Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Provenance Researchers Take Note: UK Antiquities Dealer Changes Name Again

  Old wine for new skins?  

While some dealers try to establish their authority by making extravagant claims about when they (or a subsidiary) were "established", others glory in swapping names every so often to appear to be somebody new, offering the market in old things something equally fresh and new. So, London dealer Parthenon Antiquities then became Pax Romana Antiquities (25 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JH, established November 2015, CEO Ivan Bayanov Bonchev) and now they have shifted back to evoking Classical Greece with their new name of Apollo Antiquities (on the shopfront it says "Apollo S.P.Q.R.).
Apollo Galleries
We are established central London dealers and auctioneers of Ancient Art and Numismatics. Our two-floor gallery is located just opposite the British Museum - 25 Bury Place, WC1A 2JH. We specialise in the appraisal, sale and authentication of Antiquities and coins. In our gallery and auction you can find a great variety of genuine artifacts from Neolithic to Post Medieval periods including Chinese, Gandharan, Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Viking, Crusaders and many others. Please browse our website and register for our Gallery Shop and Auction Catalogues.
Here is their account of how they determine authenticity... strangely, it does not mem=ntion in teh first oplace the technique of verifying the documentation about its legal grounding in a known archaeological context (and then legal export maintaining documentation of lawful custody and title). This, it seems to me should be the fundamental tool used by any dealer ... actually in anything really. 

This is particularly the case as a number of collectors (for example some expressing their doubts on the Ancient Artifacts Group, or in places like the BidAmount Asian Art Forum) seem to have doubts whether the company's experts (Dr Ivan Bonchev, Prof. Marco Moriggi, Clive Sawyer, Alba Moyano Alcantara, Cristina Gonzalez Esteban and Ralf Kotalla Laboratory for XRF and TL) have always been getting the attributions and descriptions right.

In the context of perhaps signalling a fresh start in the light of recent public discussion of the failures of the previously-existing system, it is odd that Mr Bonchev says of himself in the new website: "Seven years ago, Ivan founded Apollo Galleries [...] He has worked for numerous auction houses and large private collectors – curating and inspecting their acquisitions". But seven years ago there was no "Apollo Galleries". How odd. Ancient.artifact.Groups member Renate suggest: Renate (Oct 11 #95811) "So that it is always clear that it is the same company, we should in future speak more often of Apollo Galleries (formerly Pax-Romana) or Pax-Romana (now Apollo Galleries). It is important to mention both names in the same sentence so that search engines make a connection". And provenance researchers too.

Hat tip: Lodewijk

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