‘Hamilton Aphrodite’ sells for record $ 24.6 million at auction – ARTnews.com


An ancient Roman marble statue dubbed the Aphrodite of Hamilton sold for £ 18.6million ($ 24.6million) in a single lot sale at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday. The result for the sculpture was 9 times the low estimate of £ 2million ($ 2.7million). He set a record for the most ever paid for an ancient marble sculpture, according to the auction house.

After 5 bidders competed for the work in a 20-minute battle in the live auction at Sotheby’s in London, the work won a final bid of $ 16 million placed by an Asian collector. The anonymous buyer was bidding over the phone with Nicole Ching, responsible for client relations and European client strategy at Sotheby’s.

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Prior to Tuesday’s sale, the marble sculpture, which dates back to the 1st or 2nd century CE, had not been seen by the public since its last sale in 1949. The sculpture had once resided in the domain of the 8th Duke of Hamilton in Scotland, known as Hamilton Palace, where it had stood for 144 years.

In 1920 it passed into the hands of London merchants Spink and Son, who sold it to American publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Hearst kept a treasure trove of antiques in his homes in Wales, California and elsewhere, but stored this statue along with most of his art collection in a five-story warehouse in the Bronx before it was released. sold to a New York art dealer 30 years later.

Although the current result has surpassed the previous milestone price of $ 23.8 million paid for a Roman marble bust in 2010, it is still a far cry from the record set for a publicly sold antique. In December 2007, Sotheby’s sold a limestone statue of a lioness dating from 3,000 BC for $ 57.2 million, setting the highest price achieved for an ancient work of art sold at auction.


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