Apollo Galleries


25 Bury Place, Bloomsbury, London WC1A 2JH
742-499-4167

About Auction House

Founded by Dr. Ivan Bonchev in 2010, Apollo encompasses all aspects of collecting and appreciating ancient art, antiquities and coins. Our specialities include: Ancient Roman, Greek, Asian, Egyptian, Medieval, Viking and Neolithic.

Auction Previews & News

9 Results
  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Apollo Galleries to auction breathtaking array of classical and Asian antiquities, ancient jewellery and weaponry, May 14-15

    Featured: Early 1st millennium BC bronze shield, life-size Roman marble statues of children, Chinese Ming Dynasty foo lion altar, unparalleled selection of Greek, Roman & Viking jewellery LONDON – Dr. Ivan Bonchev of Apollo Galleries and Auctions, Britain’s premier source for authentic, expertly appraised cultural art and antiquities, takes pleasure in announcing highlights of the company’s May 14-15, 2022 sale. The elegant 599-lot auction event is divided into two sessions, each devoted to its own distinct specialties. Classical and Asian antiquities will be presented on Saturday the 14th, while ancient jewellery and weaponry are reserved for Sunday the 15th. Deeply provenanced, all auction items have been vetted by world-renowned consultants, and if applicable, scientifically analyzed and tested. Rare Urartu (Iron Age kingdom in the historic Armenian highlands) convex bronze shield tondo with carinated, conical center. Decorated in repousse and ornamented with bosses, zigzags, vertical bars, arches. Circa early 1st millennium BC. Provenance: property of a London gentleman. Believed to have been previously part of Axel Guttman collection. Estimate £10,000-£15,000 ($12,545-$18,820) Wondrous treasures from many of the world’s greatest civilizations are featured in the selection prepared for this exciting weekend event. Discerning collectors will have the chance to acquire superb Greek and Roman pottery, Egyptian masks, Roman glass and lamps, as well as stunning wearable gold jewellery. Fascinating ancient weaponry includes Chalcidian helmets, Medieval period swords with inlaid handles, Viking battle axes, and much more. A diverse array of Asian offerings is led by porcelains, Gandharan sculptures, Chinese bronze and terracotta figures of mounted horses and their attendants; and other coveted animal forms, including rabbits, rams, dogs, pigs and fowl.  The Saturday session opens on a high note with a pair of beautiful life-size Roman marble statues of cherubic nude children representing Harpocrates, the god of silence and secrecy. Each of the figures is posed gracefully on a plinth, with one hand resting on a vessel and the other arm holding a cornucopia. Held in a West Sussex estate after being acquired in the 1960s/’70s, the statues are accompanied by written archaeological expertise by Dr Raffaele D’Amato and a geological scholarly…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Apollo Galleries’ March 27 Ancient, Chinese and Islamic Art Auction features magnificent cultural artifacts from world-famous collections

    All 488 lots vetted by stellar team of experts, including renowned Egyptologist Laetitia Delaloye LONDON – Apollo Galleries and Auctions, Britain’s premier source for expertly appraised cultural art and antiquities, takes pleasure in announcing highlights of their March 27, 2022 sale. The 488-lot Ancient, Chinese and Islamic Art Auction is divided into four sections that encompass a broad range of deeply provenanced artifacts spanning the Classical European era and important civilizations of the Near East, Egypt, India and China.  Greek Apulian red-figure wheel-thrown ritual krater (vase with ‘volute’ handles), image of ‘Lady of Fashion’ on verso, 680mm high. TL-tested by independent German laboratory Ralf Kotalla. Provenance: central London gallery; English estate collection; acquired in 1990s from Andre de Munter, Brussels; old European collection. Estimate $26,225-$52,450 Most of the items entered in the sale boast an illustrious pedigree and were previously owned by legendary collectors such as the late London barrister Alison Barker, John Lee, and other noted connoisseurs. In addition, many pieces have a history that includes prior sale at either Christie’s or Bonhams. “No small detail was spared in preparing this exceptional sale, which I consider to be our best to date,” said Apollo Galleries director Dr Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford). “In early February, we brought together most of our team of consultants to personally examine the entire auction selection. The team includes our consulting Egyptologist, Laetitia Delaloye, who began her career at Christie’s in 2007 and was appointed head of their London Antiquities department in 2016. She now shares her passion as an independent advisor to museums, collectors, dealers and other specialty businesses, including Apollo Galleries.”  The March 27 sale includes Apollo Galleries’ first-ever dedicated section of Islamic art, starting at Lot 359. The collection of artifacts ranges from gilded Qurans and photographic prints to copper flasks and door fittings. With a timeline that spans the early Middle Ages through 19th century, its highlights include Lot 360, a Mamluk carved wooden panel, estimate $31,470-$62,945; Lot 373, a rare Ottoman Quran signed in inscribed by Ahmed Nazifi, estimate $52,450-$78,680; and Lot 391, a circa-1900 prayer mat with…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    London’s Apollo Galleries welcomes New Year with Jan. 16 Ancient Art & Antiquities Auction

    Company opens in-house lab for scientific testing, introduces elite new team of experts overseeing Ancient Egyptology, jewellery, weaponry, and classical antiques LONDON – Apollo Galleries, London’s premier source for authentic, fully vetted ancient art and antiquities, will host its first auction of the New Year on Sunday, January 16, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers. The breathtaking assemblage of rarities from legendary civilizations is offered with authoritative descriptions and assessments from a newly-engaged team of specialists whose experience at the highest echelons of the art trade are amply documented. Londons Apollo Galleries welcomes New Year with Jan. 16 Ancient Art & Antiquities Auction Each of the new consultants has a background ideally suited to an Apollo Galleries division. Emma Saber, an acknowledged authority on Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Near Eastern antiquities for more than 20 years and a specialist for Christie’s, is also a lecturer with Christie’s Education on the antiquities market and how to collect and catalogue antiquities. Richard Falkiner, a respected professional who has provided his expertise to The Masterpiece, BRAFA Art, Frieze Fairs and Bonhams, covered Ancient, Medieval and Islamic items, as well as coins and medals, for Christie’s over a 14-year period. He was elected a Fellow of the venerable Society of Antiquaries of London, founded in 1707. Apollo Galleries also welcomes the expert contributions of Russel Scott, who has been the authenticity officer for the Viking Society for more than 26 years. He has been in the antiquities trade for 43+ years and consulted for the British Museum as well as BBC documentaries about medieval and Viking weaponry. His extensive body of knowledge includes manufacturing techniques of ancient periods. The auction opens with a stunning selection of ancient ceramics, glass and metalware that includes many unusual items, such as a colorful Egyptian faience-beaded mummy shroud and mask, and silver letters used to spell out a good-luck message on Roman soldiers’ belts. Leading the group is a rare and important Neo-Assyrian vessel, circa 800-600 BC, which was cut and hollowed out from a single large piece of solid rock crystal – a feat that…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Apollo Galleries to host November 21 Ancient Art & Antiquities Auction featuring medieval, Greek & Viking helmets; Chinese Shang Dynasty vessel, rare Egyptian ibis sculpture

    Formerly trading as Pax Romana and now rebranded as Apollo Galleries, London’s premier antiquities firm has expanded its business space, roster of consultants, divisions & events LONDON – After 10 years as a recognized leader in the field of ancient art and antiquities, London’s Pax Romana has rebranded as Apollo Galleries. Adopting the name of the Greek god of the sun – and everything under the sun, including art, knowledge, music, poetry and truth – Apollo Galleries hopes to be every bit as multifaceted in its worldly domain as Apollo was in his divine realm. Secured by a deep investment in its future, the company has expanded its elegant two-floor gallery directly opposite The British Museum, increased its roster of managers and expert consultants; installed new scientific equipment for in-house object analysis, and launched new divisions, including Ancient Interiors and Wearable Ancient Jewellery. The firm will be hosting regular events and lectures, and producing informative videos while also hosting a year-round slate of exceptional specialty auctions. Chinese Shang Dynasty bronze tripod vessel (ding), circa 1300-1200 BC. Comparable example appears in the book Shang Ritual Bronzes in the National Palace Museum Collection, Taipei, 1998. Piece has undergone XRF analysis by independent Belgian laboratory. Estimate £20,000-£40,000 On Sunday, November 21, Apollo Galleries will present a 331-lot Ancient Art & Antiquities Auction, with online bidding through LiveAuctioneers, that takes collectors on a virtual journey through the most important cultures of the past. The fully curated boutique selection features museum-quality art and relics from the intriguing civilizations of the Indus Valley through the Viking Age and Crusader Era.  Since the Egyptian Battle of Mediggo in 1479 BC – the first armed conflict recorded by eyewitnesses – history has been plagued by one war after another. Scholars are especially interested in the armaments used in battles throughout the centuries, as they create a tangible timeline of technological progress. In the November sale, collectors will find an outstanding array of swords, spear-, mace- and axeheads; and even curious Byzantine pottery “Greek fire” grenades.  Helmets are always in great demand. Among the sale’s most interesting – and…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Pax Romana’s March 7 auction explores Chinese decorative art for interiors, from Qing Empire through 20th century

    Featured: Beautiful porcelains, white jade figure of Buddha, Sino-Tibetan bronze Guan Yin, bronze seated Buddha holding sword aloft, iron-red foo dog dragons Sino-Tibetan bronze figure of a Guan Yin seated in rajalilasana and wearing heavy robes, jewelry and a pierced crown; 450mm high x 270mm wide. Weight: 11kg (24lbs 4 oz). Estimate: £2,000-£3,000 LONDON – Internationally acclaimed for its auctions of connoisseur-level antiquities, ancient jewelry and weaponry, Pax Romana will add a new string to its bow on March 7 with the debut of Asian Interiors: Chinese Decorative Arts. The 243-lot sale of hand-picked, fully vetted Chinese porcelain and art focuses on exquisite decorative treasures that add color and sophistication to the home, with a timeline that starts with the Qing Dynasty and concludes in the 20th century. All items are being offered with no reserve and will be sold to the highest bidder at or above the starting price. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. “Since the 17th century, Chinese vases, censers and accent pieces have been favored as decorative elements in fine European and American homes,” said Pax Romana’s director Dr. Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford). “That tradition is still very much alive today. Whether the theme of a room or entire residence is Art Deco, traditional or very modern, there’s a piece of Chinese art to complement its look and feel. While making the final selections for our March 7 auction, we made every effort to choose striking artworks that would suit any decorating taste. Chinese art is truly a design classic.”  Chinese vases are admired for their graceful symmetry and hand-painted detail work. Several exceptional examples are entered in the auction, and like many items from other categories, they come from estate collections in the United Kingdom or Continental Europe, or in some cases were acquired decades ago at upscale antique fairs.  A pair of large Chinese porcelain vases decorated with elaborate scenes and calligraphy, each measuring 600mm high by 250mm wide, are offered with a lot estimate of £600-£900. Another appealing entry is a Chinese porcelain vase decorated with dragons and an imaginative…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    London’s Pax Romana to welcome New Year with Jan. 10 Antiquities, Ancient Jewellery & Weaponry Auction

    Featured: Egyptian ex-museum pieces, Ancient Asian art; unique, independently authenticated helmets, Chinese bronze vessels and jewellery from thousands of years ago LONDON - Pax Romana, the respected London antiquities gallery and boutique auction house headed by Dr. Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford), will launch its 2021 calendar of events with a January 10 auction of connoisseur-level antiquities, ancient jewellery and weaponry. The 610-lot offering is highlighted by Egyptian pieces formerly held in museum collections, TL- or XRF-tested art from Ancient China, and unique helmets dating to as early as 900 BC. All items are offered with no reserve and will be sold to the highest bidder at or above the starting price. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. “This is truly Pax Romana’s most magnificent sale to date,” said Dr. Bonchev. “We are very proud of the selections included in this auction as well as the painstaking research that supports each piece. Our clientele expects a first-class experience, and we ensure that they receive it, starting with authoritative catalogue descriptions and detailed provenance.” Rare Greek Hellenistic Phrygian bronze helmet, circa 500-300 BC, originally may have been associated with a statue of the god Attis. Provenance dates back to 1897 purchase by Jorg Krause. Fully authenticated with XRF Certificate from Belgian laboratory and 2020 European Export license. Estimate £30,000-£50,000 The auction’s timeline tracks many of the world’s great civilizations through cultural art and relics. Some of the earliest entries represent the man-to-man combat between warring nations of centuries ago. Because of the shape of its crest, a rare bronze Phrygian helmet from the Greek Hellenistic period, circa 500-300 BC, is likely to have been associated with a statue of the god Attis. Starting around 1250 BC, Attis – a god of vegetation – was worshipped by a Phrygian (west-central Anatolia/modern-day Asian Turkey) cult in the mountainous region of Dindymon.  The helmet is fully authenticated with an XRF Certificate from an independent Belgian laboratory and has a 2020 European Export license. Its long line of provenance can be traced back to 1897, when it was purchased by Jorg Krause. Auction…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Pax Romana’s no-reserve November auctions explore great cultures of the past with museum-quality antiquities, ancient art and war relics

    Nov. 8 session focuses on Asian masterpieces, while Nov. 15 sale features ancient jewellery, weaponry and classical art LONDON – Pax Romana Auctions will host a no-reserve two-part online sale of antiquities, jewellery, ancient weaponry, Asian and classic art on successive Sundays, November 8 and 15. The first of the two auction sessions celebrates “Masterpieces of Ancient Asia,” while the second is titled “Ancient Jewellery, Weaponry and Classical Art.” Bidders are invited to participate absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. Curated by the auction house’s director Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford), the sale spans over 5,000 years of history, with virtual journeys to the Indus Valley Civilization and Ancient Egypt, as well as the lands of Medieval Crusaders and Ming Dynasty China. Many of the pieces – especially the breathtaking jewellery – would make unique gifts worth considering in the run-up to Christmas. China, Tang Dynasty gilded stone head of Buddha with two-tiered ‘snail-shell’ hair curls ornamented by red spiraling ‘jewel,’ circa 618-907 A.D., 530mm tall on custom stand. Provenance: Old Somerset (England) collection of Asian art formed in 1980s/1990s. Estimate £20,000-£40,000 The Masterpieces of Ancient Asia sale on November 8 includes 196 lots. Some of the largest pieces are those of Chinese stone and terracotta. For example, Lot 13 is an incredible standing Buddha that dates from the Northern Qi Dynasty and measures nearly a meter tall. Elegantly carved, it would make an impressive addition to any room. Similarly imposing, Lot 14 is a magnificent Tang Dynasty gilded head of a Buddha with red painted accents and a peaceful facial expression. Each of these lots is estimated at £20,000-£40,000. China, Tang Dynasty, pottery figurine of a Bactrian camel and rider, circa 618-907 A.D., 610mm x 440mm. Provenance: Private collection of Oxford professional, formed in 1970s-1990s on UK art market. Estimate £6,000-£12,000 In crafted terracotta, one can experience a great appreciation of Chinese artifacts through their detail and the “personality” rendered by the artist. For example, Lot 3, a one-of-a-kind Tang Dynasty Camel and Rider reflects a level of craftsmanship that imbues extraordinary charm in both the rider and…

  • Auction Industry
    Pax Romana’s June 20-21 no-reserve auction, The King’s Sale, features ancient jewelry, weaponry, coins

    LONDON – On June 20-21, Pax Romana, the acclaimed London antiquities gallery and boutique auction house headed by Dr. Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford), will present The King’s Sale. Traditionally a favorite with its international clientele, the blue-chip event with a royal theme is specifically focused on ancient objects that symbolize the wealth and power vested in reigning monarchs. Absentee and live online bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. All lots are offered with no reserve and will be sold to the highest bidder at or above the starting price. Rare two-part Greek bronze Chalcidian helmet, circa 500-300 BC, Classical to Alexander the Great period. High-crested crown and hinged cheek pieces. Perfect condition with beautiful patina. Estimate £15,000-£30,000Pax Romana “Our King’s Sale features a superb selection of museum-quality pieces, with representations from all around the ancient world, from the Middle East through the Mediterranean to the North Sea,” Dr Bonchev said. “We are very pleased to offer an exclusive array of arms and armor, rare coins, and some of the most stunning and unique jewelry ever to pass through our gallery doors.” The Saturday, June 20 session of 446 lots is devoted to high-grade gold, bronze and silver coins with a timeline that runs from Ancient Greece through Medieval Britain. Among the famous figures depicted on the coins are: Alexander the Great, Phillip II of Macedon, Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Trajan, Vespasian, Pertinax, Constantine the Great, Wulfred, and Harold I. Additionally, some coins carry images of ancient cities. An Ancient Roman Imperial AR (silver) denarius, struck circa 19-18 BC at an unidentifiable Spanish mint, bears the head of Caesar Augustus wearing a laurel wreath in high relief on the obverse, and a comet with eight rays and a tail on the reverse. Visually stunning and rated extremely fine, the 20.0mm, 3.72g coin is estimated at £2,000-£3,000. An even earlier coin, an Ancient Greek AR (silver) tetradrachm from Sicily, Syracuse, dates to the Second Democracy, circa 440-430 BC. The head of Arethusa surrounded by four dolphins is shown on the obverse, while the reverse is detailed with an image of Nike flying…

  • Auction Preview
    Pax Romana April 26 auction surveys Art of Asia: from Antiquity to Present Day

    Fascinating art objects follow timeline from Ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day China Fine and very rare Famille Rose enameled double-gourd-shape glass snuff bottle, Qianlong, Chinese Imperial Palace Workshops, 4-character mark (1736-1780). Similar to example auctioned by Christie’s NY in 2006 for $329,600. Est. £50,000-£75,000 LONDON, ENGLAND, April 21, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ --On April 26, Britain’s premier antiquities auction house, Pax Romana, will take collectors on a virtual 5,000-year journey across time, from Ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day China. The expertly curated 337-lot selection allows all collectors, whether novice or advanced, to bid on authentic ancient art and cultural objects backed by trusted provenance and scholarship. All ancient items will convey with a professional Certificate of Authenticity signed by Pax Romana’s owner/director, Dr Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford). Featuring antiquities and works of art from China, India, the Holy Lands, Western and Southeast Asia, the auction’s Ancient section includes a great variety of artifacts in terracotta, stucco, bronze and stone. Several rare and beautiful gilded Buddha statues are among the highlights. A large and finely cast 16th/17th-century Chinese Ming bronze Guanyin from the Ming Dynasty depicts the deity in a seated position on the back of a dragon. This exceptional artwork weighs over 6kg (13lbs., 4oz.) and is estimated at £4,000-£8,000. Also noteworthy are two superbly modeled circa-1700 (or earlier) Chinese gilt bronze figures of Vajrasattva. Each is estimated at £3,000-£5,000. L to R: Lot 622 Large Chinese Ming bronze Guanyin, Ming Dynasty, 16th/17th century, weighs over 6kg, est. £4,000-£8,000; Lot 400 Fine Chinese gilt bronze figure of Vajrasattva, circa 1700 or earlier, est. £3,000-£5,000; Lot 353 Superbly modeled Chinese gi Archaic Chinese bronzes of various types and designs from the R. Unger collection include an enviable selection of wine vessels, which always stir collector interest when brought to market by Pax Romana. “These are rare and very collectible pieces,” Dr. Bonchev observed. “We are fortunate to have several superior-quality examples to offer bidders in our April 26 auction.” Leading the esteemed grouping are a circa-12th-11th century BC, Late Shang dynasty (or later), bronze ritual wine vessel, £3,000-£5,000; an Ancient (11th-10th century BC or…

  • Auction Preview
    Pax Romana Will Host A No-Reserve Auction Of Ancient Jewellery, Weaponry And Classical Art On March 29

    LONDON – Discerning collectors of antiquities and ancient art know the Pax Romana name represents uncompromising quality and authenticity. While the London firm, headed by Dr. Ivan Bonchev (PhD, University of Oxford), conducts business from a tastefully appointed gallery in central London, many of its sales to international customers are transacted through LiveAuctioneers’ online-bidding platform. The next fully curated event – a no-reserve auction of ancient jewellery, weaponry and classical art – will take place on Sunday, March 29. Greek bronze winged helmet, Late Classical of Chalcidian type, circa 400 BC, heavy sheet metal with cheek-pieces, plume-holder, and distinctive wings. Ex Axel Guttmann collection. Estimate £40,000-£60,000 ($49,000-$73,600) “This is our finest sale to date, with many unique artifacts and important works of art from distinguished collections,” Dr Bonchev said. “As always, we’ve prepared a selection that spans a wide price range to accommodate beginners as well as advanced collectors and dealers. All can find something in our sale.” The auction’s centerpiece is a spectacular circa 400 BC Greek bronze winged helmet with provenance from the legendary collection of Axel Guttmann (1944-2001). Starting out with a Roman helmet purchased in 1982, Guttmann built a world-renowned collection, which he housed at his private museum on the outskirts of Berlin. “We are privileged to offer this highly important helmet that was once part of his landmark collection,” Bonchev said. “Without question, it is the best helmet I have ever handled.” Of Chalcidian style and formed of heavy sheet metal, its design incorporates cheek-pieces, a long plume-holder at its crown, and a pair of magnificent wings. It is estimated at £40,000-£60,000 ($49,000-$73,600). Two other helmets of exceptional quality and rarity will share the spotlight in the Ancient Weaponry portion of the sale. A superb Greek Illyrian bronze helmet of domed form, with two corrugated parallel ribs to the upper region and a flaring neck guard, is similar to an example from the Christos G. Bastis collection auctioned by Sotheby’s in 1999. It could reach £25,000-£50,000 ($30,700-$61,400) on auction day. Estimated at £20,000-£40,000 ($24,500-$49,100), a museum-quality Villanova (Etruscan) hammered bronze helmet with an attractive punched geometric…