LONDON – Apollo Art Auctions is offering a selection of expertly appraised museum quality antiques, ancient and Asian artworks, jewelery and weapons on Sunday 24th July from 12:00pm BST (7:00am US Eastern Time). The 500 lot auction will be conducted live at Apollo’s elegant London gallery, with international participation welcome via telephone, post bid or live online via LiveAuctioneers.
The auction is divided into four sections covering a wide range of well-preserved artifacts from Europe, Egypt and the Middle East, as well as many valuable items from India and China. Bidders can choose from a wealth of unique treasures originating from well-known collections such as those of Captain Magnus Julius Davidsen, Alison Barker and John Lee – all names of great importance in the antiques world. Each piece selected for auction was examined by a team of world-renowned ancient art experts, including Laetitia Delaloye, Emma Sabre, James Brenchley, Sami Fortune and Apollo Art Auctions founder Dr. Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford).
A Sumerian tablet, an artifact dating back to the dawn of written language, dates to around 3100-2900 BC. Measuring 44.8mm x 68.4mm and weighing 62.44 grams, it resembles a specimen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The pre-auction estimate is £4,000-8,000 ($4,810-$9,620).
Several notable Egyptian relics will be in the spotlight on auction day. A rare and highly unusual khopesh “sickle sword” dating to between 1550 and 1070 BC. is 556 mm long and weighs 790 g. Its name “Khopesh” may have been derived from a word meaning “leg of beef”, in reference to the distinctive, comparable shape of the blade. The fearsome weapon resembles a sword from the book The Art of Warfare in Biblical lands by Y Yadin and comes from the Alan Baidun Collection of the Ex Alan Aidun Collection, Israel. It is accompanied by a professional historical report by Ancient Report Specialists and an Israeli Export License. Estimate: £45,000-50,000 ($54,120-$60,135).
From the New Kingdom period of Egypt, about 1550-1070 BC. B.C., a wooden canopy jar is finely modeled in the form of a human-headed Imsety, one of the four sons of Horus and guardian of the liver. The glass shows three columns of carefully and beautifully engraved hieroglyphs, enhanced with black pigment. Its inscription refers in part to a sacrifice of “bread, oxen and fowl”. With a long and illustrious line of provenance that includes the collection of Captain Magnus Julius Davidsen (1877-1962), this impressive ship is valued at £7,500-15,000 ($9,020-$18,040) at auction.
More than 80 lots of ancient Greek, Byzantine, and Hellenistic artifacts are on display, including pottery, sculpture, gold jewelry, and weapons of war. In the latter category are curios like ceramic Greek Fire hand grenades and coveted bronze helmets. A fine example of a ca. 400 B.C. This Chalcidian helmet, dating from about 1000 BC, was forged in one piece, with high arched eyebrows under a pointed, raised band and a teardrop-shaped nose guard. Similar to the example in the Walters Art Museum collection, it is estimated at £6,000–9,000 ($7,215–$10,825). A second bronze Chalcidian helmet with original cheek guards made of armored plates was probably made around 400-300 BC. on the north coast of the Black Sea. It has graced several European private collections since its acquisition in Germany in 1983 and is being offered at an estimate of £12,000 to £24,000 ($14,430 to $28,860). Each of the two helmets is accompanied by a professional historical report by Ancient Report Specialists.
With its exceptional beauty and unmistakable craftsmanship, ancient Roman jewelry is consistently one of the most popular categories at Apollo Art Auctions auctions. About four dozen pieces have been selected for the company’s July event, including necklaces, pendants on chains, gemstones, wearable earrings and gold rings set with gemstones such as emeralds, carnelians, garnets and more. A very special entry is Lot 116, a hollow gold ring with a richly colored D-shape garnet intaglio depicting the god Mercury with a caduceus. It really has to be seen to be fully appreciated, both for its tasteful design and the exquisite color of its stone. The ring has undergone X-ray fluorescence analysis and is being offered at an estimate of £10,000-15,000 ($12,030-$18,045).
Roman statues are also well represented in the auction. A 115mm bronze statuette of Hercules shows him in the classic contrapposto pose, with a “lion’s skin” draped over his left shoulder. His face is youthful, his eyes are almond-shaped and his nose is eagle-shaped. The artwork resembles one sold at Christie’s in 2010. Formerly in private collections in London and Switzerland (1980s/1990s), the statuette is expected to fetch a final bid in the range of £4,500 to £9,000 ($5,410 to $10,825). . Another notable lot, a ca. AD 85-165 Roman Flavian marble portrait of a woman, possibly Vibia Matidia, resembles an example in the Getty Museum collection. Its provenance includes the Elizabeth Peltekian Collection (1984) and a London private collection. Estimate: £3,000 to £6,000 ($3,610 to $7,215)
Ancient Chinese terracotta animals from the Tang, Han and Wei dynasties are waiting to shine on auction day. Among the many whimsical specimens is a polychrome decorated terracotta ox from the Northern Wei Dynasty, ca. 386-534 AD, estimated at £4,500-9,000 ($5,410-10,825); and a hollow-shaped terracotta rabbit from the Western Han Dynasty, ca. 202 B.C. The auction estimate is £2,000 to £3,000 ($2,405 to $3,610).
An exquisitely modeled medieval Western European silver-gilt bowl, circa 1200-1400 AD, probably from Limoges, originating in the Limousin region of France, known for its enamel production. The central tondo is finely worked in niello marquetry gilded with a mythological animal, possibly a lion with a curled tail. It is also decorated with a zigzag decoration and surrounded by a star-shaped motif. It bears resemblances to a dish preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection and is accompanied by professional historical accounts by Ancient Report Specialists. It can be traced back to a 1967 sale in the UK market. Estimate: £20,000 to £30,000 ($24,055 to $36,080)
Apollo Art Auctions’ newly expanded venue is located at 25 Bury Place in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, opposite the British Museum. Your auction on July 24, 2022 will begin at 7:00 AM US Eastern Time/12:00 PM BST. View the fully illustrated auction catalog and log in to bid while absent or live online through LiveAuctioneers. The company accepts payments in GBP, USD and EUR; and ships worldwide. All packaging is done in-house by White Glove specialists. Questions: Call Apollo Art Auctions, London on +44 7424 994167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: www.apolloauctions.com
Apollo Art Auctions is a member of the British Numismatic Trading Association (BNTA) and the Art Loss Register (AR).