LONDON – On April 26, Britain’s premier antiquities auction house, Pax Romana, will take collectors on a virtual 5,000-year journey across time, from Ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day China. The expertly curated 337-lot selection allows all collectors, whether novice or advanced, to bid on authentic ancient art and cultural objects backed by trusted provenance and scholarship. All ancient items will convey with a professional Certificate of Authenticity signed by Pax Romana’s owner/director, Dr Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford).
Featuring antiquities and works of art from China, India, the Holy Lands, Western and Southeast Asia, the auction’s Ancient section includes a great variety of artifacts in terracotta, stucco, bronze and stone.
Several rare and beautiful gilded Buddha statues are among the highlights. A large and finely cast 16th/17th-century Chinese Ming bronze Guanyin from the Ming Dynasty depicts the deity in a seated position on the back of a dragon. This exceptional artwork weighs over 6kg (13lbs., 4oz.) and is estimated at £4,000-£8,000. Also noteworthy are two superbly modeled circa-1700 (or earlier) Chinese gilt bronze figures of Vajrasattva. Each is estimated at £3,000-£5,000.
Archaic Chinese bronzes of various types and designs from the R. Unger collection include an enviable selection of wine vessels, which always stir collector interest when brought to market by Pax Romana. “These are rare and very collectible pieces,” Dr. Bonchev observed. “We are fortunate to have several superior-quality examples to offer bidders in our April 26 auction.” Leading the esteemed grouping are a circa-12th-11th century BC, Late Shang dynasty (or later), bronze ritual wine vessel, £3,000-£5,000; an Ancient (11th-10th century BC or later, Early Western Zhou dynasty) Chinese bronze bird ritual wine vessel £2,000-£3,000; and a circa 1100-771BC (or later) Gui, Early Western Zhou Archaic bronze vessel, £3,000-£6,000.
A most outstanding and extremely rare Famille Rose enameled double-gourd-shape glass snuff bottle, Qianlong, Chinese Imperial Palace Workshops Beijing, bears a 4-character mark from 1736-1780. The bottle is similar to one that was auctioned by Christie’s New York on March 29, 2006 (J & J Collection of Snuff Bottles, Part III) for a staggering $329,600. “The snuff bottle in our sale is a true connoisseur’s piece, and we anticipate strong interest from collectors worldwide,” Dr. Bonchev said. The lot is conservatively estimated at £50,000-£75,000.
A magnificent collection of fully authenticated (by Ralf Kotalla, Germany) Ancient Chinese objects includes a menagerie of Han animals and their attendants, as well as Tang horses, camels and other animals. These sorts of figural artworks are favorites with interior decorators and often grace the pages of architectural and design magazines. Pax Romana’s selection includes a TL-tested circa 618-907AD Tang dynasty terracotta horse, 26in high x 26in long, £6,0000-£9,000; and a TL-tested circa 618-907AD Tang pottery figure of a Bactrian camel on plinth, £2,500-£5,000. An appealing TL-tested Han dynasty pottery model of a guard dog could “fetch” £5,000-£8,000.
Ever-popular Chinese blue-and-white ceramics will cross the auction block, with highlights including a rouleau vase with lion-form handles, circa 1644-1911, Qing dynasty or later, $£600-£900; and a desirable Ming-dynasty-style “tianqiuping” vase with six-character Xuande mark whose motif features two three-clawed dragons, £1,000-£1,500. A blue-and-white porcelain moon flask, circa 1644-1911, Qing dynasty or later, is estimated at £1,000-£1,500. Additional ceramics include a pair of Chinese iron-red ginger jars with lids, circa 1644-1911, Qing dynasty or later, £2,000-£4,000; and a rare 19th-century Famille Verte plate with three finely painted five-clawed dragons, £800-£1,600.
A stellar array of Gandharan sculptures depicting the Buddha and various scenes includes many prized works. An important Gandharan grey schist statue of Bodhisattva, circa 300AD, is estimated at £2,000-£3,000; while an extremely rare Gandharan Buddhist shrine panel/stela made of Phyllitic schist, circa 500-600AD, could reach £4,000-£8,000. A rare and beautiful Gandharan hollow cast-bronze Buddha dating to circa 200AD is entered with a £2,000-£3,000 estimate.
The auction also includes various objects from western Asia and the Holy Lands, rare pots from Persia, Indus Valley idols, Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets and more. A large and rare Sassanian bronze ritual bowl, circa 500-600AD, is expected to reach £3,000-£5,000, while a finely made Nishapur terracotta jug with paint decoration, circa 1000AD, is estimated at £1,000-£2,000. A Medieval Islamic glazed terracotta bowl, possibly Abbasid, circa 1000AD, is similarly estimated at £1,000-£2,000.
Pax Romana is a member of both the Art Loss Registry (ALR) and British Numismatic Trading Association (BNTA). All ancient auction items will convey with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Dr. Ivan Bonchev. The company ships worldwide and all packing is handled by white-glove in-house specialists. View the fully illustrated catalogue and bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. For questions about any item in the Sunday, April 26, 2020 auction, call Dr. Ivan Bonchev, Director, Pax Romana, London, on +44 7424 994167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: www.paxromana.auction
Rate of exchange: £1 = US$1.25
25 Bury Place
London, United Kingdom
About Pax Romana
Pax Romana Gallery and Auction are established central London dealers and auctioneers of Ancient Art and Numismatics. Our two-floor gallery is located just opposite the British Museum – 25 Bury Place, WC1A 2JH. We specialise in the appraisal, sale, and authentication of Antiquities and coins. In our gallery and auction, you can find a great variety of genuine artifacts from Neolithic to Post Medieval periods including Chinese, Gandharan, Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Viking, Crusaders, and many others. Please browse our website and register for our Gallery Shop and Auction Catalogues. Visit www.paxromana.auction.