BOULDER, Colo. – On November 10, America’s most trusted specialists in ancient art and antiquities, Artemis Gallery, will present its highly anticipated Exceptional Antiquities and Ethnographic Fine Art Auction. Bidders may choose from just under 400 lots of exceptional ancient art and antiquities, including a newly released selection of Pre-Columbian art and relics from the peerless Marc Amiguet Schmitt / Amiguet Ancient Art collection. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Featured: Fresh selection of Pre-Columbian art and artifacts from 30-year collection of revered dealer/collector Marc Amiguet Schmitt, founder of Amiguet Ancient Art
Easily ranking as one of the finest auction events in Artemis Gallery’s history, the sale features museum-quality examples of classical antiquities (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Near Eastern), plus cultural and ethnographic art from Viking, Far East / Asian, Pre-Columbian, African / Tribal, Oceanic, Native American and Spanish Colonial societies. Additional categories include fossils, ancient jewelry, nautical, and fine/visual arts. All items come with Artemis Gallery’s guarantee that they are authentic and legal to purchase, own, and if desired, resell. An Artemis Gallery COA will accompany each piece.
The auction’s timeline begins in Ancient Egypt, where rituals of passage from life to the afterlife held great importance. This is reflected in one of the auction’s highlights, an alabaster canopic jar which would have been used to contain and protect the lungs of the deceased. It has a baboon-head lid that represents the god Hapy, one of the four sons of Horus. The 10.8-inch-high container dates to the Late Dynastic Period, 26th-31st Dynasty, circa 664 to 332 BCE. Estimate: $14,000-$21,000. Also worthy of note is an Egyptian granite ushabti incised with a column of finely preserved hieroglyphs, like a prayer with the name of the deceased. It is from the New Kingdom, 18th-20th Dynasty, circa 1550-1077 BCE, and has provenance that includes descent from noted Egyptian antiquarian Philip Mitry. Estimate: $16,000-$24,000.
During the Egyptian practice of mummification, death masks were made in the likeness of the deceased. Artisans used different materials. Earlier masks were carved from wood. Later, cartonnage, a material made from papyrus or linen and soaked in plaster which was then applied to a wooden mold, was used. Royal death masks, perhaps the most famous being that of Tutankhamen, were made from precious metals. All death masks were intended to resemble the deceased subject, however, eyes were always slightly enlarged and lips presented in a subtle smile as we see in the example at the top of this page.
Many stellar pieces in the auction can boast provenance from distinguished collections or prior sale at premier auction houses. That applies to a circa-530 BC Greek Attic black-figure oinochoe with trefoil spout. This handsome 7.4-inch vessel displays a hand-painted scene of a warrior readying himself for battle, a high-crested Corinthian helmet at his feet. He is flanked by a woman in draped attire and a young man holding a spear. The oinochoe last appeared at auction in 2000, at Christie’s South Kensington. On November 10, Artemis Gallery will offer it at auction with a $12,000-$18,000 estimate.
Near Eastern, Indian and Asian highlights are seen in great abundance in this sale. A translated 16.3-inch South Arabian limestone stele, 3rd century BCE to 1st century CE, is dominated by a high-relief abstract head above four inscribed Qatabanian characters that spell out the name “Abyd.” It’s unbroken line of provenance dates back to an English collection, following its acquisition in the 1960s-1970s. Estimate: $12,000-$18,000.
Artemis Gallery takes pride in offering eight pieces from an extensive collection acquired in Tehran, Iran, in the 1960s. Within this grouping is a TL-tested circa 4th-6th century CE terracotta pitcher from the famed Marlik archaeological site in Persia. The handsome 18.3-inch vessel is intricately adorned with ribbon-like scrolls of clay around the neck and spout. Its noteworthy line of provenance also includes the Leota Furlong Agett Persian pottery collection. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000
One of the strongest categories in the sale is Pre-Columbian art and relics. It includes a fresh selection of rarities from the collection of Marc Amiguet Schmitt, a renowned expert in Central American cultural art who owned Amiguet Ancient Art from the early 1990s until his passing earlier this year. It was his expressed wish that Artemis Gallery auction his wonderful collection. The fulfillment of his wish began with an October 20 sale and continues on November 10.
An absolutely stunning piece from the Schmitt collection, a rare and highly important greenstone mask of the Aztec moon goddess Coyolxauhqui has a separately crafted nose plug and ear plug. It dates to the late 15th to early 16th century and is incised on verso with a name glyph for the ruler Moctezuma Xocoyotzin (circa 1466-1520 CE). The mask measures 10.6in wide by 7.8in high and will be offered with a $25,000-$37,500 estimate.
From a different and also very high-end collection comes an exceptional Pre-Columbian (350-550 CE) Zapotec (southern Mexico) effigy urn depicting an enthroned male personage known as “7 Earthquake.” A striking, profusely detailed artwork, it stands 18.5 inches high by 14 inches long by 18 inches wide. It has been TL tested and comes with provenance from Edgar and Betty Bergman, Chicagoans who added it to their collection in 1969. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000
Several intriguing fossils will be auctioned, including a fossilized Permian Orthacanthus shark that was bitten in half, $18,000-$25,000; a giant fossilized Jurassic Leptotheutis Gigas squid, $18,000-$25,000; and a rare ammonite fossil from the Bearpaw Formation, Alberta, Canada. Dating to the Late Cretaceous Period, circa 71 million years ago, it displays a mesmerizing fiery red hue that shifts to yellow, green and a hint of blue. From a Colorado private collection, it is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.
The visual art section of the sale is well worth exploring and is led by one of the most recognizable and beloved photographic images ever taken by Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984). It is a silver gelatin print titled Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico and was shot late in the afternoon on November 1, 1941 from a shoulder of US Highway 84. This classic photograph was formerly in the collection of Ginny Williams, a pioneering patron of the arts in Denver, Colorado, and is estimated at $14,000-$28,000.
The auction also features an incomparable array of wearable ancient jewelry, many of the pieces composed of high-karat gold or nearly pure silver, and some set with semiprecious stones. An amazing example of Viking or Norse culture artistry, a silver necklace of 38 fishtail pendants, 10th century CE, is estimated at $15,000-$22,500.
Artemis Gallery’s Thursday, November 10, 2022 auction featuring new selections from the Marc Amiguet Schmitt / Amiguet Ancient Art Collection plus other high-quality consignments, will start at 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. 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.
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