Sarcophagus with passport leads Artemis Gallery LIVE's June 13 ancient art auction Artemis Gallery LIVE’s June 13 auction features superb prehistoric and ethnographic art; classical antiquities; Smithsonian-authenticated African/tribal art ex Brining collection.
News-Antique.com - Jun 03,2014 - BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. – On Friday, June 13th, Artemis Gallery LIVE will conduct a 325-lot auction of rare and outstanding ancient art, together with select classical and Pre-Columbian antiquities; and both prehistoric and historic Native-American art.
The Egyptian category – and the sale overall – is led by an exceptional, full-size, complete sarcophagus in superior condition. Extensively painted with pharoaonic scenes, goddesses, sons of Horus and hieroglyphs, the sarcophagus dates to the Late Period Southern Dynasty, 700 to 300 BCE. The well-traveled antiquity has a distinguished trail of 20th/21st-century ownership that took it to Texas, Hawaii and Paris, then back to the United States.
“In order for it to travel legally into or out of Europe, the sarcophagus had to have its own government-issued passport. Both its passport and a general translation of its hieroglyphs – which include verses from ‘The Book of the Dead’ – will convey to the winning bidder,” said Artemis Gallery’s founder and executive director, Bob Dodge. “Its opening price will seem reasonable to some who collect sarcophagi, but because of its ironclad provenance and wonderful condition, it would not surprise us if it sold for $100,000 or more.”
Before the Classical Greek state developed, a culture known as the Hallstadt prospered in central Europe from 1000-800 BCE. Several Hallstadt pieces will be offered by Artemis Gallery, including an important 9½-inch coiled convex bronze forearm bracelet that Dodge suspects would have been worn by “a very important princess.” Estimate: $5,000-$8,000. A seldom-encountered Hallstadt bronze situla – a vessel that was used to hold wine and water for rituals – is estimated at $50,000-$70,000. “Whenever a situla appears at auction, there’s great demand for it. The last one we saw at auction sold at Christie’s for six figures, and ours is every bit as fine,” said Dodge.
An extensive selection of Greek antiquities will be crossing the auction block, including an exquisite 33½-inch-high, 5th century BCE terra cotta statuette of a goddess. “It’s almost unheard of to find anything this large that hasn’t reduced to a pile of dust after 2,400 years,” said Dodge. “It’s missing its head, but it has a wonderful flowing garment and sensual pose.” The auction estimate is $40,000-$60,000.
A stunning 19-inch Greek Apulian red-figure hydria used to store water and wine at banquets is adorned with a naiskos, or tomb scene, that includes a depiction of a woman being attended by a male soldier and female handmaiden. Made expressly for a funeral, to accompany a woman into the afterlife, the hydria is estimated at $12,000-$15,000.
Extremely rare, a Greek Illyro/Chalcidian bronze helmet displays aspects that indicate it was captured at war, then modified by the enemy to suit their own specifications. “Originally, it was Corinthian in style, with big ear flaps and a nose cover. Later, when in the hands of the enemy, it was made to look more Illyrian,” Dodge said. A very unusual survivor, the helmet is expected to achieve $15,000-$20,000 at auction.