Anthony Quinn's collection of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts and Vincent Korda's Roman lion mask go to auction at Bonhams Antiquities Sale in London on May 1st. The legendary actor Anthony Quinn and filmmaker Vincent Korda, were both keen art collectors.
Lots 53-58 in the sale are the property of the Anthony Quinn Collection,
acquired during the 1960s and 1970s. Anthony Quinn (1915-2001) was known to the world for his performances in films such as La Strada, Zorba the Greek, Lawrence of Arabia and Viva Zapata! a stellar career in which he won two Oscars. What is less well known is that he was a keen artist and collector. As a child, he won an award for a plaster bust of Abraham Lincoln, and he often sketched the movie stars he saw when his father, an assistant cameraman, took him to the studio. On one occasion, he was paid $25 by Douglas Fairbanks for a drawing of the star.
Later, he studied art and architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. While an offer of a substantial weekly salary from a film studio drew Quinn away from this line of work (with the blessing of Wright, who commented, "Take it. You'll never make that much with me"), the actor continued to explore his affinity for art.
Quinn continued to paint and sculpt throughout his career. He had always carved small pieces of stone and wood he found while he was on location in the deserts of North Africa and in the Middle East. In the 1980s he began to rework these into full-sized sculptures which caught the eye of art dealers and he began to exhibit his work internationally. Following his death, the Anthony Quinn Trust selected key pieces from his immense collection including several South African artworks and Quinn's own work for the US traveling exhibition Anthony Quinn's Eye: A Lifetime of Creating and Collecting Art.
Two of his six antiquities in this sale are: Lot 53, three Cycladic marble heads, Circa 2600-2200 B.C. estimated to sell for £5,000 - 7,000, (US$7,600 - 11,000); and lot 54, a Roman marble relief fragment Circa 1st-2nd Century A.D. depicting a meeting of the gods with a standing figure of Zeus on the right, with his himation draped around his hips and over his left shoulder, holding his staff, facing a draped figure of Athena holding her spear and wearing a crested helmet, a male figure wearing a pilos, probably one of the Dioskouroi, standing behind her on the far left,
the right arm of another figure on the far right next to Zeus, holding a
phiale, possibly Hades. It is estimated to sell for £7,000 - 9,000 (US$11,000 - 14,000).
Further lots from the Anthony Quinn collection will be offered at the Knightsbridge Antiquities sale on May 8th.
Vincent Korda's Roman Lion mask Lot 119, is a Roman marble lion head protome Circa 3rd Century A.D. with gaping jaws, the flowing mane with drilled details around the face, the deep-set drilled eyes beneath a pronounced brow, probably originally for a sarcophagus and hollowed for use as a fountain head. It is estimated to sell for £6,000-8,000.
The head is from the Vincent Korda Collection (22 June 1897 4 January 1979), UK, thence by descent. Vincent Korda was an art director and the younger brother of Sir Alexander Korda and Zoltan Korda, all filmmakers. He won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction on 'The Thief of Baghdad' (1940), and was nominated for three others.