Ancient Greek Flask Linked to Lord Elgin Heads to Auction

The 6.75-inch (17cm) decorated lekythos, or ancient Greek oil flask, would originally have been used in a bath house or gymnasium when it was crafted in around 450BC

A 2,500-year-old flask, once in the possession of the Scottish nobleman accused of acquiring the Parthenon Sculptures through controversial means, is set to be auctioned in June along with several other privately owned ancient artifacts.

The 6.75-inch (17cm) adorned lekythos is an ancient Greek oil flask believed to have been crafted around 450 BC. According to Timeline Auctions, the auctioneers handling the sale originated in bathhouses or gymnasiums.

Ancient Greek Flask Linked to Lord Elgin Heads to Auction 1

Formerly owned by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, the flask adds to the legacy of the aristocrat, primarily recognized for his procurement of the Parthenon sculptures, famously known as the Elgin Marbles, now housed in the British Museum, and subject to an enduring ownership dispute with the Greek government.

The flask, expected to fetch between £800 and £1,000, is part of a collection of ancient artifacts scheduled for auction on June 6 by Timeline Auctions.

A spokesperson for Timeline Auctions commented, "This forthcoming sale encapsulates the rich array of valuable relics still held within private hands. Occasionally, such treasures find their way to auctioneers, leaving them awestruck by the newfound discoveries entrusted to their care."

The auction offers a diverse range of items, including a monumental krater, dubbed the 'hero horse vase. ' Standing 30 inches (76cm) tall and dating back to around 330BC, this vase depicts a warrior alongside a white horse and is anticipated to fetch £50,000 to £70,000.

Additionally, the auction features two artifacts from ancient Egypt: a wooden mummy mask from the period between 944 and 716 BC, valued at £12,000 – £17,000, and a small wooden sarcophagus enclosing a mummified falcon, believed to date from 664 to 31 BC, with an estimated price of £8,000 – £10,000.

The spokesperson remarked, "Consider stumbling upon an ancient Egyptian mummy mask during a casual visit to a local antiques fair or car boot sale, only to realize its auction value now ranges from £12,000 to £17,000."

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