Artemis Gallery to auction ancient weapons, antiquities, ethnographic & Asian art, April 20 Featured: Fine textiles collection formerly owned by Her Majesty Queen Elena of Italy and other European royals
News-Antique.com - Apr 14,2016 - BOULDER, CO – Fresh collections with impeccable provenance and an ironclad guarantee of authenticity and legality form the core of Artemis Gallery’s Wednesday, April 20 auction. The expertly curated 400-lot selection includes ancient weapons, Asian and ethnographic art; and other cultural rarities.
The sale will open with prized ancient weapons from the collection of the late John Piscopo. His holdings span numerous cultures over a timeline that fittingly begins with Lot 1 – an Egyptian pre-Dynastic flint blade that dates to circa 4000-3100 BCE. Measuring 5.35 inches long and with similarities to the blade of a knife in The Louvre’s collection, its estimate is $1,200-$1,800. Lot 27, a Viking iron battle axe, circa 1000 CE and discovered in northern Europe, is estimated at $500-$750. Another deadly hand-wrought weapon is Lot 71A, a massive ancient Chinese bronze ge (pole axe with lengthy blade). Dating to circa 450-100 BCE, it would have been attached to a long pole and swung with great speed and mortal consequences. It is expected to make $2,400-$3,400.
An extraordinarily decorative war relic from 17th-century Scotland, Lot 29C is a round, bronze-studded leather and wood shield known as a targe. Until the landmark Battle of Culloden in 1746, this type of implement was the Scottish Highlander’s main form of defense in battle. Consigned directly from a private collection where it was held for more than 30 years, it is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
Also among the stellar weapons offerings is the collection of Indonesian kris (keris) handles amassed by the late Ami Brown (1929-2010), a renowned antique Asian armaments and art collector whose business successes included the founding of Coca-Cola Israel. Many examples from this collection were previously displayed in the Ein Harod Museum of Art. A top highlight is Lot 40, a circa-17th or18th-century high-karat gold handle from Southeastern Asia in the form of Nyamba, a Sub-Saharan African god. The character’s jewel-studded crown indicates the owner of the sword that was topped by this hilt was a person of high status. The piece is estimated at $5,000-$7,500. Also noteworthy are Lot 42, a 17th/18th-century Thai silver and ebony kris in the form of a garuda (long-beaked bird), $1,500-$2,000; and Lot 66, an 18th-century Indonesian kris elaborately carved to replicate a fearsome demon, $2,500-$3,500.
Many lots come with major museum provenance. Lot 28, a 15th/16th-century German or Swiss iron halbert stands 8ft tall and has a blade that measures 28½ inches long. An impressive example of its type, it was deemed worthy of inclusion in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is offered with a $3,200-$4,500 estimate. Also, a circa 618-906 CE Chinese Tang Dynasty horse and rider, exhibited in the 1960s at the Denver Art Museum, is entered as Lot 74 with expectations of reaching $7,000-$9,000.
Lot 72C, a rare and highly important stone head of a Bodhisattva, boasts a trail of provenance that includes its April 5, 1956 sale at Parke-Bernet Galleries as part of the Tonying & Co., collection of Chinese art. From