London’s Pax Romana

London’s Pax Romana to Welcome New Year with Jan. 10

Antiquities, Ancient Jewelry & Weaponry Auction

Featured: Egyptian ex-museum pieces, Ancient Asian art; unique, independently authenticated helmets, Chinese bronze vessels and jewellery from thousands of years ago

Pax Romana, the respected London antiquities gallery and boutique auction house headed by Dr. Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford), will launch its 2021 calendar of events with a January 10 auction of connoisseur-level antiquities, ancient jewellery and weaponry. The 610-lot offering is highlighted by Egyptian pieces formerly held in museum collections, TL- or XRF-tested art from Ancient China, and unique helmets dating to as early as 900 BC. All items are offered with no reserve and will be sold to the highest bidder at or above the starting price. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Giant Gandhara schist stone figure of seated, serenely composed Bodhisattva backed by a halo, 100-300 AD. Height: 740mm (29.1in). Estimate £9,000-£15,000

The auction’s timeline tracks many of the world’s great civilizations through cultural art and relics. Some of the earliest entries represent the man-to-man combat between warring nations of centuries ago. Because of the shape of its crest, a rare bronze Phrygian helmet from the Greek Hellenistic period, circa 500-300 BC, is likely to have been associated with a statue of the god Attis. The helmet is fully authenticated with an XRF Certificate from an independent Belgian laboratory and has a 2020 European Export license. Its long line of provenance can be traced back to 1897, when it was purchased by Jorg Krause. Estimate: £30,000-£50,000.

An extraordinary Roman Montefortino gilded bronze rounded-bowl helmet (circa 100-50 BC) displays a finial for the attachment of a plume. According to Dr. Bonchev, gilded examples of such helmets are very seldom encountered. Their scarcity is due to the fact that they originally were reserved only for men of high rank or great importance. “Only generals and the most prominent soldiers wore such helmets during victory parades,” he said. The helmet has been authenticated by an independent Belgian laboratory, which provided an X-ray fluorescence analysis. Estimate: £15,000-£25,000.

A circa 1100-900 BC Western Zhou bronze cast ritual “gui” vessel exhibits a fine symmetrical design with handles topped by molded dragons and an exterior encircled by a dragon frieze. The vessel’s age was confirmed by an X-ray fluorescence analysis from an independent Belgian laboratory. A similar example recently sold at Christie’s for $100,000. The one offered by Pax Romana is estimated at £25,000-£30,000.

Rare Greek Hellenistic Phrygian bronze helmet, circa 500-300 BC, originally may have been associated with a statue of the god Attis. Provenance dates back to 1897 purchase by Jorg Krause. Fully authenticated with XRF Certificate from Belgian laboratory and 2020 European Export license. Estimate £30,000-£50,000

No fewer than 10 Gandharan figural artworks will be auctioned, including schist stupas, carved panels, figures of Buddha and other deities. The largest of the group is an 1100mm (43in) schist stone figure of an elaborately dressed bodhisattva. This grand and imposing artwork would be ideally suited to the interior design of a spacious American residence. Estimate: £15,000-£20,000.

Ancient wearable jewellery is always a top-ranking category in Pax Romana’s auctions. A large and very substantial Viking Age (900-1100 AD) gold ring features coiled decoration and a border of stamped triangles arranged around a star composed of circles and crescents. “Vikings were expert navigators, and the constellations signified mystery and power to them. This ring probably once belonged to a Viking captain,” Dr. Bonchev said. Its age was confirmed by X-ray fluorescence analysis. Estimate: £3,000-£4,000

The January 10, 2021 auction will start at 6 a.m. US Eastern time/11 a.m. GMT (UK time). White-glove in-house packing and worldwide shipping are handled exclusively by Pax Romana staff. View the online catalogue and sign up to bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. Questions: Call Pax Romana, London, on +44 7424 994167 or email Online


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