Pax Romana presents Royal Sale, a Nov. 24 no-reserve auction

Pax Romana

Extremely rare, well provenanced and authenticated Roman silver bust of Emperor Otho in military uniform with gilded Medusa phallera, circa 70 A.D., 7.09 x 4.72in, 1060 grams. Accompanied by scientific report written by Dr. Ivan Bonchev, Ph.D. University of Oxford; and XRF metallurgical analysis. Estimate £150,000-£300,000. Pax Romana image

LONDON – Pax Romana, Britain’s premier gallery and auctioneers of expertly curated and authenticated ancient art, antiquities, weaponry and wearable jewelry, will conduct an exclusive one-day event, The Royal Sale, on Sunday, Nov. 24. This very special no-reserve auction features an exceptional selection of ancient art from many regions and cultures worldwide – from China through the Middle East to the Mediterranean and North Sea. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

All auction items have low opening bids to allow all collectors, whether novice or advanced, to pursue beautiful ancient objects. Each lot will convey to its new owner with a professional Certificate of Authenticity signed by Pax Romana’s owner/director, Dr. Ivan Bonchev (Ph.D., University of Oxford).

The auction catalog is divided into four main categories: Ancient Wearable Jewelry, Ancient Weaponry, Classical Antiquities, and Asian Antiquities.

The centerpiece of Pax Romana’s November 24 auction is an extremely rare, well provenanced and authenticated Roman silver bust of Emperor Otho (above) in his military uniform with a gilded Medusa phallera. Dating to around 70 A.D., the weighty (1060 grams) artwork is accompanied by a scientific report written by Dr. Bonchevand an XRF metallurgical analysis. A masterpiece in fine metals, its estimate is £150,000-£300,000.

A stunning selection of wearable jewelry executed in gold, silver or bronze includes rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, amulets and other forms. Successful bidders will have the opportunity to wear a ring or other precious-metal creation that once belonged to a Crusader, Viking warrior or member of nobility. With the approaching holiday season in mind, The Royal Sale also offers an outstanding opportunity to purchase unique and unforgettable gifts for loved ones.

Pax Romana

Roman amethyst cameo gold ring with beautifully carved image of Medusa or gorgon, circa 200 A.D. Weight: 8 grams. Estimate £4,000-£6,000. Pax Romana image

Any woman would feel like royalty wearing an exquisite circa 400 B.C. Greek Hellenistic gold tiara (below) decorated with carnelian stones and enhanced by a large spinning rosette applied to its central section. Dr. Bonchev noted that the rare, museum-quality artifact is from the time of Alexander the Great and was acquired in the 1990s by a London jewelry specialist. “Judging by its style and the high quality of workmanship, it might very well have been the property of a Greek princess,” he observed. The tiara comes to auction with a £20,000-£50,000 estimate.

Pax Romana

Front and side views of important Greek Hellenistic gold tiara, circa 400 B.C. Elaborate decoration with carnelian stones and large spinning rosette applied to central section. Museum piece, possibly once the property of a princess. Estimate £20,000-£50,000. Pax Romana image

Several Ancient roman rings are worthy of special mention. Among them are a rare circa 200 AD gold intaglio ring with a red stone depicting a Satyr’s head, £3,000-£5,000; and an elliptical-shape gold ring from the same period with a deep green intaglio stone carved in the form of a deer and tree, £1,000-£2,000. The finest of the Roman gold rings boasts a well-carved amethyst cameo of a bas-relief Medusa (or gorgon) head, which was considered a protective symbol. In superb, wearable condition, it is expected to sell for £4,000-£6,000.

An impressive array of authentic ancient weaponry represents centuries of warfare, with Scythian, Trojan, Iron and Bronze Age swords; Viking and Medieval axes and daggers; and Greek and Roman spears featuring prominently. All of the items in this category have been carefully cleaned and the great majority have been mounted on custom-made stands, making them ideal choices as holiday gifts for men.

A stellar circa 400 B.C. Greek Chalcidian helmet with cheek-guards is of a type that would have been worn by hoplites, the citizen foot soldiers who were expected to be armed and ready should a war break out. The very rare helmet in Pax Romana’s auction has a smooth, attractive olive-green patina that has developed naturally over the past 2,400 years. It is estimated at £30,000-£50,000.

Pax Romana

Outstanding and very rare Greek Chalcidian helmet with cheek-guards, circa 400 B.C., of a type that would have been worn by a hoplite (heavily armed infantryman), smooth olive-green patina. Estimate £30,000-£50,000. Pax Romana image

Those who follow the TV series Vikings may experience a bit of deja vu upon viewing the rare Oakeshott Type X long sword entered in the sale, as it is distinctly reminiscent of weapons used by the characters Ragnar Lothbroke and Rollo, the first ruler of Normandy. The circa 900-1100 A.D. iron sword has a silver-inlaid handle and a guard and pommel decorated with copper wire in geometric patterns. Estimate £10,000-£20,000.

Pax Romana

Rare Viking long sword, Oakeshott Type X, iron with silver-inlaid handle, circa 900-1100 A.D., guard and pommel elaborately decorated with copper wire forming geometric patterns. Estimate £10,000-£20,000. Pax Romana image

An important Roman marble depicting a draped torso of Artemis, circa 100-300 A.D., is described by Dr. Bonchev as “one of the finest marble sculptures [we] have ever had the honor of handling.” Its provenance includes Pearson family lineage going back to the early 1920s when the sculpture was imported into the United States. Estimate £50,000-£100,000.

Pax Romana

Important Roman marble depicting draped torso of Artemis, circa 100-300 A.D., 31.5in inclusive of custom stand. Provenance includes Pearson family lineage going back to early 1920s when sculpture was imported into the U.S. Estimate £50,000-£100,000. Pax Romana image

Among the many highlights of the Asian section are two schist artworks, both of Gandharan origin. A circa 200 A.D. panel depicting the drunken god Dionysus with a nymph, could attract a winning bid in the £5,000-£7,000 range.

Pax Romana

Gandhara schist panel depicting drunken god Dionysus with a nymph, enclosed by grapes and vine leaves; circa 200 A.D., 10.83in tall inclusive of custom stand. £5,000-£7,000. Pax Romana image

A large (16.54in.), circa 300 A.D. head of Buddha with finely carved facial features and elaborate hair details carries a £4,000-£8,000 estimate.

Pax Romana

Large Gandhara schist stone Buddha head, circa 300 A.D., finely carved facial features and elaborate hair details, 16.5in tall inclusive of custom stand. Estimate £4,000-£8,000. Pax Romana image

All auction items sold by Pax Romana are accompanied by a professional Certificate of Authenticity. The company ships worldwide and all packing is handled by in-house specialists. View the fully illustrated catalogue and bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. For questions about any item in the November 24, 2019 auction, call Dr. Ivan Bonchev, Director, Pax Romana, London, on +44 7424 994167 or email