Christie’s: antiquity with doubtful origin on sale in upcoming auction

Roman marble figurine on sale on the upcoming auction at Christie's in October 2016. The image of the figurine is from the confiscated Symes archive.

Roman marble figurine on sale on the upcoming auction at Christie’s in October 2016. The image of the figurine is from the confiscated R. Symes archive, which Christie’s fails to note.

From the confiscated archive of Robin Symes, a Roman marble figurine of a draped goddess at Christie’s forthcoming antiquities auction in New York, October 25th 2016 (lot 92) was identified by Christos Tsirogiannis, who is also member of our committee. Greek police seized the photographs during a 2006 raid on Robin Symes’ villa on the island of Schinoussa. Christie’s fails to include Symes in the collecting history of this antiquity; the catalogue entry reads: ‘Property from a distinguished Private Collection’ with the provenance ‘Perpitch Gallery, Paris. Acquired by the current owner from the above, prior to 1991’.

Since over 93% of the antiquities that Symes sold were illicit, it would be useful to research the full collecting history and true origin of this antiquity, especially before 1991.

The figurine is estimated at $100,000 – 150,000 (see here the catalogue entry of Christie’s).

The American Authorities and Interpol were informed.

Update from October, 21st, 2016: Christie’s has withdrawn the figurine from the auction!

 

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