BOULDER, Colo. – Attention time travelers and antiquities collectors: No boarding pass is required for Artemis Gallery’s May 21 journey to past civilizations. All that’s required is an Internet connection and you’ll soon be browsing a fascinating auction catalog filled with more than 400 choice Classical, Near Eastern and Far Eastern antiquities; plus Pre-Columbian and ethnographic art.
Precious metals will be presented in a variety of forms, including decorative and monetary. Taking the spotlight in this category is a selection of beautiful Viking jewelry made in northern Europe in the 9th-12th centuries CE.
“Fine jewelry was worn by both men and women as a sign of status within the Viking culture,” note Teresa Dodge, managing director of Artemis Gallery. “Viking craftsmen used high-carat gold and very pure silver that stood the test of time, as you can see from the items in our auction.” A braided ring composed of two 22K gold wires twisted together, hammered and welded at the terminals exhibits traditional Viking techniques. Weighing 5.2 grams, the ring is estimated at $5,000-$7,000. A pair of high-karat gold hoop earrings adorned with inverted pyramids is similarly estimated at $5,000-$7,000, while an elegant twisted silver bracelet with coiled terminals is expected to make $2,000-$3,000. All three items were discovered in Great Britain and have been held in private collections for decades. Exhibiting extremely fine artistry and detail work, a circa-19th-century Russian icon depicting Saint Nicholas is stamped “BE” and “84” on its silver oklad (cover). It comes to Artemis Gallery from a Texas private collection and carries a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.
A historically important medieval dagger from the Battle of Towton (1461, English Wars of the Roses) is made from iron and bronze with a wood handle, and has retained all of its elements. The formidable 14½-inch-long battle weapon is estimated at $2,000-$3,000. From an earlier era, a circa 158-150 BCE silver tetradrachm from Macedonia features the head of Artemis on obverse and monograms, a thunderbolt and a club with oak leaves on the reverse. Estimate: $700-$900.
Many exceptional Asian antiquities will be offered, including a Chinese Qing Dynasty bronze bell, $4,000-$6,000; and a late 18th/early 19th century Tibetan thangka painted with the lineage tree for the Gelugpa sect, ex Sarkisian Gallery, $5,000-$7,000. An extraordinary 1833 (Edo period) Sumiyoshi school Shunga scroll contains 19 unrelated depictions of sexual tableaux, e.g., seductions, couples and groups engaged in sexual activity, etc. The scroll is published in Erotic Aspects of Japanese Culture by L. Gichner, and is estimated at $5,000-$8,000. A wonderfully varied selection of Pre-Columbian art is led by a Mayan apple-green jade adornment, circa 6th-9th century CE, with the carved visage of a Mayan ruler or lord wearing an ornamental headdress. Ex-Adeon Gallery, Chicago, the artwork is presented on a custom stand and has a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-$6,000.
Rare and unusual, two 48-inch-long Oceanic (New Guinea or Molucca Islands) animal-skin scrolls are both pictorial and narrative in nature. Both date to the 17th or 18th century and will be offered as one lot with a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.
Bidders may participate in Artemis Gallery’s May 21, 2015 auction live online, by phone (please reserve phone line in advance) or by leaving an absentee bid that will be lodged confidentially and competitively on their behalf. The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern Time and will be conducted simultaneously on three bidding platforms: ArtemisGalleryLIVE.com, LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. For additional information about any item in the auction, call Teresa Dodge at 720-502-5289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.