Nearly 100 lots, including necklaces, rings and earrings, many still wearable, comprise the Ancient Jewelry sale in the afternoon. Highlights include a Greek gold finger ring engraved with a Siren playing the double flute, a Greek gold bracelet with detailed lynx-head terminals, a Roman garnet ring stone engraved with a portrait of Livia, Rome’s first Empress, and a late Roman gold bracelet embossed with theatre masks along its perimeter.