Roman marble head of a youth wearing a laurel wreath, $400,000 (£317,000) at Hindman.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

All 38 lots from the collection found buyers on December 5, with some fetching as much as 25 times their estimates. They came by descent from Brummer’s widow Ella Bache Brummer and then to her nephew John Laszlo of Atlanta, Georgia.

The Brummer galleries were established in Paris sometime around 1906 by Joseph Brummer (1883- 1947) and, shortly after, his younger brothers Imre and Ernest who had followed him to France from Hungary, joined the business.

In 1914, the two elder brothers moved to the US and set up shop in New York, while Ernest remained active in Paris. Their scope as dealers ran from ancient art to the European avant-garde.


The top lot of the day at Hindman was a Roman marble head of a youth wearing a laurel wreath which sold for $400,000 (£317,000) against an estimate of $40,000-60,000.

The head depicted a youth with idealised features and proportions suggesting it was inspired by the famed 5th century BC works of Polykleitos. Variants of well-known Greek originals became fashionable with the Roman elite during the Republican period who used these loose ‘copies’ to create mythological ensembles to decorate their gardens and villas. It had been in the US for more than a century, having been owned by the New York architect Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes (1867- 1944) from the 1920s.


Roman marble head of a triton, $180,000 (£143,000) at Hindman.

Another Roman marble head that drew significant attention was a 2nd century AD head of a triton that sold for $180,000 (£143,000), surpassing its $80,000-120,000 estimate.

The head closely resembles the pair of tritons at the Musei Capitolini that originally flanked the famed Commodus portrait of Horti Lamiani, leading to the logical conclusion that it once belonged to a mythological creature with the torso of a man and an elaborate fishtail.


Egyptian Lae Period wood and bronze mask of Osiris, $250,000 (£199,000) at Hindman.

A deep provenance was key to the performance of many lots. Leading the Egyptian category was a Late Period 19in (47cm) wood and bronze sculpture depicting the head of Osiris, selling for $250,000 (£199,000), more than 10 times its presale estimate.

Not only had this 26th Dynasty piece survived more than two millennia in remarkable condition, it also had a modern day ownership history dating back to the German missionary and collector Rev Johann Lieder (1798-1865) and then, from 1861, to the great Egyptology collection of William Tyssen- Amherst (1835-1909).

'Legendary' gallery

The Brummer collection was offered as a single-owner session to begin Hindman’s Antiquities & Ancient Art auction.

“The results today show just how impactful the Brummer legacy remains even decades after their legendary gallery closed its doors,” said Jacob Coley, Hindman’s Antiquities specialist. “The carefully curated collection, spanning various artistic periods and styles, embodied the Brummers’ discerning taste and passion for art.”

Additional property from the Brummer Collection will be offered in various Hindman auctions for the remainder of 2023 and early 2024