Art + Auction
Ancient Masterworks, Especially from Egypt, are Finding New Takers
September 2013
"...stricter consignment policies and recent changes in curatorial acquisition guidelines are making the antiquities market a safer haven for those interested in masterworks of ages past. "There is also a new, younger generation of dealers such as the Demirjian [brothers]...who get it—who understand the value and necessity of transparency when it comes to provenance and authenticity, that you just can't do things they way they were done in the past. James Demirjian and his brother Gregory assumed management of Ariadne Galleries in 2008. The firm was founded by their father, Torkom, in 1972. "For my generation," James says, "the emphasis is not just on beautiful works of art but also the information and pedigree that accompany them. Provenance is paramount, and we present this information hand in hand with the work itself." Such changes, however, have resulted in a virtual bottoming out of the market for things that are undocumented prior to the 1970 unesco Convention prohibiting the illicit import, export, and transfer of ownership of cultural property. These items have become increasingly difficult if not impossible to sell or even donate.