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Artemis Gallery to auction exceptional antiquities, ethnographic art


BOULDER, COLO.- Entire libraries have been devoted to cultures of the past, but no book, no matter how painstakingly researched, can convey the story of an ancient society quite as vividly as the objects and art its people left behind. “The tools, weapons, clothing, jewelry, implements and everyday wares of any given culture are, in the truest sense, a gift of living history for the generations that follow,” said Teresa Dodge, executive director of the specialist auction house Artemis Gallery.

The company’s Thursday, April 5 Spring Variety Auction of Ancient & Ethnographic Art, which invites absentee, phone and Internet live bidding, is a virtual timeline of the most significant civilizations of the past 4,000 years. As with all of its sales, Artemis Gallery has organized the upcoming auction in a chronological manner, starting with Ancient Egypt and traveling through the centuries in an exploration of Greek, Roman, Near Eastern, Asian, Pre-Columbian, and other intriguing cultures. Artemis Gallery unconditionally guarantees that every item in the 398-lot sale has been expertly authenticated and is legal to purchase, own or resell.

The mysteries of Ancient Egypt’s highly advanced society will be on display in the form of art, jewelry and utilitarian objects. A turquoise blue faience shabti, standing mummiform with one inscribed vertical column, is identified as “Horus, son of Isis.” It dates to the 21st-22nd Dynasty, circa 1069-725 BCE, and includes provenance from a 2007 sale at Christie’s London. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Other Egyptian articles include amulets, faience scarabs, beaded necklaces, sarcophagus fragments, and a slate offering plaque with a garnet eye.

Among the Greek highlights is a stunning Canosan figural funerary vessel in the form of an elegant female head surmounted by a full female figure that decorates the vessel’s handle. This most unusual circa-3rd century BCE production from Magna Graecia, Southern Italy, stands 19.75 inches high and has extensive provenance that includes prior sale at Christie’s New York. It is estimated at $10,000-$14,000. Greek pottery is led by a large Daunian polychrome-painted funnel krater, $2,800-$6,000; and an Attic black-figure lekythos by the Haimon Painter, $2,400-$3,500. A 14K gold ring set with a 3rd century BCE bas-relief silver coin depicting Alexander the Great is expected to reach $2,000-$3,000.

An excellent selection of Roman antiquities includes sculptures, fine gold jewelry, pottery and ever-popular glass objects. Estimated at $6,000-$8,000, a Gallo Roman solid cast-bronze head of Ares, ex Sotheby’s, can be traced to a 1922 auction in Paris and a later sale at Sotheby’s New York. Also Gallo Roman, a finely molded pottery head of a bearded male bears a likeness to Emperor Macrinus, who reigned from April 217 to June 218 BCE. Acquired by the consignor at the prestigious Royal Athena Gallery, New York, it is estimated at $7,500-$9,500. The array of distinctive Roman glass includes vases, jar, unguentaria, jars and other vessels.

The Asian section is especially broad and represents dozens of cultures. A large Gandharan schist Buddha head of young Prince Siddharta dressed in the elaborate turban of a rajah, circa 1st century CE, stands 19.8 inches high, inclusive of its custom stand. The artistry seen in this Greco-Buddhist masterpiece is of superlative quality. Great attention has been paid to even the smallest detail. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000. Other Asian highlights include a mid-16th-century Siamese bronze Buddha bust, Ayudya Period, $1,000-$1,500; and an impressively sized Japanese pottery jar, Middle Jomon Period [circa 2000-1000 BCE] that has been TL tested, $3,000-$4,000.

Those who collect Middle Eastern swords will appreciate the exceptional koftgari metalwork and horse-head decoration on a 19th-century CE Indo-Persian dagger and scabbard. Its curved Damascus steel blade made this dagger a fearsome weapon. Estimate: $4,500-$6,500. An earlier, late 18th- to early 19th-century Indonesian gold and steel sword with silver-clad sheath is of a style known as either a pedang suduk or pedang luwuk, and originates from the island of Java. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Both auction entries are from a Hawaiian private collection.

Art of the Americas is always a popular category in Artemis Gallery’s sales, typically encompassing Native American Indian tribal pieces and the Pre-Columbian pottery, stonework and textiles of Central and South American peoples. “The variety is so great in our upcoming auction, collectors owe it to themselves to look through the entire online catalog. We’ve worked diligently to put together a grouping of items that are of very high quality but still accessible to buyers at every price point,” said Dodge.

A Native-American [probably Chippewa] blackstone ceremonial peace pipe with inlaid silver pewter and red pipestone spade, club, heart and diamond motifs is an extraordinary artwork that could inspire even the best of today’s contemporary artists. It dates to around 1850 CE and is estimated at $5,000-$7,500. The Pre-Columbian lineup features several beautiful jade amulets and pendants, redware vessels and fantasy figures, cylinders, carvings and sculptures. Certainly worthy of special note is a Panamanian Tonosi double-tiered polychrome vessel from the 3rd-4th century CE. A form dubbed the “Metropolitan Vessel” because of its similarity to an example held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is also comparable to those illustrated Armande Labbe’s Guardians of the Stream: Shamans, Art and Power in Prehispanic Central Panama. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000

The auction also contains outstanding African and Oceanic tribal art and relics, Russian icons, Spanish colonial art, and several paintings by American impressionist William Draper (1912-2003).

There are many ways in which to bid in the Thursday, April 5, 2018 auction, including absentee, by phone (please reserve line in advance), or live via the Internet. The sale begins at 10 a.m. Eastern Time and will be conducted simultaneously on three bidding platforms: ArtemisGallery.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, and Invaluable.com. For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email teresa@artemisgallery.com.





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April 3, 2018

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