DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTIONS LEAD CHRISTIE'S SALE OF ANTIQUITIES ON JUNE 4
New York – Christie's presents the spring sale of Antiquities on June 4th, which comprises of over 170 lots, offering a range of ancient objects from across the Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds including two distinguished private collections. The Cattaui Family Collection features an excellent assembly of Egyptian and Classical works of art, including a rare Egyptian bronze kneeling figure of the 26th Dynasty Pharaoh Necho and an Egyptian limestone relief from the Amarna period. The ancient Near East is represented by the collection of the prominent New York dealer Elias S. David (1891-1969), with an extensive variety of cuneiform-inscribed objects made of clay, copper and stone. This exceptional group will be joined by a selection of Greek vases, including an amphora formerly in the Collection of William Randolph Hearst and a group of Attic and South Italian vases from the Collection of Emile Foltzer, Switzerland.
PROPERTY FROM THE CATTAUI FAMILY COLLECTION
Christie's is pleased to be offering the Cattaui Family Collection of ancient art, an impressive assembly of Egyptian and Classical art. It was formed with great passion over the course of multiple generations, beginning in the mid 19th century. The Cattauis are a prominent family formerly based in Cairo and the collection was begun by the family patriarch Joseph Aslan Cattaui Pasha (1861–1942). Members of the Cattaui family had been generous donors to museums since the 19th century, such as the Alexandria National Museum and the Louvre, where there is a lengthy papyrus scroll that today bears the family name.
Highlights of the collection include an important Egyptian limestone relief from the Amarna Period, which depicts Royal figures navigating a sailboat on the Nile, circa 1352-1336 B.C. (estimate: $40,000-60,000); and a splendid section of an Egyptian papyrus scroll with text from the Book of the Dead for Nes-Khonsu, with an exquisite vignette showing the deceased standing in adoration before Osiris, 21st Dynasty 1069-945 B.C. (estimate: $40,000-60,000). Animals also feature prominently in the collection including an ibis and a seated cat.
THE COLLECTION OF ELIAS S. DAVID
Elias S. David (1891-1969) was one of the most prominent dealers of ancient Near Eastern art during the mid 20th century. Many masterpieces that passed through his hands are now in some of the great international museums, including the Louvre, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Noteworthy objects from his collection include the many cylinders, barrels, cones and tablets, chiefly of clay but also in bronze and stone, all inscribed with cuneiform texts, and predominantly made as foundation deposits.
Among the many important objects of this group is a large Neo-Babylonian clay cylinder from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 604–562 B.C., which commemorates his rebuilding of the temple of the god Lugal-Marada at Marad (estimate: $250,000-350,000); a clay barrel from the same period was made to mark Nebuchadnezzar II's restoration of the Ebabbar Temple of Shamash in Sippar (estimate: $250,000-350,000); and a rare copper tablet from the Isin-Larsa Period, reign of Rim-Sin I, 1822–1763 B.C., records that the King's wife built a temple for the goddess Ninegal (estimate: $50,000-70,000).