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Artemis Gallery to auction important classical antiquities, Asian and ethnographic art
Monumental Chinese Han Dynasty terracotta horse, circa 206 BCE to 220 CE, 51in. tall, TL tested. Est. $75,000-$150,000.

BOULDER, COLO.- On Thursday, February 21, Artemis Gallery will conduct a nearly 400-lot auction featuring museum-worthy examples of classical antiquities, Asian and ethnographic art. This highly significant sale showcases investment-grade art and artifacts from Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Near and Far Eastern, Pre-Columbian and African cultures. Additionally, there are Spanish colonial, Native American and Russian artworks and objects, as well as beautiful gold and silver jewelry, some with semiprecious stones. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The top-estimated lot of the sale is an incredible Urartu bronze helmet from the eastern Anatolia region of modern-day Armenia, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Exhibiting astonishing artistry and iconography, the circa-8th-7th century BCE (Iron Age III) helmet is composed of bronze that has been skillfully hammered into a conical form to fit snuggly against a warrior’s skull. It tapers to a point and is decorated in repousse as well as engraved with fascinating, symbolic motifs of deities and mythological animal creatures. The helmet has undergone XRF elemental analysis confirming its age and includes in its line of distinguished provenance the Manukyan family collection, USA/France, 1970s. It comes to auction with a $250,000-$350,000 estimate.

A beautifully carved Ancient Greek Cycladic marble female figure is typical of the sculpture of the mid-2000s BCE known as the Spedos variety. “Cycladic” refers to an island group in the Aegean Sea, and carvings described by that name refer to a type seen at an Early Cycladic cemetery on Naxos, the largest island of the archipelago. The characteristics of sculptures of the Spedos type are abstract and geometrical, and may include an elongated slender body with folded arms, a lyre- or U-shape head, and a deeply incised cleft between the legs. With provenance that includes former sale at Christie’s London and a private UK collection of the 1960s, the figure offered by Artemis gallery is expected to make $80,000-$100,000.

The Imperial Roman era (1st to 2nd century CE) comes to life in the form of a rare cavalry officer’s bronze parade mask modeled in the likeness of its owner. The mask was reportedly discovered in the 1960s in the river Maas, in the Maren-Kessel province of the Netherlands, and its golden river patina attests to this account. A similar mask is pictured and described in Marcus Junkelmann's publication titled Romische Helmet: Band VIII S (von Zabern, Mainz, 2000). The auction estimate is $80,000-$100,000.

An astonishing Pre-Columbian ceramic figure of the Veracruz (Mexico) culture is in actuality a life-size ocarina. Fashioned to appear as though it is wearing a headdress, loincloth, bracelets and other adornments, the figure has multiple holes on its body, placed precisely to create variously pitched sounds. Similar to an example held in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, it is expected to reach $40,000-$60,000 at auction.

Artemis Gallery has handled some of the most exceptional Ancient Egyptian artifacts ever to reach the auction market. In their February sale, the endlessly fascinating Egyptian culture is once again front and center in the form of a wood mummiform sarcophagus depicting Falcon Bird Horus. Dating from the circa-26th to 31st Dynasty (Late Dynastic Period), circa 664 to 332 BCE, this incredibly rare piece is cataloged with a $25,000-$35,000 estimate.

Another art wonder of the ancient world is the enormous Early Byzantine (circa 400 to 600 CE) liturgical table finely carved from a single piece of creamy white marble. Marble tabletops have been found widely throughout the Roman and Byzantine Empires, however, most exist only as small fragments and very few have carved reliefs. The one in the February 21 sale has 10 carved, lobed compartments around the curved top and a beautiful relief panel with depictions of six sheep flanking a chi-rho symbol, the monogram for Christ derived from the first two letters of His name in Greek. A comparable example is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Auction estimate: $100,000-$300,000

Among the Asian treasures to be auctioned is a monumental Chinese Han Dynasty terracotta horse, circa 206 BCE to 220 CE. Standing 51 inches tall, the figure was masterfully sculpted to reflect a horse’s proud demeanor and muscular physique. It has been TL tested twice – once by QED Laboratoire and again by Artemis Testing Lab. Both tests found the artwork to be ancient and of the period stated in the auction catalog’s description. Estimate: $75,000-$150,000

The February 21 auction will start at 10 a.m. Eastern time. All items come with Artemis Gallery’s guarantee that they are authentic and legal to purchase, own, and if desired, resell. An Artemis Gallery COA will accompany each purchase. The company ships worldwide and has its own in-house packing and shipping department to ensure quality control. For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-890-7700 or email Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

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