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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Roman parade helmet to be sold at auction five months after being unearthed

20 September 2010

THIS exquisite example of Roman metalwork, a late 1st to mid 3rd century bronze parade helmet with its haunting face mask, represented the find of a lifetime for a Cumbrian metal detectorist when it was unearthed in May of this year.

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Valuing the Staffordshire gold hoard

28 September 2009

IT was the talk of the week in the print and broadcast media. The Staffordshire Hoard is being billed as the biggest collection found in England and the most important since the celebrated Sutton Hoo discovery of 1939.

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Elvis emerges from antiquity

21 July 2008

THEY say everyone has a doppelganger. For Elvis Presley it seems his lookalike was an inhabitant of ancient Rome. This Roman marble acroterion – a 13in (33cm) high carved head from a sarcophagus corner dating from the 2nd century AD – does bear a remarkable likeness to the King in his Las Vegas period.

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Metal detector’s £35,500 Celtic find

16 June 2008

Morton and Eden have sold 41 Celtic gold coins found by a metal detectorist in Kent for £35,500. The coins, some of which are shown here, were found over a three-year period between 2003 and 2006, scattered over a ploughed field near Westerham in Kent, the precise location of which is being kept secret.

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The two faces of the £56,000 Sparks Gold at Duke's

09 June 2008

As BBC cameras rolled for live television, Duke’s of Dorchester sold three pieces of purportedly ancient gold for a total of £56,000 on June 5. The consignment, rejected by at least one major London auction house before Duke’s accepted them, has been the source of much opinion since their sale was announced in late May.

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Two-faced and treble-estimate

06 May 2008

All eyes were on this 3ft 3in (99cm) high Roman marble double bust of Bacchus and his lover Ariadne at Bonhams Antiquities sale on May 1.

Go-ahead to police online antiquities sales

12 October 2006

EBay (UK) have given permission for members of the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme to monitor the trade in antiquities on the website.

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The Sevso Treasure re-emerges

25 September 2006

Bonhams to stage private exhibition of unique hoard.

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Export law hits museum

14 February 2006

A LOOPHOLE in the export law has forced the British Museum to pay almost £100,000 more than the original auction price for the most expensive British coin ever sold. The museum believes the case highlights the need for Britain’s laws on exporting art to be reconsidered.

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Etruscan rattles to a £36,000 tune

06 May 2005

Bonhams Bond StreetCLASSICAL sculpture also dominated Bonhams wide-ranging mixed-owner sale on April 21. Led by the Hever nymph and satyr, discussed on page 13, Roman marbles accounted for eight of the ten highest prices.

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Ancient faces benefit from new buyers

06 May 2005

Christie’s King StreetFaces from the Ancient WorldPATCHY interest for the small Greek and Roman bronzes and other academic material held down the selling rate at Christie’s single owner sale to less than three-quarters by volume. But outside of these entries, buyers paid a premium for the best quality provenanced works.

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Lepsius the long running…

21 February 2005

Carl Richard Lepsius led a well prepared Prussian expedition to Egypt in 1842-45 and as well as surveying the monuments, sent back some 15,000 antiquities to Berlin.

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Hubert is king of the Peaceable Kingdom

03 November 2004

THE current fashionable status of antiquities and the charm of animal subject matter proved an irresistible combination for collectors last week when Christie’s offered the late Leo Mildenberg’s collection of ancient animals. The two-day dispersal of the German-born collector’s Noah’s ark, in London on October 26 and 27, totalled just over £3m.

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Market-fresh and with its own Pegasus

14 October 2004

THERE was another vast sale (2180 lots) in Osnabruck held by F.R. Kuenker (15% buyer’s premium) on September 27-28. It was the classical collection of Professor Dr Hagen Tronnier that had clearly been formed over a very long time and there were many pieces which had not been available for general study for ages. This factor resulted in some higher than expected prices.

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Classical warriors to set off on a world conquest

22 September 2004

LEADING New York antiquities dealers Royal-Athena Galleries hold two concurrent selling exhibitions from October 1 to 30 at their galleries at 153 East 57th Street.

Antiquities fair emerges from Cultura ashes: New Swiss fair attracts top specialists

16 September 2004

SWITZERLAND hosts a new international fair later this year with the launch of The Basel Ancient Art Fair from November 12 to 17 at the historic Wenkenhof, just outside the city of Basel.

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Etruscan funerals and Roman triumphs

21 July 2004

SECOND generation Mayfair antiquities dealership Charles Ede Ltd, issue four catalogues a year devoted to different areas of their speciality, and they have just published their illustrated volume listing the Etruscan and Roman Antiquities currently available at their showroom at 20 Brook Street.

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Speculation surrounding antiquities sale at Bonhams

20 July 2004

ENORMOUS pre-sale speculation surrounded the 25-lot single-owner antiquities sale that came under the hammer at Bonhams Bond Street (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) on July 14, not least because the vendor was strongly rumoured in the trade to be the world’s most prolific collector, Sheikh Saud of Qatar.

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Pygmy mosaics prove popular hunting ground

13 July 2004

SHEER decorative exuberance helped this Roman mosaic panel, c.2nd century AD, right, sell to an American private collector for $260,000 (£141,305), almost triple the upper estimate at Sotheby’s New York (20/12% buyer's premium) sale of June 9.

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Time for this marvel of the ancient world to strut its stuff once more

28 June 2004

THIS technical marvel of the ancient world, pictured right, known as a Roman glass diatretum or cage cup, was cut out of a single blank of glass to form two layers. The solid inner cup is linked to its outer cage only by a series of delicate struts.

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