Christie's Antiquities and The Groppi Collection sale to realise up to £8.6m

A sale of antiquities, led by The Groppi Collection, is to be held in South Kensington later this month.


Christie Antiquity Sale
Statue of Nectanebo I circa 380 BC

April 26, 2012 will see some of the finest artefacts from antiquity at auction, including the famous Groppi collection. The outstanding family collection was originally put together by Achille Groppi in the 1920's and will make up almost a third of the auction, comprising of 107 lots.

The collection contains an array intriguing objects from ancient Egypt, consisting mainly of colourful glass tiles and fragmentary inlays.

It also includes a number of statues, including a wonderfully preserved wood and bronze depiction of an Ibis circa 6th Century BC. Ibises were revered in ancient Egypt as a symbol of the god, Thoth, who was responsible for the judgement of the dead. This exceptional sculpture is expected to bring £80,000-£120,000 ($120,000-180,000).

Perhaps the most important item of the sale however, is a limestone statue of Nectanebo I. Nectanebo I was the last native pharaoh in ancient Egypt and spent the majority of his reign defending the kingdom from Persian forces. He reigned for 18 years and became known for his building and restoration of Egyptian temples.

Dating from 380-362 BC, this example is noted for its unique size, standing over 4 feet high. It has been given a pre-sale high estimate of £600,000-$900,000 and is the largest lot in the auction. The Louvre currently has a head identified as the pharaoh in its collections.

The auction comes following the success of Christie's Antiquities department in 2011. Sales from the department totalled £8.4m, with 2012 expected to bring continued increases. 

For all the latest stories, previews and results from the international auction markets, visit our regularly updated news section.

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