Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The Guennol Stargazer

Christie’s New York sold a 9-inch-high stone figurine from the Chalcolithic Period (c.3000-2200 BC), known as the Guennol Stargazer for $14.5 million in 2017. It carried an estimate of at least £2m. The Guennol Stargazer is one of the finest and largest preserved Anatolian marble female idols of Kiliya type, “Stargazer” so named because its eyes appear to be looking into the heavens.

There are only about 15 nearly complete idols that survive, although fragmentary examples, particularly heads, abound. Most of the complete examples have been broken across the neck, as with the present figure, suggesting that the sculptures were ritually ‘killed’ at the time of burial. The last marble example of Kiliya type to have appeared at auction was The Schuster Stargazer, which sold at Christie’s New York on 5 June 2005 for $1,808,000.