The Egyptian category – and the sale overall – is led by an exceptional, full-size, complete sarcophagus in superior condition. Extensively painted with pharoaonic scenes, goddesses, sons of Horus and hieroglyphs, the sarcophagus dates to the Late Period Southern Dynasty, 700 to 300 BCE. The well-traveled antiquity has a distinguished trail of 20th/21st-century ownership that took it to Texas, Hawaii and Paris, then back to the United States.
“In order for it to travel legally into or out of Europe, the sarcophagus had to have its own government-issued passport. Both its passport and a general translation of its hieroglyphs – which include verses from ‘The Book of the Dead’ – will convey to the winning bidder,” said Artemis Gallery’s founder and executive director, Bob Dodge. “Its opening price will seem reasonable to some who collect sarcophagi, but because of its ironclad provenance and wonderful condition, it would not surprise us if it sold for $100,000 or more.”
Before the Classical Greek state developed, a culture known as the Hallstadt prospered in central Europe from 1000-800 BCE. Several Hallstadt pieces will be offered by Artemis Gallery, including an important 9½-inch coiled convex bronze forearm bracelet that Dodge suspects would have been worn by “a very important princess.” Estimate: $5,000-$8,000. A seldom-encountered Hallstadt bronze situla – a vessel that was used to hold wine and water for rituals – is estimated at $50,000-$70,000. “Whenever a situla appears at auction, there’s great demand for it. The last one we saw at auction sold at Christie’s for six figures, and ours is every bit as fine,” said Dodge.
An extensive selection of Greek antiquities will be crossing the auction block, including an exquisite 33½-inch-high, 5th century BCE terra cotta statuette of a goddess. “It’s almost unheard of to find anything this large that hasn’t reduced to a pile of dust after 2,400 years,” said Dodge. “It’s missing its head, but it has a wonderful flowing garment and sensual pose.” The auction estimate is $40,000-$60,000.
A stunning 19-inch Greek Apulian red-figure hydria used to store water and wine at banquets is adorned with a naiskos, or tomb scene, that includes a depiction of a woman being attended by a male soldier and female handmaiden. Made expressly for a funeral, to accompany a woman into the afterlife, the hydria is estimated at $12,000-$15,000.
Extremely rare, a Greek Illyro/Chalcidian bronze helmet displays aspects that indicate it was captured at war, then modified by the enemy to suit their own specifications. “Originally, it was Corinthian in style, with big ear flaps and a nose cover. Later, when in the hands of the enemy, it was made to look more Illyrian,” Dodge said. A very unusual survivor, the helmet is expected to achieve $15,000-$20,000 at auction.
Originating in northern Italy during the height of the Classical Greek period, 6th to 5th century BCE, an Etruscan amphora water or wine storage jar stands 17 inches high and is painted with a panel of stylized fish circling it, with horses below. “This jar comes from the estate of a gentleman in Scotland who owned the Loch Fyne chain of oyster restaurants. He had a wonderful collection of fish-related ancient art,” said Teresa Dodge, Artemis Gallery’s executive director of sales and marketing. Estimate: $5,000-$8,000.
From 1st century CE Rome, a stellar marble portrait head of a patrician man underwent expert restoration to its nose in the 1950s at The Getty museum. Also during that decade, it was exhibited at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. A compelling and realistic artwork, it is entered in the sale with a $20,000-$30,000 estimate.
The many collectors of early weapons will be served a comprehensive array of choices, from bronze weapons of ancient Iran, Persia, the Bactrian empires and Asia. The ancient Chinese selection includes a bronze and silver dagger from the Warring States period, circa 400 BCE. A huge piece of the type rarely available for purchase, it is adorned with masks and other ornate embellishments. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000.
A large grouping of well-provenanced Pre-Columbian art from the collections of two prominent Hollywood directors will be offered. There are articles crafted of gold and silver, wood, stone and pottery, and among the highlights are a world-class Moche stirrup vessel of a warrior, and a monumental Inca stone carving of a fort.
For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-502-5289 or email email@example.com.
View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
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