Greek, Roman, Egyptian & Other Antiquities

The antiquities market comprises artefacts and works of art made by ancient civilisations including statues, coins, jewellery and arms and armour.

Provenance is one of the most important considerations when trading in this sector as there is a long history of looting from archaeological sites.

 Sumerian antiquities

Ancient antiquities seized from dealer returned to Iraq after British Museum research

10 August 2018

Eight Sumerian antiquities seized by the Metropolitan Police from a London dealer in 2003 are to be returned to Iraq after identification by the British Museum.

Persian guard relief

Persian sculpture seized from London dealer in New York to be returned to Iran

25 July 2018

A Persian limestone relief sculpture is to be returned to Iran, a New York court has ruled.

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Roman glass yields some affordable luxuries

16 July 2018

While the big-money lots often steal the headlines, much of the antiquities market remains affordable.

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Dealer's show mixing old and new on the surface

16 July 2018

The rise of modern and contemporary collectors buying antiquities has energised dealers and auction houses to juxtapose old with new. But it can be hard to pull off.

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Ancient battlegrounds and new antiquities challenges

16 July 2018

A hint of defiance was in the air during the latest round of London antiquities sales held at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams (25/20/12.5-12.9% buyer’s premium).

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Dealer held after Met ‘looted art’ operation

09 July 2018

A coin and antiquities dealer has been arrested as part of an international investigation into a £35m crime network dealing in looted artefacts.

Antiquity

Coin dealer arrested in London following international looted antiquities investigation

06 July 2018

A coin and antiquities dealer has been arrested as part of an international investigation into a £35m crime network dealing in looted artefacts.

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5 Questions: Madeleine Perridge of Kallos Gallery

25 June 2018

Madeleine Perridge is gallery director at Kallos Gallery, which specialises in art of the ancient world and stands at Masterpiece London for the first time this summer.

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Antiquities trade fears ‘long-term damage’ amid growth in legal cases in New York

11 June 2018

The Antiquities Dealers’ Association (ADA) has warned that “long-term damage is being inflicted on both the trade and museums” by the growing number of legal cases surrounding antiquities with long North American provenances.

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ATG letter: This antiquities attitude must not cross the Atlantic

11 June 2018

MADAM – With high-profile seizures taking place, particularly in New York (‘Trade decries US crackdown on antiquities’, News, ATG No 2345), long-term damage is being inflicted on both the trade and museums.

Ancient Greek horse

Auction house Sotheby’s takes on Greece in landmark antiquities court case

06 June 2018

A small bronze figure of a horse from ancient Greece is at the centre of a New York court case after Greece’s ministry of culture demanded its return and stopped its sale at auction.

Persian guard relief

Trade decries US crackdown on antiquities

04 June 2018

Demands for ‘looted’ items to be returned could be ‘disastrous’ for the dealers, say antiquities trade bodies...

Ancient Greek vases bought by the Louvre

Louvre acquires ancient Greek vases excavated by Napoleon’s brother at auction

29 May 2018

Two Attic black figure vases that formerly belonged to Lucien Bonaparte, the younger brother of Napoleon, were acquired by the Louvre from an auction held at Drouot in Paris by Pierre Bergé et Associés (PBA).

Ancient Greek carved ivory horse’s head

Classical Greek ivory sculpture bid to £150,000 at auction in Monaco

19 May 2018

Examples of classical Greek sculpture carved from a piece of ivory are rare survivors. A small horse’s head, executed with a considerable degree of naturalism from this fragile organic material, proved highly sought-after when it came up for auction in Monaco.

British Museum

British Museum launches Egyptian antiquities database to track looted artefacts

04 May 2018

A database of Egyptian and Nubian antiquities has been launched by the British Museum after it was awarded a government grant of nearly £1m.

Tiwanaku 2

Cambridge auctioneer negotiates return of artefact to Bolivian government

30 April 2018

A Cambridge auctioneer has negotiated the return of a pre-Columbian artefact to the Bolivian government.

Greek horse's head

Ancient Greek horse’s head rears up at Monaco auction

30 April 2018

Survivals of ancient classical sculpture carved from ivory are incredibly rare, so the appearance on the market of this naturalistically carved ancient Greek horse’s head is a notable occasion.

Seized artworks.

Spanish dealers arrested after antiquities from Libya seized

30 March 2018

Antiquities looted from archaeological sites in Libya have been seized in Spain by police and two art dealers have been arrested.

Coin cabinet

Spink-sponsored British Museum exhibition aims to bring numismatics to the public

20 February 2018

The British Museum is to hold an exhibition on money and medals in a tie-up with specialist London coin and stamp auction Spink.

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UK banks continue to question ‘Persian’ works of art sales over Iranian sanctions

19 February 2018

Britain’s major banks are continuing to crack down on the sale of Persian works of art in the face of ongoing US sanctions against Iran.

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