LONDON – After 10 years as a recognized leader in ancient art and antiques, London’s Pax Romana has been renamed Apollo Galleries. Taking the name of the Greek sun god – and everything under the sun, including art, knowledge, music, poetry, and truth – Apollo Galleries hopes to be as diverse in its worldly realm as Apollo in its divine realm. Secured by a deep investment in its future, the company has expanded its elegant two-story gallery directly across from the British Museum, expanded its roster of managers and consultants; installed new scientific equipment for internal object analysis and opened new departments including Ancient Interiors and Wearable Ancient Jewelery. The company regularly hosts events and lectures, produces informative videos, and holds a number of exceptional special auctions throughout the year.
On Sunday, November 21st, Apollo Galleries will host a 331-lot antique art and antiques auction with online bidding via LiveAuctioneers that will take collectors on a virtual journey through major cultures of the past. The fully curated boutique selection features museum quality art and relics from the fascinating civilizations of the Indus Valley to the Viking and Crusader ages.
Since the Egyptian Battle of Mediggo in 1479 BC BC – the first eyewitness-recorded armed conflict – history was plagued by war after war. Scholars are particularly interested in the weapons that have been used in battles over the centuries, as they represent a tangible timeline of technological advancement. In the November auction, collectors will find an outstanding selection of swords, spear, mace and ax heads; and even curious Byzantine pottery grenades “Greek fire”.
Helmets are always in great demand. One of the most interesting – and most beautiful – examples from the auction is an ancient Greek, Chalcid bronze helmet with the “Horns of Zeus Ammon” stamped on it. It dates from the time between 500 and 300 BC. And suggests that it was worn by a soldier who fought under Alexander the Great. Auction estimate: Â£ 10,000 to Â£ 20,000. A rare spangenhelm iron helmet from the Viking Age, consisting of four curved triangular plates with outer support bands, was made around AD 900-1100 and could fetch Â£ 6,000- Â£ 9,000 at auction. Perhaps the most unusual design elements can be seen on a rare medieval bronze helmet, which is conical in shape and topped by a flared crown. Such helmets were used by the Anglo-Saxons, Franks and Slavs until the 10th century. Advance booking prices range from Â£ 40,000 to Â£ 60,000.
The Ancient Egyptian category has dozens of tempting options. A sculptural ibis made of gilded wood and bronze, c. 664-32 BC. With a long provenance, this particularly attractive work of art is expected to reach Â£ 10,000-20,000. A sarcophagus mask made of gesso and painted cedar wood, around 1069-332 BC. Estimate Â£ 2,000- Â£ 3,000
Also noteworthy is an outstanding pair of ancient Roman bronze and iron fittings, each comprising a spiral-shaped fluted column with a protruding iron rod and a capital in Ionic variant, which is surmounted by a bust of Bacchus with goatskin. The pair was previously sold at Christie’s New York (December 5, 2012) and is on sale at an estimate of Â£ 30,000 to Â£ 60,000.
Many important dynasties are represented in the collection of ancient Chinese art. A sampling shows a bronze tripod vessel from the Shang Dynasty, Â£ 20,000 to Â£ 40,000; a Tang Dynasty Seated Bodhisattva Marble Torso, Â£ 20,000- Â£ 40,000; and a number of popular terracotta animals from the Tang and Han dynasties (e.g. horses, camels, poultry) and human figures. A hollow terracotta rhinoceros from the Han dynasty, approx. 202-220 AD, shows an appealing color palette of cream-colored overalls with subtle rose-colored ears. TL-tested in the independent Ralf Kotalla laboratory in Germany, it will be auctioned at an estimate of 6,000 to 9,000 pounds.
The exquisite art of Gandhara sculptures is presented in 11 lots ranging from an iconic stucco lion from around AD 100-500 to enlightened Buddhist figures and even a ganika or courtesan from around AD 200-400, Â£ 2,000- Â£ 3,000. At the upper end of the grouping, in terms of price, there is a Bodhisattva Maitreya seated around AD 400-500 and a slate narrative relief around AD 100-300 depicting successive scenes from the life of the Buddha. Each is valued at Â£ 10,000 to Â£ 20,000. In a league of its own there is a gray chlorite slate statue of Prince Siddhartha Gautama who meditates under the jambu tree from around 200-300 AD. Similar to an example in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it could reach Â£ 20,000 to Â£ 40,000.
Wearable old jewelry remains one of the fastest growing categories in Apollo Galleries sales, leading to the creation of a dedicated division for this specialty.
With a view to Christmas shopping, bidders should pay attention to the spectacular range of rings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces from the Viking, Roman and Bronze Ages, many of which are set with precious or semi-precious stones made of high-carat gold. One of the many highlights is an XRF-approved emerald stone medieval gold bezel, circa 1300 AD and possibly Byzantine, from a London collection formed in the 1990s. Estimate: Â£ 6,000- Â£ 9,000
Apollo Galleries is a member of the British Numismatic Trading Association (BNTA) and the Art Loss Register (AR). The company ships worldwide and all packaging is handled in-house by white glove specialists.
The auction on November 21, 2021 begins at 9:00 a.m. East Coast Time (2:00 p.m. UK time). View the fully illustrated auction catalog and log in to bid in your absence or live online via LiveAuctioneers. Questions: Call Apollo Galleries, London on +44 7424 994167 or email [email protected] Online www.apollogalleries.com
Dr. Ivan Bonchev, owner
+44 7424 994167
25 buried place
+44 7424 994167
About Apollo Galleries
Aptly named for the god of light, art, and knowledge, Apollo brings you the ancient past through antiques and numismatics. Apollo was founded in 2010 by Dr. Ivan Bonchev and covers all aspects of collecting and appreciating ancient art, antiques and coins. Our specialties are: Ancient Romans, Greek, Asian, Egyptian, Middle Ages, Vikings and Neolithic. Our main gallery, based in Bloomsbury, Central London, has an expertly curated selection of pieces from across history. Here we welcome visitors from all over the world to see and get to know our work personally and through upcoming special events and lectures. Our entire gallery stock is also available. In a similar way, our auction house regularly offers new catalogs to a large international collector audience. Every piece we offer is checked by a panel of experts and many have also been scientifically tested. You can check out our upcoming auctions and learn how to bid here. Formerly known as Pax Romana, we’ve grown considerably in just 10 years. With a strong customer database of 20,000, we are internationally recognized, with customers from over 70 countries. We also help with the maintenance of collections for old and new customers and look forward to the consignment of antiques for our gallery as well as for auctions.