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Frequently asked questions about ancient artifacts
Are your items really ancient?
Yes, every item I sell is ancient and exactly as described. I offer an unconditional life time guarantee
How can such wonderful and ancient things be so inexpensive?
I don't have the overheads of a gallery or mail catalogue so my business costs are low. I cetainly can afford to offer most items at costs much those of the art galleries.
Also, I do this for fun! This is not my means of making a living.
Ancient artifacts are much more common than is generally believed. Most ancient cultures existed for very long periods of time, had large territories and had populations of millions of people.
Most of the artifacts of the ancient world haven't been destroyed, they have just been lost and buried.
There are vastely more ancient artifacts in existence than are wanted or needed for display by museums or for archaeological research purposes.
Indeed, historically speaking , all the major museum collections were started by collectors.
That all said , there is a move to deny ordinary people from owning such things!
Have a look in the Legal and Political Issues section
How do you know these items are authentic, and not forgeries?
Every dealer and every collector has mistakenly acquired fakes and forgeries.
A large proportion of this website is about this vexing problem!
I take great care in ensuring every item listed for sale is ancient and from the time and culture to which it is attributed.
I only buy from reputable sources, auction houses, major dealers and collectors around the world). In addition, I have handled tens of thousands of ancient items over a period of over 30 years, which give me the ability to know what to look for in fake pieces.
When in doubt, I ask other dealers and other collectors. I sometimes use laboratories to perform TL (thermo- luminescence) testing to confirm an itemís age.
Where do these artifacts come from?
The majority of artifacts in the legitimate market have been circulating in and out of collections and sometimes museum collections, for well over 200 years.
Some ordinary items which were manufactured in very large numbers are still found in archaeological digs and pieces surplus to reserach and exhibit needs are disbursed to the public; this is a way that archaeological campaigns are funded.
Doesn't private ownership of artifacts promote looting and the destruction of ancient sites?
While of course some looting of ancient sites does happen, illegal digging is almost exclusively done for artifacts at the upper end of the market
As long as artifacts for private sale are obtained through professional, legal channels, collecting is a force for preservation rather than destruction.
Most museums and research institutions are strained to capacity with limited funds and people. They simply don't have the capacity to safeguard every small ancient item ó things that, in the hands of private collectors, are treasured and passed down for generations.
Look in any museum, and you'll find that many of the pieces on display were donated from private sources. Without private interest in archaeology and the ancient world, history wouldn't be a science at all.
By far the greatest dangers to ancient sites are pollution, construction, and industrialization. The remains of entire cultures have been bulldozed to put in airports, roads, and other structures of modern society.
Is it legal to buy and sell ancient art?
There are indeed a number of laws governing the sale and purchase of items of cultural patrimony (antiquities). As long as an item has been legally imported into the United States or the UK, it is legal to sell and purchase item. While the laws vary on the required date of importation, a good general rule is that the item should have been exported from its home country prior to 1970, when most laws and the UNESCO Treaty on Items of Cultural Patrimony were signed.
If you don't see your question answered here, contact me!
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