Caligula's brother dominates sale at $700k

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 11:46:16

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Caligula's brother dominates sale at $700k

A 1st century bust depicting him as a child sold with Emperor Hadrian at Christie's $8.3m sale

The Antiquities market is thriving thanks to the strong Euro, according to Christie's, whose Antiquities and Ancient Jewelry on December 11 saw a number of items smash their estimates.

A Julio Claudian Prince, one of Caligula's siblings, from the 1st century AD ($722,500)A Julio Claudian Prince, one of Caligula's siblings, from the 1st century AD ($722.5k)

A Roman Marble Portrait Bust of a Julio Claudian Prince, circa 1st half of the 1st century AD, emerged as the top seller, bringing over five-times its $80,000-120,000 estimate at $722,500.

Believed to be either Nero Iulius or Drusus Iulius, the two elder sons of Germanicus - brothers of the future emperor Gaius Caesar (Caligula) - the bust depicts its subject as a young boy, his head turned slightly to the left.

Second came a Roman Marble Portrait Head of the Emperor Hadrian, who reigned circa 117-138 AD, toppling its predicted $175,000-225,000 and netting $578,500.

Most of Emperor Hadrian's portraits show him as a never-ageing adult; he came to power aged 41 and ruled for 21 years.

The Emperor Hadrian, who reigned circa 117-138 AD, ($578.5k)The Emperor Hadrian, who reigned circa 117-138 AD ($578.5k)

Nevertheless, his surviving portraits depict him in a variety of different ways. This specimen shows him with a somewhat fleshy face, creased forehead, slight folds at the corner of the eyes, and his characteristic thick wavy hair.

A Roman marble torso of Venus ($300k-500k)A Roman marble Venus ($302.5k)

A maximum pre-sale estimate of $175,000-225,000 was more than doubled by a Roman Parcel Gilt Silver Patera - or sauce pan - circa 1st half of the 1st century AD.

Featuring highly ornate figural compositions on its handle, it sold for $506,500.

Each of the above lots were sold to private European buyers, reports Christie's.

An eye-catching and popular lot in the run-up to the sale was a Roman Marble Torso of Venus, circa 2nd century AD.

The Roman depiction of Aphrodite of Knidos by the Greek master sculptor Praxiteles was commissioned by the citizens of Kos, who then rejected the work, taking offence at its nudity.

But Praxiteles had the last laugh 1,900 years later, when an anonymous buyer ensured that it beat its minimum $300k estimate, bringing $302,500.

In total, Christie's Antiquities salemade $8,280,525.

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Images: Christie's

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