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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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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Rare Islamic gold dinar sets joint record at auction

25 October 2019

A rare Umayyad gold dinar dated 105AH (723AD) equalled the auction record for an Islamic coin when it was hammered down at £3.1m at Morton & Eden.

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Egyptian head brings smiles at Hartleys

30 September 2019

After the Hartleys (17.5% buyer’s premium) September 4 sale, auctioneer Andrew Hartley admitted: “Furniture did not perform as it was hoped from tiny chinks of daylight discernible in the last few months.”

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Rare Roman Solidus coin found in Somerset field bought by European collector

18 September 2019

A rare Roman gold coin of the Emperor Constantine I found by a metal detectorist in a field in Somerset was hammered down at £16,000 (plus 24% buyer’s premium) at Dix Noonan Webb.

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Greek marble ‘wedding present’ returned to Munich museum

18 September 2019

A Hellenistic marble stele that was received as a wedding present in the 1950s has been returned to a museum in Germany after an investigation by antiquities dealers and an Oxford scholar.

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Going for bust with a £96,000 bid in Essex auction

16 September 2019

This Italian marble bust of an emperor, catalogued as 17th century after the antique, provided a moment of saleroom drama at Sworders’ Fine Interiors auction in Stansted on September 10.

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Hadrianic Dionysos head offered at Cottone’s auction

16 September 2019

One of the highlights of Cottone’s sale in Geneseo, New York, on September 28 will be this marble head of Dionysos, a Roman copy of a late classical (4th century BC) Greek archetype.

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