A Marble Portrait Bust Of The Deified Antinous, Roman Imperial, Reign of Hadrian, Cira AD 130-138 (est. $2/3 million). Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced a single owner sale of important Antiquities from the Collection of the late Clarence Day to be held on the evening of 7 December 2010. The sale will include approximately 40 lots and is expected to raise $5/8 million.* Proceeds from the sale will benefit The Day Foundation. Among the highlights will be A Marble Portrait Bust of the Deified Antinous, Roman Imperial, Reign of Hadrian, Circa A.D. 130-138 (est. $2/3 million) and A Green Porphyry Figure of an Egyptian Royal Sphinx, Roman Imperial, Circa 1st Century A.D. (est. $800,000/1.2 million). In addition to the Antiquities sale, A Marble Portrait Bust Of The Deified Antinous, Roman Imperial, Reign of Hadrian, Cira AD 130-138 (est. $2/3 million) Housatonic, a major work on paper by Arshile Gorky, will be included in the Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York on 9 November (est. $800,000/1.2 million).
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. The youth, deified by Roman Emperor Hadrian upon his drowning in the Nile in A.D. 138 is represented larger than life-size in the heroic nude, his sensual beauty idealized to perfection. The bust boasts impressive provenance having been in the collection of M. Peretie, Chancellor of the French Consulate in Beirut, and then in the famed de Clercq Collection, of which a significant portion is now in the Louvre.
The Green Porphyry Figure of an Egyptian Royal Sphinx is a direct Roman emulation or replica of a specific ancient Egyptian sphinx of the New Kingdom, which was excavated in the 1850s, in what was in antiquity the sanctuary of the
Egyptian gods in Rome, the Iseum complex. The Day sphinx was carved in Roman times to serve as a pendent for the ancient Egyptian sphinx and is therefore most likely to come from the same site. It once belonged to the legendary collector and art dealer Hagop Kevorkian, who acquired it before World War II, probably in Europe.
Another important work being offered in the single owner sale is a Cycladic Marble Figure of a Goddess, Attributed to the Rodgers Sculptor, Early Bronze Age, Circa 2500-2400 B.C. Acquired by Mr. Day from the distinguished dealer Mathias Komor in New York (est. $300/500,000), this figure is exceptional in the way it conveys both power and repose by its size, sturdy proportions, and collected, introspective pose.
Contemporary Art – 9 November 2010
Housatonic was executed by Arshile Gorky in 1943, a breakthrough year for the artist, and demonstrates his unique position within the New York school of Abstract Expressionists as an interpreter of the European Surrealist manifesto (est. $800,000/1.2 million). Gorky’s chief inspiration was landscape and this work is named after the large New England river familiar to Gorky from visits to the Connecticut countryside. Housatonic exemplifies Gorky’s skill at combining the application of jewel-toned crayon within velvety black ink contours to achieve an array of moods related to the sense of sunshine, shade, rocky precipices, water and foliage. Acquired by Mr. Day in 1974, Housatonic was previously in the prestigious Norton Simon collection. The painting will be on display in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries from 5 November.
Clarence Day will be remembered as a devoted philanthropist. An obituary in the Memphis Commercial Appeal mentioned a number of organizations that had received gifts from Mr. Day and The Day Foundation, including the Mayo Clinic Foundation, St. Mary's School, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, The Early Childhood Institute at Mississippi State University, Boy Scouts, and Rhodes College. Mr. Day made many of his significant charitable donations through The Day Foundation. One of the beneficiaries of The Day Foundation is Youth Villages, a Memphis-based charity committed to children’s behavioral and mental health. With support from The Day Foundation, Youth Villages established its renowned Transitional Living Program, dedicated to preparing foster children for the transition to adulthood. Mr. Day was also a patron of the arts; his most notable donation being his gift in 1989 of 60 pieces of Greek, Roman, Iranian, Egyptian, Etruscan and Byzantine antiquities to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
*Estimates do not include buyers premium
The Green Porphyry Figure of an Egyptian Royal Sphinx is a direct Roman emulation or replica of a specific ancient Egyptian sphinx of the New Kingdom, which was excavated in the 1850s, in what was in antiquity the sanctuary of the Egyptian gods in Rome, the Iseum complex. Photo: Sotheby's