Some extraordinary prices beyond the stunning $23m for a portrait bust estimated at $2-3m the top lots all shot well above the estimate range. The entire sale found buyers. Here’s Sotheby’s press department’s description of the bidding on the Antinous bust:
The Marble Portrait Bust of the Deified Antinous is the only known Classical representation of Antinous, outside of his coin portraits, to be identified by an inscription. Auctioneer Hugh Hildesley opened the bidding at $900,000 and two clients in the room and one on the phone began to battle. The winning bidder, a European collector, entered the fray at $6.5 million and prevailed against the three existing bidders and another client who only joined the competition at $11.2 million. In all, it took more than eleven minutes for the lot to sell and when the hammer finally fell the room broke out in applause.