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.

Bacchus intaglio

British Museum unveils classical gems exhibition following return of stolen items

20 February 2024

The British Museum is showcasing classical gems that were recovered after a long-running theft was exposed.

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Antiquities auction brings Egyptian tiles of the unexpected

19 February 2024

Blue-glazed decoration thought to have been invented by king’s architect takes £55,000 at auction

Braintree hoard

Anglo-Saxon coin hoard discovered in Braintree by metal detectorists comes to auction

15 February 2024

An impressive group of Anglo-Saxon pennies, found by metal detectorists near Braintree in Essex, will be offered in separate lots at Noonans.

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Masterpiece of Greek numismatic art

12 February 2024

One of the great masterpieces of ancient Greek numismatic art, this silver tetradrachm was struck in c.460BC in commemoration of the refounding of the city of Naxos. Its citizens had been exiled to Leontinoi by the tyrant Hieron of Syracuse.

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Persian and Greek tributes paid

12 February 2024

Mithradates IV was ruler of the Hellenistic kingdom of Pontus in northern Anatolia from 169-150BC. He ushered in a period of relative friendship with the Roman republic that would continue until his grandson Mithradates VI (the Great) became its most formidable and determined opponent. Mithradates IV’s coinage draws attention to his Persian and Greek origins.

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Octavian coin sets a house record

12 February 2024

Spink posted a house record for a classical coin when it sold this Julius Caesar and Octavian gold aureus on April 3 for £220,000 plus 20% buyer’s premium against an estimate of £60,000-100,000.

Coin hoard

Treasure finds hit new high as metal detecting continues to pay off

23 January 2024

More than 53,000 archaeological finds were recorded in the latest annual report, which included 1378 Treasure cases, the highest ever reported in a single year.

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Fertile imagination can generate a healthy price

22 January 2024

This terracotta figure is typical of the highly stylised pottery models honouring a fertility or mother goddess, made in Persia in the first millennium BC.

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Items collected by renowned dealer Ernest Brummer take high prices

02 January 2024

Antiquities from the collection of famed works of art dealer Ernest Brummer (1891-1964) sold for a combined total of over $2m at Hindman (26/20/15% buyer’s premium) in Chicago.

British Museum

British Museum to improve security, record keeping and audits

12 December 2023

The independent review of the British Museum in the wake of thefts from its collection has been published.

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Ramses and Renoir go toe to toe

27 November 2023

An ancient Egyptian sculptural fragment was the most eagerly contested lot in Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ (20% buyer’s premium) Autumn Majestic sale on November 10-12.

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Triton set to make a splash in Chicago

27 November 2023

The grandnephew of Parisian art and antiquities dealer Ernest Brummer (1891-1964) is parting with this second-century AD Roman marble head of a triton at Hindman in Chicago.

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Roman marble bust of Hadrian flies over estimate at US auction

27 November 2023

This Roman marble bust hammered for $47,500 (£39,100) against an estimate of $2000-3000 at Wiederseim Associates (25% buyer’s premium) in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania on October 20.

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First come, first served: Antiquities specialist Charles Ede's latest show

13 November 2023

Antiquities specialist Charles Ede releases its online Christmas catalogue at noon on November 15.

Roman 2nd century AD statue

Roman marble sold in 1961 auction resurfaces in Italy headless… but the head could be in UK

06 November 2023

In 1961 when Christie’s auctioned off items from the Wilton House Collection, the catalogue included a full-page image of a monumental Roman marble.

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Small toenail from a colossal statue comes to New England auction

30 October 2023

This ancient Egyptian sculptural fragment, part of the Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ Autumn Majestic Sale in Maine on November 10-12, comes in a silver mount inscribed 'Small toenail from colossal Statue of Ramses II. Temple of Luxor, Feb. 13th, 1899'.

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‘Votive’ Egyptian sculptor’s tools with provenance to two American museums

30 October 2023

Artemis Gallery’s (21.5% buyer’s premium) September 22 sale in Louisville, Colorado, included a set of finely preserved ancient Egyptian sculptor’s tools.

ATG letter: Beware of antiquities claims that cloud the true picture

23 October 2023

Re: ‘More than $19m of antiquities have been returned to Italy following an investigation by New York authorities’, an ATG website story on October 17.

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Not such a warm response to Frieze week auctions compared to last year

23 October 2023

The latest Frieze week auctions in London generated a markedly lower total than the equivalent series last year.

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Antiquities dealers hit back at ‘exaggerated’ claims of trafficking

23 October 2023

The Antiquities Dealers’ Association (ADA) has spoken out against claims made by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and Homeland Security Investigations.

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