News-Antique.com - Dec 05,2016 - BOULDER, CO – Artemis Gallery’s Dec. 8 auction is the ideal place to find beautiful and unusual holiday gifts that have long withstood the test of time. The 330-lot sale of ancient, Asian and ethnographic art caters to all tastes and budgets with its carefully curated selection of classical antiquities from Egypt, Greece, Italy, the Near East and Far East, including China, Japan and Thailand.
Not only will bidders find Thursday’s auction to be a very pleasant and easy way to acquire pieces of great distinction, they will also be doing so with Artemis Gallery’s ironclad guarantee that each and every item is authentic, as described, and legal to acquire according to federal guidelines. A certificate of authenticity will accompany each purchase. In addition, because the company handles all packing and shipping in-house to ensure quality control, co-owners Bob and Teresa Dodge are pleased to guarantee delivery of any auction item to U.S. or international addresses in time for Christmas or Hanukkah.
The auction opens with an impressive 9¾-inch stone jar from Egypt’s Early Dynastic Period, circa 3100-2686 BCE. Cylindrical with a flat base, the vessel was made from banded alabaster and is tastefully finished with a carved “rope” motif beneath its rim. Crafted to a high standard and suitable for any interior decor, it is expected to make $4,000-$7,000.
One of the auction’s unquestionable stars is Lot 5A, an exceptional Egyptian mummy mask from the 22nd to 27th Dynasties, circa 750-500 BCE. Carved from a fine-grain hardwood, the mask has a striking three-dimensional quality to it, with finely delineated nose and lips, well modeled cheeks, arched brows and dramatically lined, almond-shape eyes. The mask is topped by a grand, blue headdress, its brim accented by painted “beads.” Presented on a custom stand and with provenance from a pre-1975 European collection, this prized auction entry is estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
The trail of distinguished provenance continues with ancient treasures of Mediterranean cultures. Lot 20, a Cypriot limestone head, early Hellenistic Period, circa 310 BCE, depicts a male youth with classical features wearing a laurel wreath over slightly wavy hair. This piece was deaccessioned from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cesnola collection, one of the Met’s original collections when it opened at its current site in 1880. A museum “book example,” it is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.
The interest in Viking jewelry has increased with every Artemis Gallery auction since the specialty category was introduced. The Dec. 8 Holiday Sale showcases the Viking/Norse tradition of metalsmithing with three highlight pieces in particular: Lot 35F, a twisted silver wire bracelet made for a child or woman, $500-$700; Lot 37A, a heavy silver and bronze bracelet, $2,000-$3,000; and Lot 37C, an ornamental twisted bronze torc, $1,800-$2,500.
The Asian category is led by Lot 60D, an enormous Cambodian, Khmer Empire (Angkor culture) gray stone Buddha seated in the lotus position, hands in Dhyana Mudra (meditation) mode, on a three-tiered throne. The flaring, hooded head of a giant naga, the serpent king Muchilinda, rises behind the deity