Showing results 1 - 12 of 19 for the tag: Sotheby’s.

April 29, 2014

The shame associated with the Sevso Hoard

Posted at 1:06 pm in Similar cases

Part of the disputed Sevso Hoard was recently returned to Hungary (purchased off an unidentified seller in London).

Colin Renfrew looks at some of the history of the treasure, and the losses both to archaeology & to peoples reputations over what has happened with it in the years since its discovery.

Sevso treasure in 1990

Sevso treasure in 1990

From:
Art Newspaper

Shame still hangs over the Sevso hoard
The recent return of seven of the 14 pieces of Roman silver to Hungary from the UK is a positive development in the find’s sad history
By Colin Renfrew. Comment, Issue 257, May 2014
Published online: 29 April 2014

It is a relief that the sorry story of the misappropriation of the great treasure of late Roman silverware known as the Sevso hoard now seems to be reaching an acceptable conclusion. A tangled tale of greed and irresponsibility by “collectors” in high places who might have known better, seeking a quick and easy profit and showing little respect for the world’s archaeological heritage, it ends where it presumably began, in Hungary.
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April 25, 2014

Auction houses turn a blind eye to looted artefacts

Posted at 2:22 pm in Similar cases

Just when I was thinking that the claims of due dilligence by auction houses were too good to be true – it turned out that they were.

Prasat Thom temple in Cambodia

Prasat Thom temple in Cambodia

From:
Gulf Times

Return to sender: Not easy at all
24 April 2014
By Kate Bartlett

Cambodia filed a suit against Sotheby’s, claiming the auction house had agreed to sell a warrior statue known as the Duryodhana while knowing it had been looted from its pedestal during the 1970s. By Kate Bartlett

Cambodia, which was heavily looted of many of its cultural riches during the Khmer Rouge years and the turbulent civil war that followed, is making concerted efforts to get its priceless antiquities back.
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September 13, 2013

Interested in the Acropolis? There are some old photos of it for auction (guide $30,000)

Posted at 12:46 pm in Acropolis

It would be amazing to see more images of the Acropolis before 1870, showing it free from many of the modern interventions that are now present on the site.

Unfortunately I don’t think many will be able to afford it with a guide price of USD $30-50,000. That said, they are originals from the very early days of photography – so their price is justifiable.

From:
Art Daily

Sotheby’s announces its bi-annual auction of Photographs in New York on 2nd October

NEW YORK, NY.- On 2nd October 2013 Sotheby’s will present its bi-annual auction of Photographs in New York. The sale will feature a range of imagery from the 19th to 21st centuries and is especially rich in masterworks from the first half of the 20th century, including several iconic American photographs by artists such as Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and Paul Outerbridge. The sale is led by the intimate Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait—Torso, circa 1919, by Alfred Stieglitz, one of only three prints known and the only one in private hands (est. $300/500,000). The pre-sale exhibition opens on 28th September.

Ansel Adams is represented by a strong group of five mural-sized photographs, most notably his majestic Tetons and Snake River (est. $250/350,000) and the stark Winter Sunrise (est. $150,000/250,000). A brilliant color carbro Advertising Study created by Paul Outerbridge for ScotTissue, circa 1938, showcases the unique talent of one of the progenitors of modern color photography (est. $50/80,000).
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March 5, 2013

Restitution debates become ever more divisive

Posted at 9:28 am in Similar cases

As the modern globalised world becomes more closely connected, it is in some ways easier than ever, to become a collector of rare & ancient artefacts & amass a sizable collection fairly rapidly. Paradoxically though, it is at the same time becoming harder too, as purchases are subject to ever closer scrutiny.

From:
Financial Times

September 13, 2012 12:13 am
Home isn’t always where the art is
By Peter Aspden

As the drive to reclaim national treasures gathers pace, the restitution debate is growing ever more divisive

It is one of the art world’s greatest paradoxes: while the market for cultural treasures becomes more and more globalised, the clamour for those works to be repatriated to their country of origin becomes ever louder. In theory it has never been easier for museums, dealers and collectors to become international players on the art scene; in truth, it is getting more difficult by the day.

The claims for the restitution of works of art that are said to have been plundered from their native land grow apace. The case of the 10th-century Cambodian statue that was put up for auction last year by Sotheby’s, only to be blocked by a last-minute legal bid for repatriation, is only one recent example.
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December 12, 2012

Sotheby’s didn’t sell the Elgin Marbles – they sold a marble sculpture that was legally purchased by Lord Elgin

Posted at 2:14 pm in Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Just like the auction of casts by Christies, this story might be connected to Lord Elgin & may also be connected to Marbles – but really has very little to do with the Elgin Marbles.

From:
Daily Telegraph

Art market news: Sotheby’s sell Elgin marble
Last week Sotheby’s sold a marble bust owned by Lord Elgin, aquired in from Rome in 1799 for $8.2 million (£5.1 million
By Colin Gleadell
3:22PM GMT 11 Dec 2012

Had it been one of the Greek marbles which Thomas Bruce, the 7th Lord Elgin, spirited out of the Parthenon in Athens, shipped home to England, and sold to the British Museum in 1816, then last week’s sale in New York would have been a front-page scandal. Not only are they owned by the British Museum, but the Greek government has for years been trying to negotiate their return to Athens. However, Sotheby’s did have a marble bust which the same Lord Elgin acquired at that time, not from the Parthenon, but from Rome, which was never sold and has stayed in the family ever since. In 1799, shortly before his departure for Constantinople, where he was to be British ambassador to the Sultan, and from where he was to conduct the removal of the Parthenon marbles, the Earl instructed his private secretary, William Robert Hamilton, to go to Rome and buy “marbles” for his ambassadorial residence. Among these marbles was a portrait bust of Germanicus (pictured), the father of the Emperor Caligula, showing him as a young heroic figure.
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November 10, 2011

India’s cultural artefacts scattered around the world

Posted at 1:57 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The Koh-i-Noor diamond might be the artefacts from India that grabs the most headlines, but there are many other artefacts from the country also located in museums & private collections abroad.

From:
Times of India

National treasures scattered across the world
Reema Gehi, Mumbai Mirror Mar 19, 2011, 12.48pm IST

As the Pearl Canopy of Baroda goes up for auction soon, we take a look at other such national treasures scattered across the world

The remarkable objet d’art — Pearl Canopy of Baroda — will soon be auctioned at Sotheby’s, New York. It is estimated to fetch $5 million (about Rs 22.51 crore).
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Followup to the Benin Idia mask auction

Posted at 1:43 pm in Similar cases

An interesting follow-up to the abandoned auction of a mask from Benin, whose ownership was disputed.

From:
Modern Ghana

Queen-Mother Idia and Others Must Return Home: Training Courses are no Substitutes for Looted Treasures
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Wed, 16 Mar 2011

At the height of the protest organized by the Nigeria Liberty Forum against a proposed auction of a Queen-Mother Idia hip-mask by the Galway family at Sotheby’s in December 2010, it was reported that the Nigerian government was in discussions with British authorities about restitution of the Benin bronzes and that a body was to be set up in Nigeria which would be charged with the responsibility of securing the return of looted artworks that are in foreign hands. Tribune reported (1) that, “the Federal Government is seeking diplomatic option to end the controversy surrounding the reported planned sale of the prized art objects.” The Tribune stated further that “The source disclosed that President Jonathan had given instructions to the effect that no effort should be spared to get the Benin arts, as well as other such artefacts that symbolised the pride of Nigerians and their rich cultural heritage. The president also ordered that machinery should be set in motion to get the artefacts repatriated into the country.

On the nature of the president’s intervention, the source said appropriate officials that would handle the matter had been contacted and were expected to take the matter to the highest level of authority in Britain, adding that “we are ready to pursue the matter to the highest level.”
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April 20, 2011

Benevento Missal returns to its rightful owners

Posted at 1:08 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Perhaps the end of the long running story of the return of the Benevento Missal. Initially something that was not legally possible, but that was later allowed by changes to the law on restitution of artefacts looted during the Nazi era.

From:
Daily Telegraph

British Library returns 900-year-old religious manuscript to Italy
By Nick Squires, Rome
5:01PM GMT 07 Feb 2011

A 900-year-old religious manuscript which was looted in Italy during the Second World War has been returned by the British Library to its rightful owners in the southern Italian town of Benevento after a decade-long legal battle.

A British lawyer who acted for the archdiocese of Benevento, handed back the manuscript personally. The codex was written on parchment around 1100.

“The return of the missal had become highly symbolic for Benevento and its cathedral, so they were absolutely delighted to have it back,” Jeremy Scott, the lawyer, said.
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April 18, 2011

Global systems for tracking looted antiquities

Posted at 12:45 pm in Similar cases

Despite significant coverage of looting of antiquities, the same antiquities often re-surface a few years later at auctions, or appear in museums. In some cases, this is because some parties choose not to ask too many questions when buying artefacts, but in many other cases, it is merely because the scale of the international art market is so huge, that it is almost impossible to track & catalogue every item accurately & thereby trace their true provenance.

From:
Washington Post

Reputable auction houses try to get all (arti)facts before selling antiquities
By Brian Vastag
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 1, 2011; 8:10 PM

The first Indiana Jones movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” offers many a scene to make archaeologists wince, but none more so than a quiet moment early on when the intrepid Professor Jones sells plundered artifacts to Marcus Brody, director of the fictional National Museum in Washington.

“The museum will buy them as usual,” Brody says with a wink. “No questions asked.”
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February 10, 2011

Sotheby’s cancels sale of disputed African mask

Posted at 1:39 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the canceled sale of the disputed Oba mask by Sotheby’s.

From:
Independent

Sotheby’s cancels sale of ‘looted’ Benin mask
Online protests halt auction of ‘plundered’ 16th-century artefact
By Rob Sharp, Arts Correspondent
Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Sotheby’s has scrapped its February sale of a controversial £4.5m mask believed to have been looted by British forces from 19th-century West Africa.

A number of private individuals contacted the auction house last week to complain about the sale of the 16th-century ivory mask, once thought to have belonged to an ancient Nigerian king. Local government officials in Nigeria have publicly condemned the sale and criticised the object’s current owners, the descendants of a former British government official involved in an 1897 British invasion of Benin, a city-state in what is now Nigeria.
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February 7, 2011

Sir Henry Lionel Galway’s family and the aborted auction of the Idia mask from Benin

Posted at 10:26 pm in Similar cases

A more in depth look at some of the issues stemming from the canceled auction by Sotheby’s of a disputed Queen Idia mask

From:
Compass (Nigeria)

Galway family can’t sell what does not belong to them – Prince Akenzua
Friday, 07 January 2011 00:00 Emmanuel Agozino

In 1996 Prince Godfrey Eweka Akenzua II was appointed the leader of Benin Kingdom’s centenary anniversary of the 1897 invasion on Benin. Ever since, he has remained the arrowhead of the people’s global campaign for repartration of their looted artifacts, scattered around the world. Nigerian Compass’ Art Correspondent, EMMANUEL AGOZINO, visited Prince Akenzua’s palace in Benin City, Edo state and discussed the current development around the Sotheby’s proposed sale of Queen Idia Mask with him.

Prince, from your angle, what is the issue?
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February 1, 2011

Nigeria & the looted artefacts from the Benin Empire

Posted at 1:37 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the proposed auction of an Queen Idia mask, looted from Benin in 1897. The auction is merely a symptom of a much wider ranging problem though – that museums & collectors pay too little attention to the actual provenance of the artefacts that they are acquiring.

From:
AllAfrica

Nigeria: Between the Country’s Artefacts And Western Iconoclasts
Ovwe Medeme
4 January 2011

Lagos — More controversies have arisen on the legality or otherwise of the refusal of the west to return the artefacts looted from the Benin Empire in 1897. Iconographic nature of the artefacts notwithstanding, foreign museums have continued to flaunt and exhibit the mask and other artefacts without recourse to their origin.

Before now, a lot of people have thought that there was only one Idia mask, the one in the British Museum. A few people realised that there was one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and another at the Seattle Art Museum as well as another in the Linden Museum, Stuttgart. There is currently the news of a fifth mask that was to have been sold later this year.
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