Artemis Gallery presents unprecedented array of museum-worthy ancient antiquities and cultural art in Feb. 18 Exceptional Auction
Featured: Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus lid, Roman marbles, Pre-Columbian gold, many items with provenance from Sotheby’s, Christie’s and distinguished private collections
BOULDER, Colo. – The increased fascination with ancient cultures, their lifestyles and traditions has driven interest in Artemis Gallery’s auctions to an all-time high. Whether a collector is enamored with Ancient Egyptian relics, Viking silver or fossilized skulls from prehistoric mammals, sooner or later they discover the Colorado gallery’s online Exceptional Auctions, which feature the finest authentic examples from these categories and many more. The next sale in the Exceptional Auction series, slated for Thursday, February 18, offers 363 outstanding lots, each fully guaranteed to be as described and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available via LiveAuctioneers.
In 2014 Artemis Gallery made international headlines with its sale of a visually exciting circa 700-300 BCE Egyptian sarcophagus that had its own government-issued passport. The February 14 auction revisits the same general period with a vibrantly painted Egyptian sarcophagus lid from the Late Dynastic to Ptolemaic Period, circa 664-30 BCE. Profusely decorated with symbols and zoomorphic depictions, and standing 74.375in high, it made its first journey to the United States in 1948. Most recently it has been part of an advanced private collection in Hawaii. The auction estimate is set at $125,000-$175,000.
The Greek section is led by an important circa 2nd to early 1st-century CE marble head of Eros as a boy, $50,000-$75,000; and two significant vessels. A large (19 inches high) hammered-bronze hydria with a stunning applique depicting a siren rivals or surpasses examples seen in respected reference books and prominent museum collections. It comes to auction with a $30,000-$40,000 estimate. Another sizable vessel, a banded and abstractly decorated Mycenaean terracotta amphora, circa 14th century BCE, stands 12.5 inches high by 10 inches wide. Its line of provenance includes Royal Athena Galleries and Sotheby’s New York, where it sold in a June 12, 2003 sale. Estimate: $45,000-$65,000
Marbles highlight the Ancient Roman category and include a 1st to 2nd-century CE torso of a youthful Bacchus holding a large bunch of grapes, ex Barakat Gallery, Beverly Hills, Calif.; and a 53.5-inch togatus torso from the Imperial Period, circa 1st-3rd century CE. The latter was the property of New York’s Merrin Gallery in the 1980s/’90s. Each of these connoisseur-level marbles is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.
Fourteen lots of incredible Viking jewelry executed in gold or silver cover a wide range of forms, from brooches, rings and pendants to an elegant repousse ritual bowl and even a pair of spurs with bird-form spikes. Some pieces are jeweled, stamped with attractive motifs, or display complex filigree work. A rare opportunity presents itself to collectors in Lot 51: a suite of 9th-century Viking gilded-silver borre-style pendants and beads strung on a modern cord. “These pendants are of a type that would have belonged an elite Viking warrior of very high status,” said Teresa Dodge, managing director of Artemis gallery. With a total weight of 170.5 grams, the selection was originally found prior to 1982 on the Baltic Sea coast. It comes with a full XRF report and is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.
Previously sold by Christie’s (Dec. 11, 2009), a circa-150 CE South Arabian leaded-bronze votive plaque bears 10 inscribed lines of Old South Arabian text in raised relief which, translated, states that Il-Sharah led an army into battle and defeated his foe. This absolutely unique Near Eastern treasure comes to auction with an $80,000-$120,000 estimate.
An abundance of Asian antiquities and art features such premier entries as a pair of lively Chinese Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) pottery polo players, ex Sotheby’s (1999), $9,000-$12,000; a circa 10th-century Cambodian Khmer stone figure of Dvarapala, $25,000-$35,000; and a Japanese Late Jomon (circa 400-300 BCE) terracotta female figure with TL testing report, $8,000-$12,000. An Indian Chola Dynasty stone sculpture of Vishnu, Hindu Preserver of the Universe, dates to circa 907-1215 CE and stands 46 inches high. A nearly identical example is seen in the LACMA collection. In 2012 it was listed in a Sotheby’s New York sale, and it has graced two highly regarded US private collections. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000
Five amazing fossils dominate the small but select natural history section. Among them are a Pleistocene cave bear skull, $12,000-$18,000; a Late Cretaceous Monosaur skull, $4,000-$6,000; and the skulls of two Sabertooth Cats. The skull of a Sabertooth Dinictis (White River, South Dakota), circa 37.2-20.4 million years ago, is estimated at $24,000-$36,000, while a rare 14-inch-long female Sabertooth Machairodus cat skull (central Asia/eastern Kazakhstan), late Miocene Kalmakpai, circa 15 million-2 million years ago, carries a $45,000-$67,500 estimate.
Pre-Columbian highlights are plentiful and span numerous important cultures. The lineup includes a rare 22-inch-high Chavin (northern Peru, circa 1000-500 BCE) carved-stone flute player figure, $50,000-$75,000; a published Zapotec Monte Alban fire god incensario, $36,000-$54,000; and a sensational 89% (equivalent to 20K+) gold cast pendant depicting a shaman. Originating in Panama circa 1200-1500 CE, it weighs 56.5g. Estimate $18,000-$25,000
A bonanza awaits collectors of Native-American artifacts, as the sale includes 14 pieces of rare and highly desirable Mississippian pottery figures, vessels and other relics. Topping the group is a charming 8-inch effigy figure of a seated woman, Bell Plains type, made circa 1140-1420 CE in what is now Poinsett County, Arkansas. It was TL-tested and found to be ancient and of the period stated. The full TL report will convey to the winning bidder. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000
Artemis Gallery’s Thursday, February 18, 2021 Exceptional Antiquities, Asian & Ethnographic Art Auction will start at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. All auction items come with Artemis Gallery’s guarantee that they are authentic and legal to purchase, own, and if desired, resell. An Artemis Gallery COA will accompany each purchase. The company ships worldwide and has its own in-house white-glove packing and shipping department to ensure quality control. For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email [email protected]. Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.