Connoisseur-level selection includes many book examples and rarities and private provenance plus history of prior sales at Christie’s or Sotheby’s
Online PR News – 26-June-2017 – Boulder, CO – It is only through the art and surviving relics of ancient cultures that history can be relived in the present. “We connect to civilizations of the past when we hold and admire pieces they created and revered so long ago,” said Teresa Dodge, executive director of Artemis Gallery. Teresa and her husband/business partner, Bob, began their exploration of cultural antiquities decades ago, gaining status over the years as top experts in their field.
When they are not advising institutions and private collectors, the Dodges conduct auctions of fully vetted, unconditionally guaranteed ancient and cultural art. Their next event, a 402-lot sale to be held June 28 and 29, brings to the marketplace exquisite classical antiquities, as well as Asian, Russian, Pre-Columbian, Viking, African/tribal, Spanish colonial and other fine art.
The auction’s timeline begins in the Cradle of Civilization, Ancient Egypt. From the Late Dynastic to Greco-Roman Periods, circa 712-30 BCE, comes an amazing art object from a culture whose enigmatic funeral rituals continue to mystify archaeologists. The piece is a 25-inch-high, painted and gessoed-wood statuette of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris in his human form standing atop a box that replicates a hieroglyphed coffin. The figure faces his alter ego, a three-dimensional hawk. “The figure is a hybrid representation of Ptah, the creator god of Memphis; Sokar, the patron of the Memphite necropolis; and Osiris, the god of the afterlife and lord of the underworld,” explained Artemis Gallery Executive Director Teresa Dodge. Nicely preserved overall, this important artifact entered as Lot 5 is expected to make $12,000-$15,000.
A mesmerizing Egyptian sarcophagus mask/bust from the Ptolemaic Period, circa 305-30 BCE, is colossal in size – measuring 24.5 inches high by 19.75 inches wide – and is constructed of painted wood layered with gesso and linen. The male visage features large, dramatically lined eyes, a tripartite black “wig” and gently smiling lips. Formerly in a private Swiss collection and acquired pre-1972, this striking mummy mask is offered with a $15,000-$20,000 estimate.
The Ancient Greek section is brimming with choice artifacts, including painted amphoras and other vessels, a gold Lucanian (circa 350-330 BC) coin, and an Illyrian (circa late 6th-5th centuries BCE) hammered-bronze helmet. One of the top highlights is Lot 26, a sensational Hellenistic Period (circa 3rd-2nd century BCE) terracotta figure of a young Cadmus, founder and first king of Thebes, standing naked and strangling a large serpent. Ex-Breitbart Collection and with extensive earlier provenance, it is entered with a $35,000-$45,000 estimate. Also boasting desirable provenance, Lot 30, a Hellenistic (circa 2nd-1st century BCE) marble head of a goddess, possibly Aphrodite, was held in the collection of actor Federico Castelluccio and previously sold at Christie’s New York (June 2008). The sculpture is depicted in J. Eisenberg’s Art of the Ancient World, 2009, and has an auction estimate of $25,000-$40,000.
A rare and quite extraordinary example of early militaria, Lot 35C is a marked Etruscan (northern Italy, circa 500-450 BCE) helmet with chest armor in beautifully preserved condition with a natural golden finish. Estimate: $65,000-$85,000. Ancient Roman highlights include Lot 38, a published bronze bust of Helios, ex Sotheby’s, est. $18,000-$27,000; Lot 44B, a marble bust of a male with Latin inscription, $25,000-$35,000; and Lot 44A, a life-size Imperial Period marble torso of a nude male, $150,000-$175,000.
Remarkable Viking craftsmanship is on display in the selection of high-karat gold and silver jewelry and iron armaments. Lot 48, a 36-inch-long Viking Oakeshott Type X iron sword, mid-9th to mid-12th century CE, has been tested and authenticated for age and metal composition at Gerry McDonald Archaeometals in Wales. It is offered with a $25,000-$35,000 estimate.
Thoughtfully selected treasures of the Near and Far East range from Anatolian marble idol figures and an 18th-century Tibetan gilded lion plaque to edged weapons, a Chinese Sui Dynasty pottery horse, and Lot 65, a spectacular 19th-century Indian Mughal necklace of 18K (or higher) gold. Certainly a creation designed for someone of great wealth and social standing, the necklace is lavishly adorned with rubies, emeralds, sapphires and freshwater pearls. Its pre-sale estimate is $18,000-$25,000.
Day two of the auction will focus on African/tribal/Oceanic, Spanish colonial, and Pre-Columbian art, including an exceptionally large selection of jade objects. A prime example, Lot 205C is an important Olmec (Mexico to Guatemala) maskette of finely carved and string-cut light sage green jade, dating to circa 900-600 BCE. “The expression on this piece surpasses even the most theatrical Olmec visages we have encountered,” said Teresa Dodge. Its estimate is set at $25,000-$35,000.
Many other noteworthy Pre-Columbian artworks will be offered, including Lot 235, a Panamanian Veraguas 24K gold shaman weighing 59.2 grams, $15,000-$20,000; Lot 220F, a Maya Peten Basin (Mexico/Guatemala) ceramic bowl with polychrome images of a drug ritual, $12,000-$15,000; and Lot 213A, a Moche (northern Peru) necklace of high-karat gold beads strung with crystal, turquoise and sodalite beads and a suspended gold and turquoise pendant, $30,000-$35,000.
African art is led by Lot 243, a superb Kwese (Democratic Republic of the Congo) wood mbala, or helmet mask, with attractive pigment and distinctive features on a heart-shape face. This circa-20th-century artwork has extensive provenance that includes Pace Primitive (NYC) and Christie’s Paris. Estimate: $40,000-$50,000.
The sale also features wonderful examples of Russian icons, Native American and Oceanic art, and several fine 18th- and 19th-century Spanish colonial paintings. All auction items will convey with a COA from Artemis Gallery.
There are many ways in which to bid in the June 28-29, 2017 auction, including absentee, by phone (please reserve line in advance), or live via the Internet. The sale will be conducted simultaneously on three bidding platforms: ArtemisGalleryLIVE.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, and Invaluable.com. For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-502-5289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.