Artemis Gallery Revisits Ancient Cultures with Jan. 18-19 Antiquities, Ethnographic Auction

. January 17, 2017

BOULDER, CO – On Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 18 and 19, Artemis Gallery of Boulder, Colorado, will auction 454 expertly curated lots of classical antiquities and Asian, Pre-Columbian and ethnographic art. Without exception, every item in this exciting auction event is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic, as described in the catalog, and legal to acquire according to federal guidelines. A certificate of authenticity will accompany each purchase, and all goods will be packed in house by the gallery’s own staff to ensure an enjoyable and stress-free experience for all buyers.

Oversize Apulian (Magna Gaecia, southern Italy) red-figure amphora, 39 inches high, ex Royal Athena Gallery, New York, est. $70,000-$140,000. Image courtesy of Artemis Gallery

The Wednesday, Aug. 18 session, with its focus on classical antiquities and Asian art, will open with an outstanding selection of rarities from Ancient Egypt. One of the star lots is a Late Period (circa 715-330 BCE) painted-wood sarcophagus panel, 62 inches long, with the image of Nut (also Nunut/Nuit), goddess of the sky and celestial realm. Shown in full length with well-detailed apparel, the depiction of Nut has been professionally mounted in a wood case with glass cover. It is estimated at $18,000-$22,000.

During the Sixth Dynasty, it became a common practice to place wooden models of lifelike scenes in Egyptian tombs. By the time of the Middle Kingdom (circa 2060-1900 BCE), such articles were placed in the actual tomb chamber alongside the deceased’s coffin. In the most elaborate tombs, there were even separate chambers used only to house models of this type. Artemis Gallery’s Wednesday session features a Middle Kingdom model of plaster and wood depicting a brewery and bakery, with figures of two men sealing beer jars and a third figure kneading dough. Formerly in a New York private collection, this remarkable tableau is expected to make $9,000-$14,000.

Unquestionably a connoisseur’s piece, an Apulian (Magna Graecia, southern Italy) red-figure amphora dates to circa 330-300 BCE and is attributed to A.D. Trendall’s Virginia Exhibition Painter. The vase is of a grand scale, standing 39 inches high, and is profusely decorated with rival warriors, one on horseback; a female bust, floral elements and other fine iconography. “Virtually no Ancient Greek paintings have survived the tests of time,” said Teresa Dodge, executive director of Artemis Gallery. “This makes the painted compositions found on ceramic vessels of this type invaluable sources of information about Ancient Greek visual art. They were not merely utilitarian pottery; they were works of art that were highly prized throughout the classical world.” The vase is estimated at $70,000-$140,000.

Ancient jewelry has become a staple in Artemis Gallery’s sales and enjoys a following that is growing by leaps and bounds. On Jan. 18, bidders may choose from many Roman pieces, including gold and glass earrings, a 24K solid gold bracelet, a 20K (minimum) gold pendant with grape-leaf motif, and a 14K gold ring with a garnet intaglio of Minerva. The selection of Viking jewelry is highlighted by a glass necklace with bronze pendant, a substantial men’s decorated silver bracelet, and a museum-quality knitted-silver chain adorned with a Thor’s Hammer amulet.

Near Eastern lots of special note include a Mesopotamian cuneiform clay tablet (translated), and a rare Byzantine bronze icon of St. Nicholas; while the Asian art section is led by a superb Indian pala stone panel of the goddess Parvati, a 12th-century Khmer bronze figure of the goddess Lakshmi, and a sensational archaic Chinese jade bi disc.

On day 2, Artemis Gallery will offer Pre-Columbian and ethnographic art of the finest quality. There are several choice pieces from the Valdivian people of Ecuador, one of the earliest recorded cultures in the Americas. Lots include a tall terracotta Venus figure, a jaguar-tooth amulet, and limestone roundel with double arrows. An impressive circa-3300 BCE limestone “star chart” displays boldly incised horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines together with drilled dots, although there is no documented explanation of their meaning. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000

A wonderful array of Pre-Columbian art from other cultures includes representations from the Olmec, Mayan, Cocle, Chorrera and many other civilizations. Examples include a highly decorative Chancay (Peru, circa 1300-1470 CE) textile loincloth in superior condition to examples held in museums, estimate $4,500-$6,000; and a large and important Wari (Peru, circa 600-800 CE) polychrome urn with molded water birds and frog-like creatures in bas-relief, estimate $12,000-$18,000.

Collectors will find some genuine treasures amongst the African and tribal lots, such as a pair of Sokoto male and female terracotta figures, a fine Bankoni terracotta ancestral figure, and an important 20th-century Cameroon Mambila wooden helmet mask with extensive provenance. Mask estimate: $6,000-$7,500.

The market for hand-beaded 19th-century Native-American objects has never been stronger. Four remarkable examples in Artemis Gallery’s Jan. 18-19 sale are: an 1880s beaded-leather gun case, Great Plains/Cheyenne beaded war shirt, Plains beaded moose-skin wedding dress, and a sensational, densely beaded women’s wood and leather saddle with overall depictions of American Flags and the Great Seal of the United States. Saddle estimate: $6,000-$9,000.

There are many appealing choices within the Spanish Colonial ethnographic portion of the sale, including two 18th-century paintings and a stunning 19th-century hollow-cast statue of the Madonna wearing a crown and standing atop a cloud-shrouded crescent moon. Ex Sotheby’s and a private East Coast U.S. collection, the latter artwork is expected to make $3,000-$4,500.

Bidders may participate in Artemis Gallery’s Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 18-19, 2017 auction live online, by phone (please reserve phone line in advance) or by leaving an absentee bid that will be lodged confidentially and competitively on their behalf. The sale begins at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any item, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email teresa@artemisgallery.com. Visit Artemis Gallery online at http://www.artemisgallery.com/

Category: Auction News

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