Portrait of a man, Roman, c.1st century BC-early 1st century AD.

Image: Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens, and Lakes

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Roman bust heads back to Germany

A Roman bust discovered in a US charity shop and bought for just $34.99 will be repatriated to Germany.

The sculpture was purchased in charity shop Goodwill in Austin, Texas, in 2018 by local art collector Laura Young.

She spotted the portrait bust had age and tried to track down information about it, speaking with experts at the University of Texas as well as from several auction houses.

Following months of research and meetings, the sculpture was identified by Sotheby’s consultant Jörg Deterling who helped to connect Young with the German authorities.

It was finally authenticated by the Bavarian Administration of the State-Owned Palaces, Gardens, and Lakes as having once belonged in the collection of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

Dating to the c.1st century BC to early 1st century AD, it may portray the son of Pompey the Great (106-48BC), Sextus Pompey.

For the past year the bust has been on display in the San Antonio Museum of Art until May 21 when it will begin its journey back to Germany and return to the Pompejanum, (or Pompeiianum, an idealised replica of a Roman villa) in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, which was created in 1840-48 by Ludwig I of Bavaria.

Hammer to fall at Mercury auction

From stage costumes, handwritten lyrics and guitars to Victorian paintings, a Faberge clock and Japanese art, the private collection of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury (1946-91) is to be offered in a series of auctions.

Sotheby’s will fill its 16,000 sq ft London gallery space with more than 1500 items which will be on display from August 4 to September 5 (with parts of the collection on tour in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong in June) ahead of six dedicated sales in September.


James Jacques Tissot, Type of Beauty (1880), the last work of art Freddie Mercury bought. Estimate £400,000- 600,000 at Sotheby’s.

The memorabilia and artworks are being sold by Mary Austin, former girlfriend and one of Mercury’s closest friends, who was left his collection and home in Kensington. For the past 30 years his home, Garden Lodge in Kensington, London, has remained almost entirely as Mercury left it, looked after by Austin. She will be donating a portion of the proceeds of the sale to both the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Among the lots to be offered are handwritten lyrics to some of Queen’s most famous songs including Mercury’s handwritten manuscript working lyrics to the megahit We Are The Champions estimated at £200,000–300,000.

Budd launches whisky sales


Martin Green, the new head of whisky at Graham Budd Auctions.

Sporting memorabilia specialist Graham Budd Auctions is expanding into whisky auctions.

It has appointed Martin Green as head of whisky. Green has spent 35 years in the whisky auction business including working on the first ever whisky sale at Christie’s in 1989. He has also been at Christie’s, McTear’s and Bonhams.

The first sale is in October.

Six First Folios on King Street stage

Christie’s will host a non-selling exhibition, Shakespeare’s First Folio: The First Four Hundred Years, bringing together six copies. The group will be on display at Christie’s King Street from May 2-26.

Widely considered the most important literary publication in the English language, the First Folio contains 36 plays, 18 of which may have otherwise been lost to history. Assembled seven years after Shakespeare’s death by his colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell, among the works saved are Macbeth, Twelfth Night, All’s Well that Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Julius Caesar.

Only a third of the First Folios that were originally printed survive, it is thought, with many of the 232 copies held in museums.


The Arundel Castle copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, courtesy of the Duke of Norfolk, on display at Christie’s King Street.

Christie’s has assembled the six examples from a variety of sources. They include a copy on loan from the University of London (which is the earliest documented First Folio in America) from Senate House Libraries, the Arundel Castle copy (courtesy of the Duke of Norfolk and one of only five complete copies in private hands) and others from private collections in the UK.

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The date of a penny shot by Annie Oakley while starring in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Part of her popular act involved a coin being thrown up into the air for her to shoot before it hit the ground. Coins were then stamped OAKLEY and handed out to the crowd. This example is estimated at £500-800 at Bonhams’ Antique Arms and Armour Including The Ray Wilkinson Collection sale on May 24