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.

Egyptians try to reverse sale over clause on profit

12 November 2002

Antiquities dealers could find their trade in legally exported artefacts threatened despite due diligence if the Egyptian government succeeds in reversing Sotheby’s sale of a granite bust of Ramses II.

Ploughed up and given away, sculpture sells for $600,000

11 October 2002

The extensive press coverage given over to the conflict in Afghanistan may have helped re-focus collectors’ attentions on the magnificent Gandharan sculpture produced in this troubled region in the second and third centuries AD.

Massive archaeological hoard of gamekeeper turned poacher

12 August 2002

ANTHONY Molloy worked as a wildlife ranger for Ireland’s national heritage service, Duchas. When he retired a few years ago, at 65, his farewell gift was not the traditional watch, but a metal detector.

Vendor set to challenge auctioneer over duty of care

17 July 2002

The extent to which a provincial auctioneer should be liable for underselling a work of art is again under scrutiny as a vendor threatens legal action.

Emperor of the Channel

05 July 2002

GERMANY: Round about the year 286AD times were very interesting in Britannia. Some small documents of this small and little known facet of British history appeared in the Lanz (15% buyer’s premium) sale in Munich on May 27.

Venus breaks record for antiquities in London fest

19 June 2002

A new auction record for any antiquity was set at Christie’s last week on June 13 when the 5ft 3in (1.6m) high ancient Roman marble statue of Venus, pictured right, sold for £7.2m.

Lottery Fund grant rescues Portable Antiquities Scheme

14 May 2002

The Portable Antiquities Scheme, which improves the chances of archaeological objects found by members of the public being recorded properly, has secured ongoing funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

David Sylvester collection nets £2.7m

07 March 2002

It was standing room only at Sotheby’s Bond Street on February 26 when the auctioneers sold the David Sylvester collection. In a room packed with dealers, collectors and friends of the late art critic, plus a phalanx of Sotheby’s staff manning a bank of telephones, the auctioneers offered 149 lots of paintings, drawings, sculpture, tribal art and antiquities, and as lot after lot outstripped the estimates, it was clear that their £1m projection was going to be dramatically exceeded.

Big Apple, huge price

18 February 2002

USA: The annual general sale of good quality classical coins (446 lots) hosted by the triumvirate of Baldwins (London), Markov (New York) and M&M (Washington DC) took place in the Big Apple on January 17.

On white horses, let me fly away…

29 January 2002

IT CANNOT often be said of an auction catalogue that its lot numbers will be used for a very long time, perhaps a century or more, as reference numbers in a standard academic publication. The catalogue of Numismatik Lanz of Munich is just such a one.

Lower estimates bring higher bids and a Parthénis record

08 November 2001

Just like the following week’s 20th Century Italian sales, Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) October 18 inaugural theme sale exclusively devoted to Greek art notched up selling rates that belied the pessimism prevailing in so many other sectors of the market.

Schultz case could blight entire US trade in Egyptian artefacts

16 October 2001

Lawyers have filed a motion attempting to quash a case that has the potential to blight the entire trade in Egyptian antiquities in the United States.

$14,000 is the best of the offers

28 June 2001

US: THIS 10in (25.5cm) high painted wood figure of an Egyptian offering bearer was described as Middle Kingdom, Dynasty XII in an antiquities sale held by Sloans in their Washington DC rooms on May 9.

Barfoot Viking heads Norse to Valhalla

02 April 2001

UK: THE subject matter of the Viking collection sold at Spink on March 14 speaks for itself. Not something to appeal to most Antiques Trade Gazette readers it is worth reporting briefly, mainly to demonstrate the skill that resides in London.

Calligraphy of the Mameluks in Egypt

02 April 2001

A fine piece of calligraphy in gold of the Mameluks in Egypt (c.1400AD – 26mm diam.) made an affordable E200 (£125).

Memorial coinage to Julius Caesar

02 April 2001

A fine example of the memorial coinage to Julius Caesar struck by Octavian, this 30mm diameter example with a fine portrait made E1275 (£790).

Roman coin of Hadrian

05 March 2001

ITALY: THIS quasi-Roman coin (34mm) of Hadrian – actually a ‘cabinet piece’ made in 16th century Padua (the main centre for this type of replica) for the more romantic type of collector – made Li500,000 (£170).

Pinault must keep Pharaoh

12 February 2001

FRANCE: A Paris court has refused the request of Christie’s owner François Pinault to revoke the sale of a statue of Pharaoh Sesostris III on the grounds that it was not authentic.

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