Apollo Galleries’ Art Auction Features Magnificent Cultural Artifacts from World-Famous Collections

March 24, 2022  20:11  |  News

Apollo Galleries and Auctions, Britain’s premier source for expertly appraised cultural art and antiquities, takes pleasure in announcing highlights of their March 27, 2022 sale. The 488-lot Ancient, Chinese and Islamic Art Auction is divided into four sections with deeply provenanced artefacts spanning the Classical European era and important civilizations of the Near East, Egypt, India and China.

Apollo Galleries' Art Auction Features Magnificent Cultural Artifacts from World-Famous Collections

Greek Apulian red-figure wheel-thrown ritual krater (vase with ‘volute’ handles), an image of ‘Lady of Fashion’ on verso, 680mm high. TL-tested by independent German laboratory Ralf Kotalla. Provenance: central London gallery; English estate collection; acquired in 1990s from Andre de Munter, Brussels; old European collection. Photos – Apollo Galleries archive ©

Most items in the sale boast an illustrious pedigree and were previously owned by legendary collectors, like the late London barrister Alison Barker, John Lee, and other noted connoisseurs. In addition, many pieces were sold previously at either Christie’s or Bonhams

“No small detail was spared in preparing this exceptional sale, which I consider to be our best to date,” said Apollo Galleries director Dr Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford). “In early February, we brought together most of our team of consultants to personally examine the entire auction selection.”

The March 27 sale includes Apollo Galleries’ first-ever dedicated section of Islamic art. With a timeline spanning the early Middle Ages through 19th century, its highlights include a Mamluk carved-wooden panel, $31,470-$62,945; a rare Ottoman Quran signed and inscribed by Ahmed Nazifi, $52,450-$78,680; and a circa-1900 prayer mat with provenance from an old European collection, $31,470-$39,339.

Apollo’s four signature categories – Classical, Jewellery, Weaponry, and Asian Art – are beautifully represented. The Classical selection features extraordinary marble sculptures, including a circa early 1st century BC marble relief stele depicting the gallery’s namesake, Apollo, on horseback, holding a double-headed axe known as a labrys. Ex Morkramer collection (1960s, USA), it is estimated at $13,110-$26,225.

Following the sculptures is a collection of fine Greek pottery. A circa 432-300 BC Apulian red-figure bell krater comes with an independent TL testing report. Estimate: $13,110-$26,225.

Egyptian antiquities include a circa 712-32 BC linen-wrapped mummified cat, formerly in Bill Jamieson’s collection (Canada). An X-ray can be seen alongside the cat, which was created to evoke Bastet, the feline goddess representing fertility and motherhood. Similar to an example auctioned by Bonhams in 2013, it is estimated at $19,670-$32,780.

A large selection of gold jewellery, much of it XRF-tested, features a circa 300-100 BC hammered-gold brooch with an inset cabochon garnet. Estimate: $13,110-$26,225.

Apollo Galleries' Art Auction Features Magnificent Cultural Artifacts from World-Famous Collections

Archaic Greek Illyrian hammered bronze hoplite (citizen-soldier) helmet, circa 600 BC, horizontal ribbing on the crown; long, pointed cheek pieces, rich blue-green patina. Similar to examples held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Louvre. Provenance: London private collection, New York collection, acquired from German collection of Hans Hagmann in 1968-69. XRF report from Apollo Galleries lab.

Ancient weaponry highlights include bronze helmets with XRF reports, and iron swords with full reports written by resident consultant Russel Scott. A Greek Illyrian bronze hoplite helmet is similar to examples held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Louvre, its provenance the German collection of Hans Hagmann (1968-’69). Estimate: $52,450-$104,900.

Asian art begins with funerary mingqi of the Tang and Han dynasties and concludes with Gandharan (the oldest Buddhist art) sculptures. A circa 200-300 AD carved grey schist head of the goddess Hariti, similar to an example sold by Christie’s in 2008, can be traced back to a European private collection of the 1970s. Estimate: $26,225-$52,450

Apollo Galleries and Auctions is located at 25 Bury Place, London, opposite The British Museum. Their March 27, 2022 auction will commence at 8 a.m. US Eastern Time/1 p.m. GMT. View the auction catalogue online via LiveAuctioneers. Payments accepted in GBP, USD, EUR and cryptocurrencies. Worldwide shipping; all packing handled by white-glove specialists in-house.

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




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