BOULDER, CO – Artemis Gallery, whose expert team is known for its uncompromising attention to authenticity and quality, will auction 325+ lots of classical antiquities plus ancient and ethnographic art on Tuesday, March 8th. No reserves will apply in this auction of unusual buying opportunities. Each piece will sell to the highest bidder regardless of price. Nearly all pieces are from long-established private collections; others have institutional or auction-house provenance. Each item in the sale is unconditionally guaranteed to be legal to buy/sell under the U.S. statute covering cultural patrimony and comes with a certificate of authenticity from Artemis Gallery.The sale is a virtual panorama of the world’s greatest cultures, including Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Near Eastern, Asian, Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial. Additionally, there will be a sections devoted to African and tribal art, as well as fossils and minerals.
Marvels of Ancient Egypt will open the event. Highlights include Lot 6A, a rare New Kingdom (19th Dynasty, circa 1295-1070 BCE) pottery jar with Bonhams provenance, est. $8,000-$12,000; and Lot 6C, an exceptional 26th Dynasty (circa 662-525 BCE) faience ushabti in the form of a mummiform human, with 9 lines of hieroglyphic text, est. $4,000-$6,000. A Late Period (Dynasties 26-30, circa 662-315BCE) mummified falcon is entered as Lot 9. Tightly wrapped in linen soaked in deep brown resin, the bird’s facial details were added in black pigment. An X-ray confirmed the interior contents to be a true falcon. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000.
The Ancient Greek category is led by Lot 25A, a rare and important bronze Pilos helmet of conical form with a scrolled bronze crest. It is of a type that was in use during the later Peloponnesian War and especially favored by Macedonian cavalrymen of the 4th century BCE. Formerly in a European private collection, it is expected to reach $25,000-$35,000 at auction Lot 16, a late 5th to early 4th century BCE Boeotian terracotta protome of a goddess, ex-collection of Helen Schou (acquired 1930-1940), is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.
An Etruscan bucchero amphora, central Italy, circa 570-540 BCE, is a full-bodied vase with broad strap handles, each carved with stylized griffins in low relief. Ex-collection of J. Smith, California, it was previously acquired from Charles Ede Ltd., London. Estimate: $12,000-$18,000.
Many fine relics of the Ancient Roman Empire are included in the sale. Among the top entries are two outstanding marble carvings executed in relief. Lot 39A is a mesmerizing circa 2nd to 3rd century CE marble relief of a flowing-haired Medusa, while Lot 44B, depicts a nude satyr and panther, and most likely came from a panel on a sarcophagus. Each is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
A fascinating array of Viking / Celtic jewelry and artifacts will be auctioned. A German iron sword dated “1414” is described by Artemis co-owner and managing director Teresa Dodge as “one of the most remarkable iron weapons we have ever handled.” Its incised marks include four crosses and, etched into each side of the blade, the image of a running wolf. The 35-inch-long weapon carries at $9,000-$12,000 estimate.
Of the Near Eastern treasures offered, one of the most captivating is Lot 66A, an Ancient Phoenician painted ostrich egg from Asia Minor, circa 8th to 6th century BCE. The scenes on its four panels include two lotus buds, a small tree and an abstract symbol of the goddess Tanit. Formerly in a Swiss private collection, the 6-inch-tall egg with crosshatch decoration has a $14,000-$21,000 estimate. Lot 69C, a Byzantine redware tile with the molded relief image of St. George could reach the $8,000-$12,000 range.
From the Far Eastern selection, Lot 69F is one of the standouts. Dating to circa 2nd to 3rd century CE India or Pakistan, the gray schist stone panel depicts in relief the Hindu / Buddhist goddess Yakshi, female earth spirit and symbol of fertility. Beneath the niche in which the deity stands, there appears a well-detailed lizard, an image that Dodge says she has never seen before in any Gandharan artwork handled previously by her gallery. The 18-inch-tall panel is cataloged with a $6,000-$9,000 estimate.
Pre-Columbian art, a category that has a loyal following in Artemis Gallery’s sales, is represented with great variety in the March 8 auction. Lot 83C is a published Mayan polychrome cylinder, ex-Kerr Archive, estimated at $9,000-$15,000. Lot 83, a circa 500-800 CE polychrome bowl, Mayan Territories, Peten region of Guatemala, is richly visual with its scene of animals engaged in human activities, such as a rabbit playing a drum, and a monkey offering a conch shell to a deer. Estimate: $7,000-$9,000.
While African tribal art can be mysterious, sometimes it has a lighter side, an example being Lot 98B. It consists of a pair of early to mid-20th-century Ibibio ancestral puppets from Nigeria’s Cross River region. With mannequin-like torsos, hand-painted details and mirror-inset eyes, the colonial-period figures once would have been clothed and used during ceremonies and festivals. A rare find, the matched male/female pair is estimated at $3,500-$4,500.
Desirable fossils include Lot 114, a giant Cretaceous 3-D form cladocyclus fish, $30,000-$35,000; Lot 117, a large, open-coil heteromorphy ammonite, $7,500-$10,000; and Lot 125, a spectacular and complete Pleistocene (circa 120,000 to 20,000 years ago) woolly rhinoceros skull, origin Germany, estimated at $60,000-$70,000.
Bidders may participate in Artemis Gallery’s Tuesday, March 8, 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. For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email email@example.com. Visit Artemis Gallery online at www.artemisgallery.com