Roman marble torso, estimated $150,000-300,000 at the Potomack Company auction.

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The 15in (38cm) high sculpture, dated to the 1st century BC or 1st century AD, was formerly in the collection of wealthy British textile magnate Sir Francis Cook (1817-1901).

In 1849 Cook bought the 18th century Doughty House in London for his growing collection of important Old Master paintings, including works by da Vinci, Rubens, Rembrandt and a painting of Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that in 2017 would become the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.

The torso remained in Doughty House until 1948, when it was sold by Cook’s great-grandson to architectural antiques and sculpture dealer (Albert) Crowther of Syon Lodge.

Fast forward to spring 2023 when a Maryland family invited Frances Krongard of the Potomack Company to value art and antiques from their parents’ estate.

The family had no information or provenance to offer her regarding the marble until three trunks were found in the attic, including a 1949 pocket calendar with European trip notes and a list of purchases which included a ‘Roman marble male torso’ from the Cook collection at Crowthers. Photographs of Doughty House from 1905 found online showed the torso displayed on the floor.

Estimate $150,000-300,000.