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.


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Brutus strikes again – a £2.7m classical coin record

16 November 2020

Roma Numismatics set a new record for a classical coin when a Brutus Eid Mar-type gold aureus, struck shortly after the murder of Julius Caesar, took £2.7m in London.

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Rare Sumerian plaque to return to Iraq with help of British Museum

30 September 2020

A 4000-year-old limestone sculpture is to go on temporary display before returning to Iraq.

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Metal detectorist discovery of remains of 3000-year-old harness gives new insight into Bronze Age Scotland

13 August 2020

A discovery made by metal detectorists has been described as of national significance for archaeology.

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PAD and Coinex fairs are latest to call off autumn events

10 July 2020

Two more stagings of London fairs have been cancelled due to Covid-19.

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Archaeological discoveries made by the public reach 1.5 million

09 July 2020

The number of archaeological objects unearthed by the British public since the start of The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) has reached 1.5 million items.

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Sotheby’s loses New York court case against Greece over ancient horse figurine

10 June 2020

The Greek ministry of culture has won a court ruling over auction house Sotheby’s involving the ownership of an 8th century BC horse figurine.

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From Roman fragments to jigsaws: dealers sell for charity

11 May 2020

Dealers might not be on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis but many are trying to do their bit through charity sales. Here is a quick look at some of the businesses pledging proceeds to good causes.

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Fake Mesopotamian antiquities seized at Heathrow airport with help of Border Force officers and the British Museum

05 May 2020

A group of Mesopotamian antiquities destined for collectors in the UK was discovered to be fake and seized in an operation by Border Force and the British Museum.

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Coronavirus: Dealers sell antiquities to give NHS and homeless charities a boost

30 April 2020

When coronavirus first led to a UK lockdown, some dealers reported feeling powerless to help or even to sell. Now traders are launching more and more efforts to transact while doing some good.

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Benefits of diplomacy as classical marble statue generates interest in New York

20 April 2020

One of the strongest performers in a large, mixed-discipline online-only sale held by Cottone ( 18% buyer’s premium) in Geneseo, New York, was this classical marble statue of a young boy on a carved stone plinth which had the bonus of a late-19th century provenance.

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Sunny outlook for the first Canterbury weekend format

30 March 2020

With Storm Ciara getting under way (in pre-coronavirus days…) it was not, perhaps, the ideal time to launch the new weekend sales at Canterbury Auction Galleries (20% buyer’s premium).

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Record level of Treasure finds boosted by metal detectorists and a tipper truck

18 March 2020

The number of items deemed to be Treasure and found by the UK public has hit a record high, according to new figures from the British Museum.

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British Museum buys 3000-year-old Bronze age gold pendant

07 March 2020

A well-preserved 3000-year-old Bronze age gold sun pendant, known as a bulla, has been bought by the British Museum after it was found by a metal detectorist in Shropshire in 2018.

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Hellenistic marble figure of Aphrodite makes appearance at Cirencester sale

28 February 2020

Dominic Winter in South Cerney, Cirencester is anticipating a bidding battle next week for a finely modelled Hellenistic white marble figure of Aphrodite.

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Marble bust makes spectacular six-figure price at Macclesfield auction

21 February 2020

A marble bust, probably depicting Alexander the Great, sold for £320,000 at Adam Partridge in Macclesfield today.

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Stolen Afghan sculpture to return home after being spotted at UK auction

21 January 2020

An Afghan limestone sculpture believed to have been stolen during the Afghan civil war (1992-94), when Kabul was besieged, surfaced at an auction house in the UK last year.

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British Museum is third time lucky to buy 1000-year-old seal matrix

23 December 2019

A rare Saxon walrus ivory seal matrix will go back on display in the British Museum – after the institution missed out on buying the object twice before.

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Ring sheds light on Jewish soldiers in Roman army

23 December 2019

A Roman bronze ring offered for sale by Pax Romana (15% buyer’s premium) in London on November 24 appears to shed light on a little known aspect of the imperial army: the contribution of Jewish soldiers.

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Greco-Roman marble torso of Aphrodite draws admirers in West Sussex

09 December 2019

Adding a classical touch to a highly successful five-day sale at West Sussex auction house Bellmans (22% buyer’s premium) was a 1st century AD Greco-Roman marble lower torso of Aphrodite.

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Antiquities stolen from Afghanistan returned with help of British Museum and Met police’s Art and Antiques Unit

12 November 2019

Sculptures of Buddha dating from the 4th-6th centuries smuggled out of Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago have finally been returned to the country’s national museum.

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