BOULDER, Colo. – The winning streak continued for Artemis Gallery’s popular “Exceptional Auction Series,” with a May 22-23 sale of antiquities, Asian, ethnographic and tribal art that surpassed $1 million. The top lot of the sale was a Chavin (north coastal Peru) lemon carro stone vessel, circa 900-200 BCE, that was used specifically as a container for hallucinogenic drugs. It sold for $49,800. All prices quoted in this report include a 24.5% buyer’s premium.
After-sale buying opportunities embraced by growing number of bidders
An Ancient Egyptian bronze bust of Osiris from the Third Intermediate Period, circa 1070-712 BCE, came with provenance that included prior sale at Christie’s, and before that, ownership by a gallery in Munich, Germany. It finished within estimate at $46,688.
Remarably lifelike, a stone figure of a seated, cross-legged child from Mexico’s Olmec culture, circa 1200-800 BCE, came with a 2010 Preusser analysis indicating its age to be correct as stated in the catalog. The 15-inch figure was sold for $19,920.
A witness to ancient conflict, a striking Greek bronze helmet dating to circa 5th-4th century BCE was described by Artemis as being of a type depicted on early pottery from the city of Chalcis. Museum-exhibited in 2019, it is identical to an example held in the Walters Art Museum collection, Baltimore. It commanded a winning bid of $31,125.
A 2nd century CE Roman Imperial Period marble sarcophagus section bore the image of Apollo, god of music, with a lyre or kithara. With provenance that included prior sale at Christie’s New York (October 2017 Antiquities auction), it rose to $19,920.
The million-dollar-plus result was achieved with the addition of “after-sales,” which included a huge Egyptian limestone sarcophagus head from the Late Period to Early Ptolemaic Period, circa 4th to 3rd century BCE. Its extensive provenance could be traced back to a receipted 1941 private sale in Egypt, followed by descent through two generations of the buyer’s family, and two US private collections. The price paid was $31,500.
Other ancient treasures that were purchased after the auction included a published Roman Palmyran limestone bust with Aramaic inscription, $16,250; and a circa-664 to 30 BCE Egyptian gilded polychrome wooden figure of Nephthys, the goddess of death and darkness, in a mourning pose. The finely carved piece realized $17,425.
Artemis Gallery Executive Director Teresa Dodge commented that while the May “Exceptional” auction did not break the current house record of $1.7 million, it confirmed an ongoing trend that indicates “a rapidly growing number of collectors, both private and institutional,” are following their sales.
“Those who buy antiquities want to know that they’re dealing with a reputable, knowledgeable business that stands behind what they sell. That’s who we are. We leave no stone unturned in making sure everything we offer is authentic and legal to purchase,” Dodge said. “Also, our catalog descriptions are scholarly in their detail and include as deep a record of provenance as possible. Quality and integrity continue to be the keys to our success.”
To discuss consigning to a future Artemis Gallery auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.