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Rediscovered: Horace Walpole's Lost Roman Fresco

REMARKABLE EGYPTIAN SCRIBE NOT SEEN IN PUBLIC SINCE 1905
An Egyptian Indurated Limestone Figure of the Scribe Nekht-Ankh, late 12th/13th Dynasty, circa 1800-1700 B.C. (est. £1,000,000-1,500,000) For more than 100 years this sculpture has been part of the furnishings and works of art adorning the celebrated Palais Stoclet in Brussels, designed by Joseph Hoffmann and decorated in part by Gustav Klimt. A surviving black-and-white photograph shows the sculpture in the Main Hall.
Research for the cataloguing of this work revealed that the scribe had an even earlier collection history, as it was sold at auction in Paris in 1905.
The most significant example of ancient Egyptian sculpture from the Middle Kingdom to appear at auction in recent memory, the sculpture is identified in an inscription on the front of the base as ‘the Scribe of the Temple of Nekht-Ankh’. The cloaked sitter gazes into eternity with his left hand on his chest, as he would once have sat in a temple while witnessing a sacred rite. A Roman marble portrait head of a man, circa 2nd quarter of the 3rd century A.D. (lot 30, est. £40,000-60,000) In researching this marble portrait of man, the exceptional provenance of the work was brought to light: a photograph, published in 1923, places it within the celebrated collection of Wilton House in Wiltshire.
It first entered the collection in the 17th century under Thomas Herbert, The head was subsequently recorded as a portrait of a Roman Emperor, but it is more likely to be the likeness of a patrician man; under Imperial Roman rule, it became fashionable to commission private portraits resembling the Emperors and their consorts– perhaps the first ever ‘influencers’!






  • 03.07.2018
    Auktion »
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus »

    EXHIBITION
    Saturday 30 June: 12noon – 5pm Sunday 01 July: 12noon – 5

     

    AUCTION
    4.00pm, Tuesday 03 July 2018 34-35 New Bond Street, W1S 2RT

    .

Lot 28 A Roman Marble Portrait Head of a Woman, Severan,  1st Quarter of the 3rd Century A.D.,  on 17th Century Marble and Onyx Shoulders Estimate: £12,000-18,000


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  • Lot 45  A Roman Wall-painting Fragment on Stucco, circa 2nd Century A.D., with early 18th Century Italian Restorations  est. £15,000-25,000
    Lot 45 A Roman Wall-painting Fragment on Stucco, circa 2nd Century A.D., with early 18th Century Italian Restorations est. £15,000-25,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 36 A Roman marble Funerary Altar Inscribed for Julia Lyris 1st century A.D.,  Estimate £45,000-60,000
    Lot 36 A Roman marble Funerary Altar Inscribed for Julia Lyris 1st century A.D., Estimate £45,000-60,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • An Egyptian Polychrome Limestone Round-topped Stele  18th Dynasty, Reign of Amenhotep I/Tuthmosis II, circa 1514-1479 B.C. Estimate £120,000-180,000
    An Egyptian Polychrome Limestone Round-topped Stele 18th Dynasty, Reign of Amenhotep I/Tuthmosis II, circa 1514-1479 B.C. Estimate £120,000-180,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 64 An Egyptian Indurated Limestone Figure of the Scribe Nekht-ankh, Late 12th /13th dynasty Circa 1800-1700 B.C. Estimate: £1,000,000-1,500,000
    Lot 64 An Egyptian Indurated Limestone Figure of the Scribe Nekht-ankh, Late 12th /13th dynasty Circa 1800-1700 B.C. Estimate: £1,000,000-1,500,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 16 A Roman Bronze Figure of Aphrodite,  Syria,  circa 2nd Century A.D. Estimate: £40,000-60,000
    Lot 16 A Roman Bronze Figure of Aphrodite, Syria, circa 2nd Century A.D. Estimate: £40,000-60,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 19 A Roman Marble Head of Sarapis,  Egypt,  circa 1st Century A.D. Estimate: £30,000-50,000
    Lot 19 A Roman Marble Head of Sarapis, Egypt, circa 1st Century A.D. Estimate: £30,000-50,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 20 A Roman Marble Archaistic Head of a Young Woman,  circa 2nd Century A.D. Estimate: £100,000-150,000
    Lot 20 A Roman Marble Archaistic Head of a Young Woman, circa 2nd Century A.D. Estimate: £100,000-150,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus