Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The auction attracted local and international bidders and buyers – private collectors as well as members of the trade – for the ensemble of antiquities and tribal art from the Hollywood talent agent who died last year.

Topping the bill was a lifesize Roman marble torso of Diomedes from the 1st century AD based on a 5th century Greek original. Like many of Hunter’s classical antiquities it was acquired from the dealer Royal Athena Galleries. At $85,000 (£64,395) it quadrupled the pre-sale expectations of $20,000-30,000.

At this level it pipped to the post one of the potential best-sellers, another Roman marble torso estimated at $30,000-50,000. This was a 1st century AD/BC model of the figure known as Lo Spinario, or the thorn-puller, based on a Greek bronze original from the 3rd century BC, and much copied in the ancient world and later. It went for $75,000 (£56,820).

The Roman bronze waterspout fashioned as the mask of an actor pictured in ATG No 2380 doubled its presale guide to take $9500 (£7195).

Asian and Central American 

The most expensive of a handful of pieces of early Asian sculpture in the collection was a 3ft 2in (96cm) high pink sandstone seated figure of the Buddha in the meditative padmasana position and carved with a presentation inscription to the base. It found a buyer at $47,500 (£35,985).


This 11in (28cm) high Jalisco painted terracotta figure from Mexico dated to 100BC-200AD, holding a cup and a club or corn ear, realised $1000 (£760) in the same auction.

The sale also offered the opportunity for less expensive purchases, particularly from the small group of tribal artefacts at the end of the auction. A group of pre-Columbian terracotta figures from Central America ranged in price from $1700 to just $100 (£1290 to £75) and three of the 20th century African masks for $700-425 (£530-320).