Christie’s to Sell $3m Guennol Stargazer in April

Christie’s has just released that it is offering in its April 28th sale, an ancient female idol which is expected to sell for $3m or more. Here’s the release and some talking points from the auction house:

The Guennol Stargazer, one of the finest and largest preserved Anatolian marble female idols of Kiliya type, is the top lot of the Exceptional Sale on April 28. The Guennol Stargazer is from the Chalcolithic Period, circa 3000-2200 B.C., and it is considered to be one of the most impressive of its type known in existence. The Guennol Stargazer is further distinguished by its exhibition history, having been on loan at The Metropolitan Museum of Art at various periods from 1966 to 2007.

Stargazer” is the colloquial title derived from the slightly tilted-back angle at which the large head rests on the thin neck, thus creating the whimsical impression of a celestial stare. There are only about 15 nearly complete idols that survive, although fragmentary examples, particularly heads, abound. Most of the complete examples have been broken across the neck, as the present figure, suggesting that the sculptures were ritually “killed” at the time of burial. 

  • The last marble example of Kiliya type that appeared at auction was The Schuster Stargazer, which sold at Christie’s New York on June 5, 2005 for $1,808,000
  • Stargazer idols have strong appeal to collectors of all types of art, from Ancient to Contemporary, predominantly due to their similarities with modern art. The sleek and abstract form of Kiliya idols resonates with 20th century masters such as Brancusi, Modigliani and Moore.
  • The exceptional nature of the objects included in the Guennol Collection is legendary – in December 2007, the Guennol Lioness, a Mesopotamian limestone sculpture, fetched $57.1 million, setting a record price at auction for an ancient work of art.