Helios Gallery Antiquities - Introduction to collecting


Above all, the identification of fakes is based on comparison:

The experienced collector or dealer will learn to understand why something looks or feels "wrong" but there is always room to learn something new.

Never stop researching



  • Avoid dealers claiming to be selling antiquities for export from (for example) Egypt, Greece, Turkey or Italy: they are probably selling fakes as these countries do not permit the export of ancient objects except under very specific circumstances and under government authority.

  • On ebay avoid anyone with private auctions. There is no explanation for this except to conceal shill-bidding or the identities of buyers because they don't want them to be informed that they are bidding on fakes.

  • On ebay feedback is a reasonable indicator, but if people are bidding on fakes, they will also leave positive feedback when they receive them if they know no better ... worth thinking about.... ask others about the dealer's reputation and ignore the hype which they write on the item description: no-one checks or verifies it before its broadcast to millions of people, it means nothing.

  • Be wary of phrases like "valued at USD10,000 but offered at only USD100", this is nonsense ..... stop, have a cup of tea and engage the brain before bidding!

  • Myriads of dealers and collectors view ebay for bargains, did they all miss that relief portrait of Tutankhamen or the huge Greek pot for 1000 dollars, or is it possible that its just another fake.


Further reading

Read our guide to collecting, dealers, associations and more...

Read our advice on buyng, how to spot fakes and tips.

Read how we buy our stock, authenticate and research provenance