BOULDER, Colo. – Some of the world’s finest collections of ancient, cultural and ethnographic art include impeccably curated and well provenanced pieces that were acquired through Artemis Gallery. Internationally known and frequently called upon for expert consultation, Artemis Gallery’s specialists delight in creating diverse auction selections like the one that awaits bidders on Thursday, March 9. The lineup includes many incomparable items that have never before appeared at auction. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Many highly important Egyptian, Greek and Roman and Asian pieces will make their auction debuts
The 400-lot sale includes museum-worthy examples of classical antiquities (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Near Eastern), Viking relics, art of the Far East, Asia and Africa. The New World is represented in the multifaceted offerings of Pre-Columbian, Spanish colonial, and Native American art and artifacts. Other categories that have become fast favorites with Artemis Gallery’s clientele – ancient jewelry, fossils, and fine/visual art – are also beautifully represented in this sale. Bidders may be assured that all ancient items have been legally acquired and are legal to resell, if desired. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany each lot.
The timeline begins in Ancient Egypt, with three premier highlights: a museum-exhibited bronze figure of the goddess Mut ($18,000-$27,000), a striking sculpted stone model of a youthful pharaoh’s head ($30,000-$45,000), and an awe-inspiring polychrome stone panel wall painting from the tomb of Neb-Amun (TT90) in Thebes. Dating to circa 1401-1353 BCE (the latter 18th Dynasty and reign of Thutmose IV to Amenhotep III), the panel, which is shown at the top of this page, depicts four male servants grasping a rope to pull a sledge. It will make its auction debut with an estimate of $15,000-$22,500.
The Ancient Greek section features an Attic Komast Group skyphos artfully decorated with satyrs, ex Sotheby’s ($12,000-$18,000); a circa 540-480 BCE Attic Light-Make Class black-figure amphora ($13,000-$19,500), and a 13-inch-tall Gnathian (Magna Graecia, southern Italy; Apulia) polychrome skyphos. Dating to circa 360-325 BCE, this skyphos is masterfully hand-painted with the image of a lady’s head in profile surrounded by various vegetal and other motifs. Standing 13 inches high, the TL-tested vessel is expected to sell for $15,000-$22,000.
The Roman Imperial Period, circa 1st-3rd century CE, could not be captured any more vividly than in the life-size marble torso of a figure draped in a voluminous toga. Standing 53.5 inches high on an included custom stand, this impressive artwork was formerly shown at the Merrin Gallery, New York, and is estimated at $80,000-$100,000. Also worthy of note is a Roman Imperial Phrygian (present-day Turkey) marble stele, circa 3rd century CE, which depicts a husband and wife above an inscription and relief images of objects that pay tribute to a farmer and woman of beauty. It has never been seen at auction before and is estimated at $15,000-$22,500.
Central Asian art is in abundance in the March 9 auction, with several stellar sculptures leading the selection. One of them is a 13th-century Indian Chola Period (circa 900-1200 CE) granite statue of Parvati, who portrays the ideal feminine figure and symbolizes fruitfulness, love and beauty. Estimate: $18,000-$27,000. The second noteworthy Central Asian sculpture is a sensitively modeled 1st century CE Gandharan stone head of young Prince Siddharta. He is dressed in the contemporary finery of a rajah and wears a turban-style headdress adorned with a miniature Buddha seated in a lotus with a halo. Exquisitely executed and very well preserved, this regal sculpture comes to auction with a $16,000-$24,000 estimate.
An extraordinary Chinese Ming Dynasty painted stone stele, circa 1368-1644 CE is resplendent in its relief presentation of an ancestral shrine with two figures: an attendant and a soldier gathered at a spiritual or ancestral tablet. A Chinese inscription at the front of the pagoda translates to “Hall of Good Fortune,” while a lengthier inscription is seen on the tablet. Impressively sized at 61 inches high by 38 inches wide (inclusive of custom stand), the shrine is entered in the auction with a $30,000-$45,000 estimate.
The closest thing to living history is a fossil, and Artemis Gallery has included a fascinating array of the geological wonders in its March 9 offering. Among the top lots are a fossilized ammonite shell with a full rainbow of shimmering ammolite hues ($24,000-$36,000), a rare fossilized lily pad and fish from the Eocene Period ($6,000-$9,0000, and a sensational fossilized Megantereon sabertooth cat skull. Dating to circa 2.5 million to 2 million years ago (Miocene), it appears to be skull of an adult female. Presented on a custom stand, this ferocious feline has not yet spent all of its nine lives and will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$75,000.
Pre-Columbian is always a strong category at Artemis Gallery events. The March 9 auction is no exception, with highlights such as a Chavin Maranon (Peru) redware vessel formed as a lobster or crayfish ($5,000-$7,500), a huge 17.8-inch-diameter Maya polychrome plate (published, ex Sotheby’s – $10,000-$15,000) and a showstopping silver and turquoise Lord Aquilla ceremonial drinking vessel. Created circa 750-1370 CE by the Sican/Lambeque or Chimu culture (northern coastal Peru), it likely depicts the face and head of an elite individual or mythical deity. Formerly in a Hawaii private collection, this remarkable 186.9-gram cup with very high silver content could command a winning bid of $13,000-$19,500.
Artemis Gallery’s fastest growing category, Fine & Visual Art, brings a variety of genres to the auction marketplace, with most consignments coming from the company’s long-time clients. As Artemis Executive Director Teresa Dodge observed, “If a collector has a refined eye for high-quality antiquities and cultural art, that is likely to follow through to the other types of art they acquire.”
For this sale, the broad spectrum of art options ranges from a Burton Morris (American, b. 1964-) pop art relief work titled Taxi, 34/43 ($2,000-$3,000) to Bill Worrell’s (American, b. 1936-) pictograph-inspired acrylic-on-canvas titled Seasons of 3 Golden Moons ($10,000-$15,000). With Western art riding high, the time is right for bidders to discover the work of award-winning painter Jason Rich (American, b. 1971-). His oil-on-board depiction of three cowboys treating their horses to a thirst-quenching rest stop at the “Green Basin Water Hole” – which is the artwork’s title – will be offered with a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.
Artemis Gallery’s Thursday, March 9, 2023 Exceptional Ancient, Ethnographic & Fine Art Auction will start at 8 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. EDT. 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. All ancient items have been legally acquired and are legal to resell, if desired. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany each lot. For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.
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