BOULDER, Colo. – Hundreds of elusive cultural treasures from ancient times await bidders in Artemis Gallery’s Early Summer Variety Auction on Tuesday, June 30th, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers. Not only are all of the auction items unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic and legal to purchase, many have been cataloged with extremely reasonable estimates, making them accessible to beginning collectors or dealers with an eye toward resale.
Starting with Lot 250, Artemis Gallery’s popular, recently introduced Marketplace section will return with a beautifully varied selection of antiquities offered at a fraction of their current retail values.
“Our Marketplace is ideal for those who are just starting their ancient-art-collecting journey,” said Teresa Dodge, executive director of Artemis Gallery. “Each and every piece we have chosen for that portion of the sale is a fine, authentic item but offered with a very reasonable opening bid, in some cases as low as $75.”
Highlights come first in previewing the contents, and topping that list is Lot 64, a 19th-century Thai bronze Buddha in Bhumisparha Mudra, or a serene, earth-touching position – one of the Buddha’s most important postures commemorated in ancient artworks. Measuring 29 x 24 x 13.5 inches and with provenance from well-known Los Angeles dealer and collector Leonard Kalina, the bronze (pictured top right) is expected to sell for $7,000-$10,500.
While the Buddha represents peace, Lot 48, a 32-inch-long Luristan battle sword was made specifically for war. Originating in northwestern Iraq around the late 2nd to first millennium BCE, the bronze weapon has a rectangular handle and knuckle-shaped grip, with natural verdigris patina overall. Previously held in British private collections, it is estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
A fascinating natural history rarity, Lot 171 is large and lethal tooth dating to the Cretaceous Era, circa 68 to 66 million years ago, that came from either a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex or its relative known as Nanotyrannus (Latin for “dwarf tyrant”). A daunting 4-inch-long specimen presented on a custom display, the tooth comes with provenance from the Adeon Gallery, Chicago. Estimate: $12,000-$15,000.
Ten lots of ancient glass will be auctioned. A fine example, Lot 23 is a fiery Roman vessel, circa 2nd to 3rd century CE, of hand-blown aubergine and swirled iridescent gold glass (pictured top left). The tradition of glassmaking in Rome began under the reign of the First Emperor Augustus (27 BCE to 14 CE). By the time this petite 4¼-inch vase was crafted, the blowpipe technique had come into use, greatly expanding creative possibilities. Appealing yet affordable, Lot 23 is estimated at $1,200-$1,800.
Every ancient culture developed its own variations of vessels used to hold water, wine, libations, oils or perfumes. A fascinating array of vessels with prestigious, certified provenance will be auctioned by Artemis Gallery. Highlights include three from Pre-Columbian civilizations. Lot 135, a highly decorative circa 700-1000 CE olla from the Cocle region of Panama stands 14 inches tall and is estimated at $900-$1,200. A second polychrome-painted pottery olla, Lot 146, comes from Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico, and dates to around 1000-1200 CE. Painted in the attractive banded and dotted-checkerboard style known as “Ramos,” its bulbous body measures 9¼ inches in diameter. Estimate: $1,200-$1,800. Rounding out the trio and shown below is Lot 123, a wonderful Huari (southern coastal Peru) painted terracotta ovoid vessel with two bas-relief figures: a jaguar and a crowned human whose limbs intertwine with the mountain cat’s body. Its line of provenance includes Sotheby’s May 17, 1993 Sale NO6420, and it will be offered on June 30 with an estimate of $1,800-$2,500.
An elegant Greek Apulian red-figure oinochoe (high-handled ewer) from the 4th century BCE is painted with the image of a grand Lady of Fashion on its body, a large palmette and other embellishments. Cataloged as Lot 11, it is expected to make $1,500-$2,500.
The concept of good things coming in small packages might well date back to 1200-1000 BC, when Lot 49 was created. The rare and whimsical miniature bronze group replicating a chariot with two horses is from the Amlash/Marlik culture of Iran. The well-detailed 2½-inch figural grouping could attract bids in the vicinity of $2,400-$3,500.
Ancient jewelry fashioned from precious metals is always included in Artemis Gallery’s sales. Leading the June 30 selection is Lot 105, a circa 500-800 CE Huari (Peruvian) hammered silver cuff bracelet with a low-relief image of a warrior holding a bow and arrows. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500.
A Native-American highlight is Lot 157, a North American bannerstone from the Mound Builder Culture, circa 500-1200 CE. It is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
Teresa Dodge summarized: “This is a good, solid, value-for-money auction with a lot of variety. There are some high-priced pieces and some outstanding values to be discovered in the Marketplace section, but most of the lots are right in the middle, where the majority of collectors feel comfortable.”
The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email email@example.com.