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Our Ethos

How do we buy our stock?

  • 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,  indicating that they were not excavated or removed from a source country in recent years.

  • 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 exported.

  • 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.

  • Research is vital to this process but so is common sense and experience.

Frequently asked questions

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 Gallery?

  • Before buying from any website we recommend that you check their reputation and claims independently, please visit our collecting antiquities page for further advice.

  • 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

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