Antiquities auction to raise collectors blood pressure

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 23rd August, 2022

Part two of the Greek and Roman antiquities collection assembled over many years by Australian collector Stewart Macciolli will be auctioned from 5pm Sunday September 4 by Christian McCann Auctions at 7 Harper Street, Abbotsford – six months after the first sale was held at his Hampton home.

The antiquities and collectables were designed for the late 1600s and 1700s Grand Tour market at a time when mainly young Englishmen travelled throughout Europe on exploration and learning expeditions.

As a teenager, the stories surrounding the Grand Tour fascinated Stewart and he began collecting look-alike antiquity artworks created as souvenirs for Grand Tour travellers.

There are 49 lots in part two of the auction and no doubt collectors will be super keen to acquire them once the bidding starts.

Lot 1, an Egyptian Old Kingdom carved alabaster vessel dating from circa 2575 to 2134 BC, is typical of the items and quality on offer.

A large Predynastic green schist repast bowl (lot 2) is another drawcard along with a beautifully carved Egyptian fragment of the male head of a priest (lot 5).

Lot 8 is a pair of Predynastic Egyptian stone axes from the third millennium BC – one of dark green serpentine with a ribbed butt end and the other granite in anthropomorphic form.

One of the Grand Tour items on offer is an Attic Red Figure Kylix attributed to Greek carpenter/painters active in the fourth and fifth centuries BC.

Lot 15 shows a Manaed – women devoted to the god Dionysus in Greek mythology – being pursued and captured by a satyr.

A Greek Revival Attic Red Figure Stamnos or vase (lot 19) is adorned with male fight scenes on both sides.

Lot 20 is an 18th century or earlier Canosan painted Askos (pottery vessel from the Greek town of the same name) featuring a bulbous body with vertical spout and tall neck with much of the original pigment intact.

A Roman marble mosaic panel circa 3rd-4th century AD (lot 23) should attract plenty of attention while the highest estimated item in the catalogue (at $35,000-$50,000) is a large and important Egyptian Old Kingdom limestone wall panel fragment featuring a large figure of Vizier (chief minister) wearing a Nubian wig (lot 43).

Other feature items include a very rare Central Asian/Assyrian sickle shaped sword (lot 27) and a finely detailed Grand Tour bronze figure of a seated scholar with scribe and parchment (lot 48).

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