Apollo Art Auctions presents ancient art and antiques of extraordinary quality and beauty,…

Elaborate set of 12 Chinese Tang dynasty (c. 618-907 AD) terracotta figurines, each 450 mm high (17.7 inches), modeled with heads representing zodiac animals resting on human bodies in court robes (shenyi). Compare with similar, smaller sets housed in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and auctioned by Christie’s on January 16, 2019. Another set, from the Shaanxi Museum of History, was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in 1998. Estimate between £15,000 and £30,000 ($17,203 to $34,406)
Apollo Art Auctions

LONDON – With each successive sale, London’s Apollo Art Auctions delights collectors of ancient art and antiquities with a fresh selection of fully authenticated treasures from civilizations past. Each rare object – whether appreciated for its great beauty, historical significance or both – is offered with the assurance that it has been examined by the best experts working under the direction of Apollo’s founder, Dr. Bonchev (Ph.D., University of Oxford). On October 9, the London-based company will hold another outstanding auction of ancient art and antiques, with global bidding available online via LiveAuctioneers.

Greek Hellenistic gold hinged ring with stepped profile and encrusted cabochon amethyst, circa 3rd to 1st century BC. Weight: 22.21g (0.7142oz). Provenance: property of a London doctor; previously in the private collection of the Swiss family since the 1980s. Accompanied by a professional historical report from specialists in the old report. Estimate £20,000-£40,000 ($22,938-$45,876)
Apollo Art Auctions

The beautifully illustrated catalog includes 499 lots divided into three sections: Classical and Egyptian, Masterpieces of Ancient Asia, and Medieval Antiquities and Ancient Weapons. Artifacts of good provenance represent cultures from many significant eras and geographic regions, including classical Europe, Egypt, the Near East, India, and China.

Ancient Egypt never ceases to fascinate, with its gods, its rituals and its reverence for those who have passed into the afterlife. An excellent example of the latter can be seen in the auction’s opening lot: an Egyptian mummy mask cartonnage from the Ptolemaic period, circa 332-30 BC. Crafted from layers of linen covered in plaster, it features an idealized portrait of the deceased, with pleasing facial features and a voluminous tripartite wig. It is polychrome painted in peacock blue, red and white with generous gilding which has stood the test of many centuries to emerge in good condition. More recently, it was part of the collection of a doctor in Oxfordshire (England). Estimate: £20,000 to £40,000 ($22,938 to $45,876)

Egyptian mummy mask cartonnage, Ptolemaic period, circa 332-30 BC. Made from layers of linen covered with plaster, painted polychrome and gold. Size: 500mm x 340mm (20in x 13.4in). Provenance: more recently in the collection of a doctor in Oxfordshire (England). Accompanied by an art loss register certificate. Estimate £20,000-£40,000 ($22,938-$45,876)
Apollo Art Auctions

A number of highlights adorn the ancient Roman section, including a life-size marble head of a young woman from the Antonine period, circa 200 AD. With a height of 380mm (15 inches) and a weight of 18.6 kg (41 lbs), this substantial and masterfully sculpted work of art has a long line of provenance which includes a London art gallery, the Brummer Gallery (New York), and a reference to having been purchased from “Pascal” in the 1920s. Estimate: £30,000 to £60,000 ($34,407 to $68,814)

A superb Roman gold plate, circa 100-300 AD, is decorated in bas-relief with images of an actor’s mask surrounded by the naos of a temple and surmounted by two floral garlands. Although its exact purpose is not known, it may well have been affixed to another object, possibly even a coffin of some type. Its size is 69.9mm by 63.3mm (2.75in x 2.49in) and it weighs 38g (1.22oz). The plaque was formerly owned by an antique art gallery in London and before that had been part of the Welbank collection since the 1980s. She will forward a full report to its new owner. Estimate: £20,000 to £40,000 ($22,938 to $45,876)

Relics and war machinery are a mainstay of Apollo sales and enjoy a loyal following within the international community of weapons, armament and militaria collectors. One of the featured lots in the category is a Roman bronze Montefortino helmet from around 100-50 BC. AD with a rounded bowl, a folded edge and a projection at the top for the attachment of a plume. Similar to an example from the collection of the British Museum, the helmet has resided in private American and English collections and comes with a professional historical report from Ancient Report Specialists. It is estimated between £7,500 and £15,000 ($8,601 and $17,202).

In their day, Viking goldsmiths were unrivaled. Although best known for their jewelry designs and coinage, their talents can be seen in other handcrafted valuables, such as Lot 15A, a rare and impressive silver horse chamfron. Designed to protect a horse’s head while charging into battle, the chamfer (from the French words for “champ” or “battlefield” and “bit”, as in the bit placed in a horse’s mouth) has decorative dots in relief around its exterior and extensive incised geometric patterns on its central area. The chamfron dates from around 900-1100 AD and weighs 1.4 kg (2 lb 1 oz). It has an extensive provenance dating back to 1967 and is accompanied by a professional historical report from former report specialists. Estimate: £40,000 to £80,000 ($45,876 to $91,752)

Interest in antique and wearable jewelry seems to grow with each successive sale conducted by Apollo Art Auctions, simply because the company is becoming known as a go-to source for the most sought-after examples of rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings. ears and brooches. Many of the pieces in the October 6 auction have a high gold content and feature a style whose influence has clearly inspired some of the finest contemporary fine jewelry creations. Among the many notable pieces up for auction is a rare and richly decorated Viking gold ring circa 900-1100 AD with images of two owls’ faces, £20,000-£30,000 ($22,938-$34,406) ; and a sensational Hellenistic Greek gold hinged ring dating from the 3rd to 1st centuries BC.

The Asian section is full of rare and important art and artifacts. An unusual buying opportunity presents itself in the enchanting set of 12 terracotta zodiac figures from the Chinese Tang Dynasty (c. AD 618-907). Each of the 450 mm (17.7 inch) figures is modeled with a head to represent a particular Chinese zodiac animal and is placed on a human body in court dress. The set is larger but comparable to a set in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Another similar set, from the Shaanxi History Museum, was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in 1998. Highly sought after by collectors, these figures were once placed in coffin chambers to implore the gods to protect graves. Set estimate: £15,000 to £30,000 ($17,203 to $34,406)

Apollo Art Auctions is located in a recently extended gallery at 25 Bury Place in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury district, opposite the British Museum. Their October 9, 2022 auction will begin at 7:00 a.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. BST. View the fully illustrated auction catalog and register to bid remotely or live online via LiveAuctioneers. The company accepts payment in GBP, USD and EUR; and ships worldwide. All packaging is handled by in-house white glove specialists. Questions: Call Apollo Art Auctions, London, on +44 7424 994167 or email [email protected] Online: www.apolloauctions.com

Apollo Art Auctions is a member of the British Numismatic Trading Association (BNTA) and the Art Loss Register (AR).


Dr. Ivan Bonchev, Founder

Apollo Art Auctions

+44 7424 994167

[email protected]

Galleries of Apollo

25 Landfill

London, United Kingdom

[email protected]

+44 7424 994167


About Apollo Galleries

Named after the god of light, art and knowledge, Apollo makes you discover the ancient past through antiquities and numismatics. Founded by Dr. Ivan Bonchev in 2010, Apollo encompasses all aspects of collecting and appreciating ancient art, antiques and coins. Our specialties include: Roman, Greek, Asian, Egyptian, Medieval, Viking and Neolithic Antiquity. Our main gallery, based in Bloomsbury, central London, offers an expert selection of pieces from across history. Here we welcome visitors from around the world to see and learn about our work in person and through special events and upcoming conferences. Our complete gallery collection is also available. In the same spirit, our auction house regularly offers new catalogs to a wide international audience of collectors. Every part we sell is checked by a group of expert consultants, and many are also scientifically tested. You can view our upcoming auctions and learn how to bid here. Previously known as Pax Romana, in 10 short years we have grown considerably. With a strong database of 20,000 clients, we are recognized internationally, with clients from over 70 countries. We also help with the maintenance of collections for old and new clients, and we welcome the sending of antiques for our gallery and auctions.

Comments are closed.