christies auction catalogue antiquities new york 25 april 2017

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Seller: fineart02 (220) 99.2%, Location: London, Ships to: GB & many other countries, Item: 282593810020 The Guennol Stargazer, one of the finest and largest preserved Anatolian marble female idols of Kiliya type, is the top lot of the Exceptional Sale on April 28 (estimate on request). The Guennol Stargazer is from the Chalcolithic Period, circa 3000-2200 B.C., and it is considered to be one of the most impressive of its type known in existence. The Guennol Stargazer is further distinguished by its exhibition history, having been on loan at The Metropolitan Museum of Art at various periods from 1966 to 2007. “The Antiquities department is thrilled to be offering the Guennol Stargazer in the Exceptional Sale, an iconic work of art and one universally recognized as the finest Kiliya idol in existence. This extremely rare work, though dating to the 3rd millennium B.C., is widely appreciated across collecting categories, and was a source of inspiration for 20th century masters for its sleek and modern appeal,” comments G. Max Bernheimer, International Head of Antiquities. “Stargazer” is the colloquial title derived from the slightly tilted-back angle at which the large head rests on the thin neck, thus creating the whimsical impression of a celestial stare. There are only about 15 nearly complete idols that survive, although fragmentary examples, particularly heads, abound. Most of the complete examples have been broken across the neck, as the present figure, suggesting that the sculptures were ritually “killed” at the time of burial. PROVENANCE The Guennol Stargazer maintains an impressive provenance. It was a part of the Guennol collection, which was formed by prominent art collectors Alastair Bradly Martin and his wife, Edith. The title “Guennol” is the Welsh word for “Martin,” the last name of the first modern owners. The choice of Welsh is an allusion to the place where they spent their honeymoon. The Stargazer was then passed by descent and acquired by the current owner, a New York private collector, in August 1993 from the Merrin Gallery.

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