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Home > Auctions > 25th May 2021 > Greek Marble Gorgon

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LOT 0030

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 17,440 - 23,250
USD ($) 21,040 - 28,050

Opening Bid
£13,500 (EUR 15,694; USD 18,935) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Greek Marble Gorgon

Late 6th century BC

The central part of an aegis from a marble statue of Athena, depicting a brutal gorgoneion with triangular head, prominent cheek bones and wide protruding ears, defined Attic-shaped eyes, wrinkled nose with flaring nostrils, the oversized mouth with typical protruding tongue and exposed canines, spiky hair with wavy fringe; parts of the scale armour visible above the head; mounted on a custom-made display stand. 11.30 kg total, 31cm including stand (12 1/4”). Fine condition.

Property of a Kensington lady; ex Mansour Gallery, Davies Street, London, 2013; previously acquired in Basel circa 1996; formerly in an old Swiss collection; accompanied by an archaeological expertise by Dr. Raffaele D’Amato and a geological scholarly report no.TL5373 by Dr Ronald Bonewitz; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10577-173400.

Cf. Dickins, G., Catalogue of the Acropolis Museum, volume I, Archaic sculpture, Cambridge, 1912, nos.140,142, for a similar torso of Athena; see Bernabo’Brea, L., Museum and monuments in Sicily/Musées et Monuments de Sicile, Novara, 1960, cover and pp.37,48, for comparable examples.

The aegis was the armorial symbol of the goddess Athena. Possibly the most ancient comparable example of a Medusa head originates from the Metopae of Temple C from Selinus, today held in the Palermo archaeological museum. Here Perseus, with the assistance of the goddess Athena, is slaughtering Medusa, whose head is sculpted according to the archaic Ionic stylistic typology of the second half of the 6th century BC. The ancient iconography of the monster remained popular for a long time, having also prophylactic powers.