Sotheby’s Antiquities sale was 77.4% sold by lot with 79 of 102 lots making $17,479,940. But the news of the sale is that the three top lots accounted for nearly $15m of the total.
- Marble Torso of an Emperor (probably Augustus, Tiberius or Claudius), Roman Imperial, Julio Claudian, 1st Half of the 1st Century A.D., surpassed all expectations, selling for a remarkable $7,362,500, more than six times the high estimate of $1.2 million. At least seven bidders in the room and on numerous telephones pursued the stunning piece, which was from an Austrian family collection.
- Three Satyrs Fighting a Serpent, Roman Imperial, circa 1st century A.D., a rediscovered antiquity from the collection of one of the greatest arts patrons of all time – Lorenzo de’ Medici. As the only ancient sculpture confirmed to have been in ‘il Magnifico’s’ collection, competition was also fierce for the ancient treasure, which finally sold to an anonymous private buyer for $3,442,500, more than six times the high estimate of $500,000.
- The cover lot of the auction, a Marble Bust of the Athena Giustiniani, Roman Imperial, circa 2nd Century A.D. was also among the highlights of the day, selling for $4,114,500, surpassing a pre-sale estimate of $600/900,000.