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A GREEK GOLD LION HEAD PENDANT
A GREEK GOLD LION HEAD PENDANT
A GREEK GOLD LION HEAD PENDANT
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PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION
A GREEK GOLD LION HEAD PENDANT

CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 5TH-4TH CENTURY B.C.

Details
A GREEK GOLD LION HEAD PENDANT
CLASSICAL PERIOD, CIRCA 5TH-4TH CENTURY B.C.
¾ in. (2 cm.) high
Provenance
Comtesse Martine-Marie-Octavie Pol de Béhague (1870-1939), Paris; thence by descent to Marquis Jean-Louis Hubert de Ganay (1922-2013), France.
Antiquites et Objets d'Art: Collection de Martine, Comtesse de Behague, Provenant de la Succession du Marquis de Ganay, Sotheby's, Monaco, 5 December 1987, lot 36.
with Robin Symes, London and New York, 2000 (Bull Leapers to Picasso, no. 39).

Lot Essay

This exquisite gold pendant is constructed from nearly pure gold and is on par with the finest work from the Classical period. The details of the ferocious lion head are chased with stippling on the nose, whiskers and mane. The lolling tongue and the teeth are separately made. The suspension loop and back edge are ornamented with a ring of large granules between two bands of beaded wire. The flat back panel, one pinned in place, is also edged in beaded wire. Animal pendants were a popular form of jewelry and would often be worn on a linen cord, either singly or with other accessories. For a similar example from Kourion, now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, see no. 187 in D. Williams and J. Ogden, Greek Gold.

Comtesse Martine de Béhague (1869-1939) was a renowned cross-category collector who traversed the Mediterranean in her yacht, The Nirvana, in search of the finest works of art. Her rarefied collection of antiquities, medieval objects, Asian works of art and impressionist paintings were displayed at her home, the Hotel Béhague, now the Romanian embassy in Paris. After her death in 1939 she left her collection to her nephew, Hubert de Ganay (1888-1974) and it was later dispersed at the renowned 1987 auction of her collection in Monaco.

This pendant is featured in the iconic portrait of Béhague painted by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret around 1900 where it is suspended from a long chain around her neck.

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