Artemis Gallery to auction exceptional antiquities, ethnographic and fine art, July 14
Featured: Qi Baishi 145-inch hand-painted marine-life scroll, Ottoman gilded iron chainmail helmet, Viking silver necklace with 38 fish pendants, Picasso pottery, Palmyran limestone head
BOULDER, Colo. – On Thursday, July 14, Artemis Gallery will present its highly anticipated Exceptional Antiquities, Ethnographic and Fine Art Auction, with absentee and online bidding through LiveAuctioneers. The 357-lot selection features museum-worthy examples of classical antiquities (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Near Eastern), Viking, Far East/Asian, Pre-Columbian, African/Tribal, Oceanic, Native American, and Spanish Colonial treasures.
Additionally, Artemis will offer a wonderful assortment of fossils for natural history fans, exquisite examples of wearable ancient jewelry, and an exciting array of fine and decorative artworks. The latter category is highlighted by coveted examples of Picasso pottery from the collection of Nancy and Dr R F Simpson of Los Angeles.
As we trace the evolution of cultures and societies through auction highlights, the journey begins in Ancient Egypt. Objects of special note include a Predynastic (circa 3500-3200 BCE) red breccia-stone jar, $6,000-$9,000; a Late Dynastic (circa 712-30 BCE) painted wood companion statue in mummiform position, $5,000-$7,500; and a very special Ptolemaic period (circa 332-30 BCE) cartonnage or mummy mask created for a male child. Artfully painted and detailed, it draws comparison to an example held in The British Museum’s collection. Estimate: $9,000-$13,000
Ancient Greek pottery has been admired for its design and decoration for many centuries. The July 14 auction include such exemplary pieces as a mid-5th-century BCE Greek Attic red-figure skyphos (drinking cup) painted with a charming owl motif. Its estimate is $4,500-$6,500. A 4th century BCE Greek Apulian red-figure pottery oinochoe with a trefoil pouring spout displays a scene that appears to include Aphrodite (Roman Venus) with another draped and elaborately coifed woman, and a nude, winged Eros, who holds a mirror in which Aphrodite can admire herself. The 9.25-inch-high wine jug, whose ownership can be traced to the 1970s, is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
The auction features many forms of Ancient Roman artistry, including an exhibited circa-1st century CE bronze oil lamp cast in the form of a lion, $10,000-$15,000; a rare Imperial Period iron sella castrensis, or campaign folding stool, $12,000-$18,000; and several exceptional sculptures. A Roman Imperial Palmyran hand-carved limestone head of a veiled woman, perhaps intended as a funerary portrait, has a long lineage that includes ownership by a Florida philanthropist who acquired it in the 1970s or ‘80s. The exquisitely sculpted 13-inch artwork is expected to sell in the $36,000-$54,000 range.
“Remarkable” is the only way to describe a circa 10th-century CE Viking/Norse necklace fashioned with 38 hollow silver fishtail pendants, each stamped on verso with three stippled dots in characteristic Viking fashion. The 98.98% pure silver necklace weighs 187.5 grams, has ironclad provenance and has been cleared through the Art Loss Register database. Estimate: $50,000-$75,000
The Near Eastern and Central Asian art and artifacts section includes a rare circa 4th to 1st century BCE Sarmatian iron sword with a T-shape antenna pommel, $6,000-$9,000; an outstanding TL-tested 24.1-inch tall Chandraketugarh (eastern India) clay amphora with horizontal registers of figural scenes and vegetal motifs, $9,000-$13,500; and a 16th- to 17-century CE Ottoman Empire (Turkey to Iran) gilded iron turban or “chickhak” helmet. This distinctive piece is of a classic pointed form topped by a spiked finial, with chainmail aventails and calligraphic inscriptions. Similar to an example in the Walters Art Museum and with provenance from a Coral Gables, Florida, private collection, it is estimated at $30,000-$45,000.
Artemis Gallery is honored to present a Qi Baishi (Chinese, 1864-1957) horizontal handscroll painting measuring 145.2 inches long and adorned with images of shrimp, crabs, frogs and aquatic plants. Artist-signed and stamped with two seals, it passed down through the family of art collector and adjunct professor at the Academy of Arts & Design of Tsinghua University, Beijing. It is estimated at $150,000-$300,000.
Visual art – both fine and decorative – is Artemis Gallery’s newest department, and it is fast becoming one of the most popular. For their July 14 auction, a stellar selection includes such sought-after creations as a 1931 signed (acid-etched) Rene Lalique opalescent “Perruches” (Parakeets) bowl, $2,500-$3,500; signed paintings by Fritz Scholder (American – Mission/Luiseno, 1937-2005), $4,000-$8,000; and David Tinsley (American, b. 1951-), $2,000-$3,000; and a limited-edition “Earth Day 1990” poster pencil-signed by Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008), $2,000-$3,000. Three pieces of Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) Madoura pottery have provenance from the collection of Nancy and Dr. E.R. Simpson. There are two imaginatively decorated plates: “Tete au Masque,” 1956, $14,000-$28,000; and “Nature Morte,” 1953, $12,000-$18,000; and a 1968 figural ceramic vase titled “Hibou des bois” (Wood Owl). Number 211 from an edition of 500, it is estimated at $12,000-$24,000.
Other highlights include: a rare fossilized skull of a Megantereon cultridens, a prehistoric predatory sabretooth cat from the Miocene (fourth) epoch of the Tertiary period, circa 2.5 to 2 million years old, $60,000-$70,000; and a Pre-Columbian mask used to adorn the body of a deceased elite member of the Sican/Lambayeque society (north-coastal Peru), $5,000-$7,500. A hand-painted circa 950-1200 CE Mimbres Valley (New Mexico) pottery bowl, whose purpose was to cover the face of a deceased person, was designed with a ceremonial “kill hole” through which the individual’s soul could pass to the spirit world. TL-tested, it is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
Artemis Gallery’s Exceptional Antiquities, Ethnographic and Fine Art Auction will begin at 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 14, 2022. All 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 piece. The company ships worldwide and has its own in-house white-glove packing and shipping department to ensure quality control. Absentee bidding is currently in progress. Detailed, authoritative descriptions and multiple photographic views of each auction lot may be viewed in the online catalog. 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.