Paris: Auction of illicit objects at ‘Pierre Bergé & Associés’

The French auction house ‘Pierre Bergé & Associés‘, Paris, is about to auction on Wednesday, May 16, a very rare bronze Roman doctor’s box, full of its surgical instruments. The group is lot 236, is estimated at 16,000-18,000 euros and the only collecting history (‘provenance’) that accompanies it is: ‘Hishiguro antiquities collection, Tokyo, 1992‘.

Image of the tools and the box from the Symes-Michaelides Archive

The same group of objects was identified by Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis in a professional image from the Symes-Michaelides archive but depicted in it in a much worse condition, fragmented, corroded and before its restoration (see the image on the right). It is extra indicative that the names of Symes and Michaelides have been omitted from the ‘provenance’ section of the catalogue, apparently to avoid raising suspicion.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence yet for the country of origin. However, one hopes that one of the 28 countries that used to be part of the Roman Empire in antiquity may claim it back.
French authorities were informed about the auction.
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