New Bond Street Sculpture: Sotheby’s Ancient Secret
New Bond Street looks delightful in December. With a collection of London’s finest stores glittering with Christmas lights and window displays there’s a fair amount of luxury on display.
However, one facade hides a much older bit of wealth in plain sight.
Image by Luke Abrahams (see more of his gorgeous photography here!)
Sotheby’s Ancient Secret
Take a closer look at Sotheby’s pediment and you’ll spot a black stone statue of the Lion-Goddess Sekhmet.
If you’re able to read the date from ground level you’d be surprised – as I was – to see that it apparently dates from 1320 BC.
What on Earth is it doing here?
The story according to Sotheby’s is that it was on sale in the 1800s and was sold for £40. However, the buyer of this precious Ancient Egyptian artefact never came to collect it.
This year marks the 100th year Sotheby’s have been on New Bond Street and since this sculpture was something of a mascot, it was painstakingly moved with the company from their previous premises on Wellington Street in 1917.
Today it can claim to be the oldest privately owned monument in London and should definitely top the list of oldest public sculpture in the city.
Chatting to a very friendly security guard, he claimed the ancient sculpture was in very safe hands, guarded by 24 CCTV. Good thing too as it’s now worth around £3.5million!