Marble Sarcophagus Relief Sells for $1.5 Million at Sotheby’s Antiquities Auction

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$1.5 million achieved at Sotheby's for the Roman Sarcophagus marble relief. The piece boasts remarkable ownership history, having belonged not only to Emile Zola but over the past 100 years to the actress Cécile Sorel and Paul Reynaud the former French head of state.

NEW YORK, NY.- An ancient Roman marble relief panel
with Dionysiac decoration that was recently discovered to once have been in the
collection of French writer Émile Zola sold for $1,538,500 at Sotheby’s
Antiquities auction in New York. Six bidders competed for the piece which
eventually sold to an anonymous telephone bidder.
It was the
highlight of the sale which totaled $5.8 million – well in excess of the
$2.3/3.5 million estimate, with 86% lots sold by lot and 96% by value.

Discussing the sale Richard Keresey and Florent Heintz of Sotheby’s Antiquities
Department said: “We are thrilled with the $1.5 million achieved today for the
Roman Sarcophagus relief. The piece boasts remarkable ownership history, having
belonged not only to Emile Zola but at times over the past 100 years to the
actress Cécile Sorel and Paul Reynaud the former French head of state. We are
able to trace unbroken provenance trace back over 500 years.”