How do we buy our
We buy items which
emerge from old collections, primarily in Britain but also Northern Europe
and North America. We do this through an extensive network of general
antiques and art dealers, auctioneers, inheritance and probate lawyers,
and the occasional contact from a member of the public.
We buy items which
have a provenance, meaning they have a collection history, ideally
proving they were not excavated or removed from a source country in recent
We pay a premium for older or more interesting provenances and we
refuse to buy items which we suspect may have been illegally excavated or
We believe that knowingly buying artifacts which were recently
looted from archaeological sites is comparable to trading in poached
ivory and claiming to admire elephants: the process is incompatible to
anyone who genuinely cares about our global cultural heritage.
vital to this process but so is common sense, this is why our website does
not contain pages of Indus Valley pots, Mesopotamian tablets and seals, or
impressive South Italian vases with dubious or obfuscatory background
How do we research
and authenticate our stock?
We rely on decades of
experience, archaeological training, an extensive library and study
collection, but also on independent consultants who are often top
academics specialising a very narrow field of study.
We listen and learn rather
than claiming to know everything. Sometimes less than a minute is needed
to identify, value and authenticate an object; on other occasions we may
keep an item for several years before gaining sufficient information to
make an intelligent assessment. The process can be laborious but mistakes
can harm a reputation which has taken decades to build.
Why buy from Helios
Before buying from
any website we recommend that you check their reputation and claims
independently, please visit our
collecting antiquities page for
We offer the highest
possible standards of customer care, we source our stock in a responsible
and ethical manner, and we try to offer items which are interesting and
special at all price levels.
We do not exaggerate
our descriptions, we do not take photographs with enhanced contrasts and
colours and we do not employ gimmicks or hyperbole to entice buyers.
We treat a sale as
part of an on-going relationship with an individual. Honesty, integrity
and a good rapport with our clients is how we maintain our reputation.
We have built a
business with over one thousand registered clients ranging from school
kids to professors, casual buyers to institutional collectors and museum
curators. If you do not know us already but like what you see on our
website we hope you will get in touch or perhaps make a small purchase and
see if it lives up to your expectations.
Rolf and Sam