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.


funerary statue of a Roman poet

From Ancient to Renaissance: Five top sculptures from London’s auction series including an early Roman statue of a poet

12 December 2018

The London auction calendar in early December offered a busy schedule of antiquities, sculpture and works of art sales running side-by-side with the Old Master series. Overall the sales were relatively well-received with improved selling rates on previous years. Here we select five highlights from the series.

Bronze sandalled foot

Roman bronze foot from monumental statue makes 10-times estimate at Bonhams auction

30 November 2018

A Roman bronze foot from a monumental statue topped an auction of Antiquities held by Bonhams in London when it sold for a hammer price of £160,000, far in excess of its £10,000-15,000 estimate.

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Buyers dig deep for classical ‘Roman’ bust at Sheffield auction

08 October 2018

A classical marble bust took an unexpected £129,000 at Sheffield Auction Gallery on September 21.

Coin hoard

Roman gold coin hoard uncovered in Italy

06 October 2018

Workers charged with the demolition of the former Cressoni Theater in Como, Lombardy have unearthed a hoard of 5th century Roman gold coins.

Mosaic

Replica of the largest British Roman mosaic to return home to Gloucestershire

02 October 2018

A replica of the largest Roman mosaic to be found in Britain could return home to Gloucestershire where it was made.

Assyrian relief at Christie's

Assyrian relief expected to raise over $10m at Christie’s New York

17 September 2018

A 3000-year-old Assyrian relief unearthed from the royal palace at Nimrud will be offered at Christie’s New York on October 31. It is expected to exceed $10m.

Relief

Christie's to offer one of the earliest pieces of ancient art in the US

17 September 2018

One of the earliest pieces of ancient art in the US, an ancient Assyrian relief that arrived in Virginia before the American Civil War, is being offered at auction.

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.

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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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.

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.

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).

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.

Torso

Art Loss Register, New York’s district attorney and antiquities dealers team up to safeguard Lebanese sculptures

06 February 2018

Antiquities looted during the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s are to go on display at the National Museum in Beirut after they were identified in Europe as stolen objects.

Duck

Antiquities seized from billionaire collector after anti-trafficking unit launched in New York

09 January 2018

Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr, has swooped on the antiquities collection of hedge-fund manager and philanthropist Michael H. Steinhardt.

Park Avenue Armory

Persian limestone sculpture seized by police from antiquities dealer at TEFAF New York

30 October 2017

The Manhattan district attorney’s office has seized a Persian limestone relief fragment from the stand of a dealer at TEFAF New York amid accusations it had been stolen.

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Mosaic fits into the Monaco mix

14 August 2017

The sales held by a variety of Monaco auction houses that are a feature of the summer season are traditionally big on jewellery, cars and Hermès handbags and other luxury accessories and modern art.

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