Bonhams under the Christoscope

My colleague Christos Tsirogiannis has identified two polaroid images in the Medici archive which appear to show an Etruscan terracotta antefix offered at Bonhams London as lot 14 in its forthcoming 30 November Antiquities sale. The provenance provided by Bonhams is ‘James Chesterman Collection (1926-2014), formed in the UK in the 1970s-2000. With À la Reine Margot, Paris, acquired in December 1986’.

christoscope

christoscope-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the polaroid images is attached to a Hydra Gallery form, with the handwritten ‘v. Londr’ indicating the piece was intended for sale in London. Medici opened the Geneva-based Hydra Gallery in 1983, so presumably he sold the antefix sometime between 1983 and 1986.

Bonhams has withdrawn the piece from sale.

Civil society action

OjoPúblico is a consortium of Peruvian journalists working to expose crime and corruption, in whatever form they take. First established in Peru in 2014, its work is presented on an eponymous digital platform. Its latest venture is Memoria Robado (Stolen Memory), a web-resource devoted to art and antiquities trafficking throughout Latin America, with databases of stolen and recovered objects and in-depth investigative reports. Definitely worth consulting. It shows once more the important though often unacknowledged role of journalists and other members of civil society in tackling the problem. It is not always about law enforcement agencies and international NGOs. A comparable example is the work of the recently established India Pride Project, looking to recover material stolen and trafficked out of India over the past half century. I have mentioned only two projects here, and I know there are more I should have mentioned, but haven’t. My only excuse is that I am advertising some new arrivals. The work of people involved in these projects is making a real difference and is worthy of more international recognition and support.