An exceptionally well-preserved skull of an aurochs, an extinct species of wild cattle dating back 10,000-25,000 years, a gorgeous Etruscan terracotta female votive head from the 4th Century BC, and a lovely Apulian red-figure hydria from around the same period are a few expected top lots in Ancient Resource Auctions online-only Auction #84.
The May Exceptional Antiquities Sale is already up and online for pre-bidding. It will go live on Saturday, May 30th at 9 am Pacific time and will continue throughout the day. Up for bid are close to 400 lots of authentic Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Near Eastern, Holy Land, Byzantine, Asian and Pre-Columbian antiquities, plus ethnographic art and a fine selection of rare fossils.
All lots may be viewed and bid on now, via Ancient Resource Auctions bidding platform, at bid.AncientResourceAuctions.com
, and on its bidding apps for both Android and Apple devices. Bids can also be placed on Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com.
Because of social distancing restrictions in Los Angeles and the COVID-19 health crisis, in-person meetings to preview the items are difficult, said Gabriel Vandervort, the president and owner of Ancient Resource Auctions. However, we are happy to send plenty of additional photos and conduct detailed condition reports for interested bidders, as well as answer any additional questions.
With regard to the auction and the many rare and authentic items in it, Mr. Vandervort said, We are featuring an incredible selection of antiquities from a wide variety of cultures, as well as a fine selection of fossils. Buyers are bound to get some really wonderful pieces at great prices.
The auctions expected top lot is the aurochs skull, from the Late Pleistocene era, circa 10,000-25,000 years ago. The skull, on a custom-built wooden base, is in remarkable condition, considering the remaining fragile anatomy that survived both the last Ice Age. The piece has a pre-sale estimate of $18,000-$25,000.
The 10-inch-tall Etruscan terracotta female votive head from the 4th Century BC, with beautifully modeled features in high relief, is expected to realize $5,000-$7,000. Last purchased at auction through Sothebys in the 80s or 90s, the head is adorned with rings, pellets and disc earrings. Her hair is parted at the center and is styled in waves with bunches of curls above each cheek.
The Apulian red-figure hydria (ancient Greek water vessel), circa 4th Century BC, shows a robed male figure standing with a torch and staff before a woman seated on a chair. She is dressed in a chiton and himation and holds a mirror in her right hand and rests her left arm at her side. Both figures are beautifully rendered in fine style. The lot should hit $4,000-$7,000.
An Egyptian panel from the lid of a sarcophagus (Late Period, circa 664-332 BC) made from wood panels with the mummy mask still attached with dowels, 33 ½ inches by 14 ½ inches, on a custom wooded stand, should sell for $10,000-$12,000. Also offered will be a large Coptic limestone funerary stela, 4th or 5th Century, depicting a youth kneeling upon a soft chair or pillow within a domed niche supported by Corinthian columns, 22 inches in height (est. $6,500-$9,000).
An intact and superb Apulian red-figure bell krater from the 4th Century BC, featuring a striding nude satyr wearing a beaded harness on one side and a heavily robed female with diadem on the other, 6 ½ inches tall, is estimated at $5,000-$7,000; while a nice Roman marble head depicting a Nubian, executed around the 1st Century BC, boasting handsome well-cut features, his hair in short curls framing his face, 11 ½ inches on a custom base, carries an estimate of $6,000-$8,000.
A fantastic Colima red-ware howling dog vessel, West Mexico, 100 BC-200 AD, his back furrowed and tense with alert ears and the body well-modeled with a finely detailed head having incised mouth and teeth, 11 ¼ inches tall, should achieve $1,500-$2,500. Also, a nicely patinated Roman bronze figure of Zeus-Sabazios, circa 2nd-3rd Century AD, depicting an older man wearing a cuirass, pteruges, shoes and cap, 4 ½ inches tall, should hit $1,500-$2,000.
In addition to live and Internet bidding, phone and absentee bids will be accepted. When bidding this way, a 19.5 percent buyers premium will apply, versus a 24.5 percent when bidding online via LiveAuctioneers.com or Invaluable.com, and 20 percent via the Ancient Resource Auctions bidding platform and app.
Mr. Vandervort said Ancient Resource Auctions is one of the few truly specialized auction houses as it pertains to handling rare antiquities. Were a small operation with a true passion and dedication for ancient history, he said, with decades of combined experience working specifically with these items. Buyers can feel secure knowing we only offer genuine antiquities.