Antiquities and Archaeology
New antiquities gallery for London
By Melanie Gerlis. Art Market, Issue 257, May 2014
Published online: 13 May 2014
It has been rare of late for a gallery to open in London serving anything other than the Modern and contemporary art market. But Lorne Thyssen-Bornemisza, whose family has a long history of collecting, is bucking the trend with a new gallery that will offer Greek antiquities, initially from his own collection.
Kallos Gallery, a 200 sq. m space on Davies Street in Mayfair, is due to open on 15 May with around 15 items that Thyssen-Bornemisza describes as “best in class”. These include coins, an Archaic-period terracotta kore (a goddess, around 550BC-500BC), a Corinthian bronze helmet (around 540BC-460BC, above) and a pair of Classical gold lion-head bracelets (fourth century BC). Prices range from around £5,000 to more than £10m.
Thyssen-Bornemisza, who describes himself as a “fourth-generation collector”, says his primary interest is in Roman objects, so the Greek works he is selling are ones that he has “picked up” along the way but are not core to his collection.
He has identified a gap in the London market; Geneva and New York are the market centres for antiquities. His aim, he says, is to educate a new generation of buyers, “people who have never seen great antiquities in a gallery before”, so items will be presented in a (high-end) domestic setting and the gallery will eschew the “by appointment only” attitude.
Not only is it easy to fall in love with antiquities, he says, they are recession-proof. “In 2010, the antiquities market still rose [in value] when other areas didn’t; they weathered the storm.”
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