BOULDER, Colo. – On Thursday, July 14, Artemis Gallery will present its 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), as well as Viking, Far East and Asian, Pre-Columbian, African and Tribal, Oceanic, Native American and Spanish Colonial treasures.
Additionally, Artemis will offer an assortment of fossils for natural history fans; examples of wearable ancient jewelry; and an array of fine and decorative artworks. The latter category is highlighted by examples of Picasso pottery from the collection of Nancy and Dr. R. F. Simpson of Los Angeles.
Ancient Egyptian objects of special note include a Predynastic (circa-3500-3200 BCE) red breccia-stone jar, estimated at $6,000-$9,000; a Late Dynastic (circa-712-30 BCE) painted wood companion statue in mummiform position, estimated at $5,000-$7,500; and a 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. Its estimate is $9,000-$13,000.
Ancient Greek pottery has been admired for its design and decoration for many centuries. The July 14 auction includes 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 coiffed woman, and a nude, winged Eros, who holds a mirror in which Aphrodite can admire herself. The 9.25in-high wine jug, with ownership that 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, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; an Imperial Period iron sella castrensis, or campaign folding stool, estimated at $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 1980s. The exquisitely sculpted 13in 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 or Norse necklace fashioned with 38 hollow silver fishtail pendants, each stamped on the 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. It is estimated at $50,000-$75,000.
The Near Eastern and Central Asian art and artifacts section includes a circa-4th to -1st century BCE Sarmatian iron sword with a T-shape antenna pommel, estimated at $6,000-$9,000; an outstanding TL-tested 24.1in tall Chandraketugarh (eastern India) clay amphora with horizontal registers of figural scenes and vegetal motifs, estimated at $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 will also present a Qi Baishi (Chinese, 1864-1957) horizontal handscroll painting measuring 145.2in 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 an 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. The July 14 auction will deliver a stellar selection that includes a 1931 signed (acid-etched) Rene Lalique opalescent Perruches (Parakeets) bowl, estimated at $2,500-$3,500; signed paintings by Fritz Scholder (American – Luiseno, 1937-2005), estimated at $4,000-$8,000; and David Tinsley (American, b. 1951-) estimated at $2,000-$3,000; and a limited-edition Earth Day 1990 poster pencil-signed by Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008) and estimated at $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, a 1956 piece estimated at $14,000-$28,000; Nature Morte from 1953, estimated at $12,000-$18,000; and also 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 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, estimated at $60,000-$70,000; and a Pre-Columbian mask used to adorn the body of a deceased elite member of the Sican or Lambayeque society (north-coastal Peru), estimated at $5,000-$7,500. A hand-painted circa-950-1200 CE Mimbres Valley (New Mexico) pottery bowl, intended to cover the face of a deceased person, was designed with what is known as 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.
For additional information about any item in the July 16 Artemis Gallery auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email email@example.com.
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