LONDON.- Pax Romana
, a premier British gallery and auction house specializing in expertly curated and authenticated ancient art, antiquities, weaponry and wearable jewellery, will conduct an exclusive one-day event, The Royal Sale, on Sunday, November 24. This 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 region and North Sea.
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 Romanas owner/director, Dr Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford).
The auction catalogue is divided in four main categories: Ancient Wearable Jewellery, Ancient Weaponry, Classical Antiquities, and Asian Antiquities.
A stunning selection of wearable jewellery 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.
Any woman would feel like royalty wearing an exquisite circa 400 BC Greek Hellenistic gold tiara 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 jewellery 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.
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 Satyrs 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 Romanas auction has a smooth, attractive olive-green patina that has developed naturally over the past 2,400 years. It is estimated £30,000-£50,000.
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, 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
The centerpiece of Pax Romanas November 24 auction is an extremely rare, well provenanced and authenticated Roman silver bust of Emperor Otho in his military uniform with a gilded Medusa phallera. Dating to circa 70 A.D., the weighty (1060 grams) artwork is accompanied by scientific report written by Dr. Bonchev and an XRF metallurgical analysis. A masterpiece in fine metals, its estimate is £150,000-£300,000.
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 early 1920s when sculpture was imported into the United States. Estimate £50,000-£100,000
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; while 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.