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Connoisseurs' selection of ancient art, cultural artifacts chosen for Artemis Gallery's Nov. 19 auction
Mid-19th century Indonesian kris dagger with white sapphires, 18 inches long. Estimate: $2,700-$4,050. All images courtesy Artemis Gallery.


BOULDER, COLO.- Antiquities and ethnographic art specialist Artemis Gallery will auction a fascinating array of ancient art and cultural treasures on Thursday, Nov. 19. Items in the 277-lot absentee, phone and Internet-only event range from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman treasures to Pre-Columbian and Asian art and artifacts.

Heading the extensive list of highlights is a mid-19th century CE Indonesian kris, or keris, a type of dagger from the South Sulawesi peninsula. The kris is both a weapon and a spiritual object. The oldest known examples are from the 10th century CE. They are thought to have originated on the island of Java. The double-sided blade on this kris has delicate gold overlay at the top and swirling patterns on the dark metal of the rest. Both the hilt and guard are of wood covered with Sumatran chased silver gilding. The scabbard, from the late 19th or early 20th century, has silver chased floral designs and gilding set with white sapphires. The 18-inch-long dagger carries a $2,700-$4,050 estimate.

A Maori carved green nephrite jade hei tiki is distinctly of New Zealand origin. In Polynesian culture, including that of the Maori people, the word "tiki" means carved human figure, possibly originating from the folk myth of Tiki, the first man. Tiki are common through Polynesia, but the hei tiki is uniquely Maori. Since contact with Europeans, the hei tiki have become symbols of the Maori people. Measuring 4-inches long by 2 3/4 inches wide, this well-carved hei tiki intended to be worn as a pendant on a necklace is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.

Among the earliest artifacts in the auction is a rare Egyptian carved limestone stele, New Kingdom, Ramesside Period, circa 1292 to 1069 BCE. Steles are stone slabs that were erected as monuments, often for funerary or commemorative purposes. This iconographically rich stele stands 6 1/2 inches high by 4 inches wide. It is expected to sell for $7,000 to $9,000.

Ancient Greece is represented in the sale by a late 6th century BCE pottery skyphos. The deep-bowled drinking vessel is decorated with black figures of horsemen, attendants and palmettes. Low footed, the skyphos stands 3 inches high and is 7 1/4 inches wide. Estimate: $3,000-$4,500.

Dating from the third century BCE, a pair of Sarmatian or Scythian gold and garnet earrings is estimated at $4,000-$6,000. The Sarmatians were a confederation of Iranian people that migrated to Eastern Europe and flourished from about the 5th century BCE to the 4th century CE.

Chinese Qing Dynasty pieces from the late 18th and early 19th centuries include a bronze seated Buddha, $4,000-$6,000, and a gilt wood Bodhisattva atop a lion, 25 1/4 inches high, estimate $3,000-$6,000.

The latter part of the auction, starting at lot 250, will feature a Marketplace Section, where estimates are as low as $50.

Bidders may participate in Artemis Gallery’s Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 auction live online, by phone, or by leaving an absentee bid that will be lodged confidentially and competitively on their behalf. The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers.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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