Ancient & Oriental is the website brand of Ancient Art – London’s leading purveyor of antiquities and coins. The company has been actively dealing in ancient artefacts and coins for over 40 years.
Authenticity & Provenance
Having built up an enviable reputation as the leading purveyor and stockist of ancient artefacts and coins within the UK, both in the wholesale and retail markets, Ancient Art strives to sell antiquities at affordable prices. All pieces are guaranteed authentic and each item is sold with a certificate of authenticity.
Proprietor, Chris Martin, actively serves as Vice Chairman of the Antiquities’ Dealer’s Association (ADA) and Chairman of the British Numismatic Trade Association (BNTA), in addition to being a member of LAPADA. Ancient & Oriental thus abides by the strict standards set within their codes of conduct.
Do Antiquities Belong in a Museum?
We are often asked about the provenance of these artefacts – whether they should be in museums, and so forth. As the vast majority of our items are not rarities, we try to ensure that they will be affordable and ownable by all. In a museum, smaller items of less historical importance are often lost amongst the Rosetta Stones and Elgin Marbles of the world.
We believe everyone should have the opportunity to own a small piece of antiquity, provided the artefacts are sufficiently common, have no national value and do not legitimately belong within a museum environment.
Collections from Across the World
We purchase mostly from old collections, some famous, such as those accumulated by Lord MacAlpine of West Green and the Hon. Robert Erskine, as well as huge declared hoards like the Normandy Hoard and Killingsholme Treasure. Large collections were often started during the era of the Victorian “Grand Tours” and have now been passed down through the generations.
Antiquities and ancient art are not only priceless Greek vases and marble friezes. Antiquities can also include everyday items used by ancient civilisations, such as Roman terracotta oil lamps (equivalent to the modern lightbulb), and Roman glass unguentaria (for perfumes, oils and expensive liquids). Beautiful pieces of Greek and Roman gold jewellery, which were fully wearable, deserve continued appreciation today. These ‘everyday items’ often lack the lustre desired by the collectors of more refined antiquities and are surplus to the already overstretched museums. That is where we – and you – come in!
Own a True Piece of History
There are hundreds of thousands of domestic antiquities already in circulation; museum basements are often choking with pieces and it is an open question as to how well they are being cared for or whether they will ever be displayed.
The inevitable question-will stocks run out? Yes. There is not an infinite supply of antiquities in circulation – the stock is ever changing as new pieces and collections arrive on the market.
Conservation & Preservation
Through the sale of antiquities, we aim to increase public awareness and promote the aims of conservationists. We donate money from our sales to museums and charities to help encourage, preserve and understand our heritage.
It is vital that the history of our world and our civilisation is taught with the help of archaeology and artefacts. Books can only provide so much, actual artefacts from the past tell a much more exciting story and challenge the mind. Such study has now become a vital aspect of the school curriculum as people and events from history are connected to items that can be held in the hand.