BOULDER, Colo. – Artemis Gallery's next auction of investment-grade antiquities, ancient and
ethnographic art is set for Thursday, March 31st, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern time.
An overview of auction categories reveals broad variety: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Daunian, Etruscan, Near East, Far East, Asian, African/tribal, ethnographic, Spanish colonial, fossils and more. “There are excellent-quality pieces at all price points, and no hidden reserves,” noted Artemis Gallery Managing Director Teresa Dodge.
Many examples of Roman marble statuary will be offered, including a head of a cherub, an oversize hand, a sarcophagus section with floral and fruit border, and Lot 32, a head of a ram. Although rams were a symbol of authority in Roman art, animals were not common subjects for Roman sculptors. The piece in Artemis Gallery’s sale may have been part of a greater sculpture depicting the followers of Pan/Faunus. The 5.25-inch by 4-inch work is expected to reach $3,000-$3,500 at auction.
A trove of ancient gold jewelry includes five lots of exceptional Roman earrings, all distinctively designed, handcrafted and wearable. Fashioned of 22K gold, a pair of heavy drop earrings with a lunar motif dates to the 1st-3rd century CE. Entered as Lot 28, the elegant ear adornments could reach $900-$1,200. Lot 25, a pair of 22K gold hoop earrings with graduated, convoluted embellishments, weighs in at 2.7 grams and is expected to make $1,200-$1,500. The most valuable earrings in the sale, a pair of 22K Viking hoops (origin: northern Europe, 9th-12th century CE) is cataloged as Lot 50C, with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate.
The number of collectors seeking ancient glass has been on a “definite upswing,” said Dodge. “For each of our sales, we try to obtain quality Greek and Roman pieces from long-held private collections.”
For the March 31st auction, the glass selection includes a superstar: a superb Ancient Greek core-form amphoriskos, circa 6th-4th century BCE. The very early miniature amphora would have been used to hold perfumed oil. The double-handled, ovoid-form vessel is cobalt blue with a sky-blue scalloped band further decorated by a yellow zigzag pattern. Entered as Lot 13C, it is estimated at $5,500-$7,000.
Lot 21F, a Roman glass pitcher with trefoil lip and ‘ribbon’ adornment, would have been very costly
when made, according to Dodge. “A vessel of this quality could only have been afforded by a member of the wealthiest class,” she said. From a New Jersey private collection, it is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Ancient Egyptian antiquities include Lot 3, a pair of bronze sarcophagus “eyes” and “eyebrows” from the Late Dynastic Period (circa 662 to 315 BCE). Formerly in the Harlan Burke collection, the lot is estimated at $2,000-$3,000. From the same period, Lot 5 is a regal faience fragment depicting Isis. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000.
Many desirable Asian antiquities have been consigned to the sale. Lot 73 is a 12-inch by 11.25-inch Chinese Tang Dynasty (circa 618-907 CE) unglazed pottery figure of a Bactrian camel. Created as a tomb figure to accompany the deceased to the afterlife, the camel has a molded harness and saddlebags. The piece was displayed at the prestigious Denver Art Museum in the 1960s. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. Also made during the Tang Dynasty’s reign, and displayed at the same Denver museum as the camel, Lot 74 is a terracotta horse with molded saddle, stirrups, bridle and other regalia that would have been reserved for an elite warrior’s mount. A label under the equine figure’s base confirms its age via TL testing at Oxford Authentication. It is estimated at $6,000-$9,000.
A Thai treasure, Lot 79F is a 15th-century CE near-life-size bronze head of Buddha. The deity is depicted with a contemplative expression, pronounced eyes and lips; and hair fashioned with large curls characteristic of Thai style. A private collector obtained the artwork from the estate of an American soldier who acquired it in South Korea while posted there in the early 1950s. Its auction estimate is $3,000-$4,500.
Other auction categories and their top highlights include: Pre-Columbian art, led by Lot 100C, a Nazca (Southern Peru) shell and solid-gold figure of a male amputee, $7,000-$10,000; and ancient weaponry, whose premier entry is a museum-quality Roman iron and bronze sword, 1st century BCE to 3rd century CE, $9,000-$12,000. The auction lineup also includes fossils. Lot 140 is an unrestored, completely original Eocene mudfish fossil from the celebrated Messel Oil Shale Pit in Germany. Approximately 50 million years old, it is offered with a $4,500-$6,750 estimate.
A very special addition to the sale is a 10-lot selection of handles from Malay/Indonesian kris daggers, distinctive for their wavy blades. It is the gallery’s first offering of dagger handles from a private collection amassed by premier art collector and founder of Coca-Cola Israel, the late Ami Brown (1929-2010), and will be offered as Lots 83D through 83M.
Bidders may participate in Artemis Gallery’s Thursday, March 31, 2016 auction live online, by phone (please reserve phone line in advance) or by leaving an absentee bid that will be lodged confidentially and competitively on their behalf. The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time and will be conducted simultaneously on four bidding platforms: ArtemisGalleryLIVE.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and eBay.com. All lots will convey with a certificate of authenticity from Artemis Gallery.
For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Artemis Gallery online at www.artemisgallery.com.