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Every London sale is preceded by a system of rigorous vetting and scientific testing of the material offered for sale. Finally, a panel of around ten external experts convenes over two days, where first-hand examination of the auction lots takes place. This system allows for independent assessment of material before inclusion in the sale. Our experts have access to all the potential lots, however each individual's opinion is advisory and the final decision regarding dating and inclusion rests with TimeLine.
Dr. Ronald Bonewitz (Minerals, Gems, Fossils & General Antiquities)
Dr. Bonewitz is a trained geologist with a life-long interest in Mexican and Central American archaeology, having travelled extensively in Mayan Yucatan, interviewed Maya Indians, and explored previously unmapped Mayan sites on the island of Cozumel. He has been a specialist consultant to several archaeological excavations in the USA. He has worked as a geologist in the oil industry, involved in the exploration and location of oil and uranium, as well as gold mining and the underground testing of nuclear weapons. He has also worked in the aviation industry, specialising in helicopters, and having qualified as a psychologist he has lectured worldwide on personal development.
He is the author of a range of books on his many professional and personal interests including natural philosophy, crystals, minerals, alternative methods of healing, personal development, and the mysteries of ancient Mayan culture. His catalogue of titles includes Rock and Gem: the Definitive Guide to Rocks, Minerals, Gemstones and Fossils (2005); Teach Yourself Hieroglyphics (2001); Pyramids (Beginners’ Guides) (2000); Wisdom of the Maya: An Oracle of Ancient Knowledge for Today (2001); The Smithsonian Nature Guide to Rocks and Minerals (2011) and The Smithsonian Nature Guide to Gemstones (2012).
Peter Bufton (Ethnographic, Far Eastern & General Antiquities)
Peter, an alumnus of Merchant Taylor’s School, founded in the third quarter of the 16th century, particularly enjoyed history, Latin, English and sport as well as collecting coins, stamps and a variety of curiosities during his growing-up years. Merchant Taylor’s ethos is as old as the school itself: “It is not a mind, not a body that we have to cultivate, but a man, and we cannot divide him” (thus spake MTS’s first headmaster, Richard Mulcaster, in 1561). Some notable past alumni include various remarkable individuals such as Clive of India, Scott of the Antarctic and Boris Karloff (of Dracula fame). Such holistic thinking inspired Peter to join Knight, Frank & Rutley at the age of eighteen, having previously worked with an oriental art dealer, and then Christie’s of St. James’s the following year.
Peter gradually rose through the ranks becoming an auctioneer, head of Chinese jade / snuff bottles, head of Japanese / Korean art and then Director. After 16 successful, enjoyable, stimulating and much-travelled years, Peter left Christie’s to take a year’s sabbatical before becoming a Vice-President at Sotheby’s New York. During his time at Christie’s and Sothebys’ he produced more than eight catalogues per year, resulting in a total of more than 250 over the course of his career. His major specialisms included netsuke and inro, Japanese ceramics, lacquer and metalwork, Chinese jade and snuff bottles. Eventually tiring of the Big Apple, he returned to the UK to seek new challenges and take up consultancy posts at Phillips and Bonhams as well as Habsburgs, Geneva.
Since the mid-1990s, Peter has greatly enjoyed working as an independent Far Eastern art consultant advising various museums, auction houses and private collectors in connection with Japanese, Korean, Chinese and South East Asian Art (as well as some Ethnographic Art, a personal passion of his, particularly American Indian culture). He has written many articles over the years and after helping to organise an exhibition of Japanese ceramics belonging to the Lupin Foundation at the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1997, he then co-wrote the exhibition catalogue. Nowadays he spends much of his time travelling, following the International Art Market and indulging his passion for Far Eastern and South East Asian culture, whilst being involved in further challenging and unusual projects.
Robert Chandler, BA (Natural History)
Robert Chandler is a retired science teacher and presently a research assistant at the Department of Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum, London. He is an adviser on geological matters to Natural England and Dorset County Council. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and holds degrees in both geology and biology with honors. From 1990 to 2011 he was Lecturer in palaeontology to the regional groups of the Geologists’ Association and from 2011 to 2014 a Council Member to the Palaeontographical Society, London. He is Field Trip Secretary to Dorset Geologists’ Association and President of Horsham Geology Field Club.
Robert has authored more than fifty peer-reviewed publications and books concerning Jurassic palaeontology, specialising in ammonite systematics and biostratigraphy. 2017 will mark his 50th year of research, mostly in Dorset and Somerset. In the early years, he made studies of most of the British Mesozoic and Caenozoic locations thus becoming familiar with many of the fossils encountered.
John Cherry MA, FSA, FRHistS (Medieval, Post Medieval & Jewellery)
John Cherry is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a former Keeper of Medieval and Later Antiquities at the British Museum, where he worked from 1964 to 2002. John specialised in the culture of medieval Britain and its European context, publishing many acquisitions such as the Savernake Horn, the Talbot Casket and the Dunstable Swan Jewel.
His many other professional appointments include: Member of the Treasure Valuation Committee (2006-14); Director of the British Archaeological Association (from 1977 to 1982); Trustee of the York Museums Trust (from 2002 to 2008); Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of London (from 1996 to 2000). He is presently a Trustee of the Emery Walker Trust.
John has published a number of medieval-themed books, including ‘The Middleham Jewel and Ring’, ‘Medieval Decorative Art’, ‘Medieval Crafts: A Book of Days’ and ‘Goldsmiths: Medieval Craftsmen’. He has also contributed regularly to Antiquaries Journal, The Burlington Magazine, and the Journal of the British Archaeological Association. He is currently working on a book on the collection of seal matrices of Dr Richard Rawlinson (died 1755) held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Peter Clayton, FCILIP, Dip, Arch, FSA, FRNS (Egyptian & General Antiquities)
Peter is an Egyptologist, archaeologist and numismatist who worked for many years at the British Museum and excavated on sites in England and Egypt. He is one of only two Honorary Members of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He has lectured widely in England, Europe and Australia on Egyptology, archaeology, antiquities and numismatics. When Peter left the British Museum in 1980 he was invited to found the Antiquities Department for B. A. Seaby, and remained head of it until 2010. He was also the Founding Chairman of the Antiquities Dealers Association (ADA) in 1982, and is currently the Treasurer of that body.
Peter appears on radio and television programmes dealing with current archaeological and Egyptological topics and has been featured in a number of educational programmes on British and American television. He is the author of several international best-selling titles including ‘Chronicle of the Pharaohs’ (now translated into fifteen languages), ‘The Rediscovery of Ancient Egypt’, ‘The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’ and many others.
He was the Consulting Editor and Book Reviews Editor of ‘Minerva’, the International Review of Ancient Art and Archaeology, which he founded for Dr J.M. Eisenberg in 1990. He is a member of the Treasure Valuation Committee, The British Museum, and Expert Advisor for coins and antiquities to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the National Art Collections Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and acts as advisor to several departments of the British Museum and to many national and archaeological museums. He is a Freeman of the City of London, and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farriers and of the Company of Arts Scholars.
Richard Falkiner, FSA (Coins, Jewellery & General Antiquities)
Richard had a successful career with two of London’s main auctioneers where he was at various times head of Antiquities, Medieval, Renaissance and Islamic Coins, and the Medals Departments. He was the compiler or editor of over three hundred auction catalogues over the period 1956 to 1972 and many since. Some of these catalogues remain standard works most noteworthy being the two Northwick Park (Captain E.G. Spencer-Churchill) Antiquity sales (1965) and the Storm Rice collection of Islamic art (1963). His main specialties are coins and medals with engraved gems (glyptics), from pre-historic times on, as his primary interests. This work was, at the time, the only work in print and in English. It is still referred to. He has had for several decades a regular column in the Antiques Trade Gazette, where he also reports on numismatic auctions.
From 1972 he went on his own and has not regretted it. He has sat continuously and often as chairman, on the Vetting Committees of the major London art fairs, covering Ancient (Classical and near Eastern), Medieval Art and Coins, at Grosvenor House, succeeded by Masterpiece, Olympia, BADA and most recently at the Frieze Fairs. His main specialties are coins and medals; with engraved gems (glyptics), from pre-historic times onward, his primary interest. His library and unpublished files must be one of the most comprehensive of its type in private hands.
Since 1996 Falkiner has been on the British Museum treasure valuation panel (Treasure Act 1996). Now he advises museums, private collectors, dealers and auctioneers from all over the world.
Bret Gaunt (Hindu and Buddhist Art & General Antiquities)
Bret gained his degree in archaeology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he specialized in the religions of the Roman Empire and completed his dissertation on the cult images of Anatolian deities in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
He has worked on a number of excavations both in this country and abroad, such as sites along Hadrian's Wall, the siege works of Julius Caesar at Alesia, France, and the Byzantine monastery at Canayer in the Pontic mountains of Turkey.
He has utilized his knowledge of the ancient world when working at museums such as Manchester Museum cataloguing the Classical archaeology collections, Buxton Museum where he worked on the prehistoric and Roman material, and Museums Sheffield where he was responsible for researching and cataloguing the extensive Egyptology and World Cultures collections.
Bret has developed a specialist knowledge of the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions, focusing on the role of goddesses in Hinduism, temple sculpture and its meaning, and the sacred geography of India.
He has an active interest in the religions of the world, both past and present, and has a personal interest in Orthodox Christian Icons, art and architecture. He has developed a thorough knowledge of the art, architecture and religions of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, as well as Egyptology, Meso-American archaeology, the Byzantine Empire.
Dr. Malcolm Jones (Medieval Antiquities)
Dr. Jones is a retired Senior Lecturer from Sheffield University’s Dept. English Language & Linguistics, 1994-2009. He began as a Research Assistant in the British Museum's 'Department of Medieval & Later Antiquities' in 1972. He later worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary and as Curator of a Folk Life Museum at Avebury, Wiltshire.
His recent publications include The Secret Middle Ages, 2002, concerning the non-religious art of the late Middle Ages, incorporating much inscriptional evidence, which won the Katherine Briggs Folklore Award in 2003. His more recent work The Print in Early Modern England, YaleUP, 2010, provides an iconographic survey of the single-sheet prints produced in Britain during the early modern era. Presently, he is a consultant to the Portable Antiquities Scheme for the reading of inscriptions. His research interests include the short legends found on late medieval 'posy' rings, brooches, etc.
Dane Kurth (Ancient Greek, Roman & Byzantine Coins)
Educated at a north-west of England high school where field trips to archaeological digs sparked her interest in ancient history. She bought her first ancient coin in the 1970s and began to build the foundations of her extensive knowledge of Greek and Roman numismatics. A French and German speaker, with a good understanding of Italian, she enjoys translating 19th century numismatic works, and placing them in the public domain.
A member of the world-renowned Wildwinds website, Dane played a major role in bringing the archive to its award winning status. She was pleased to accept TimeLine Original's offer to appoint her Curator of Wildwinds following the death of its founder. Praise from around the world has been bestowed on her curatorship. In addition to her Wildwinds duties, Dane compiles the popular online Helvetica's RIC Lists, used by collectors, museums and coin dealers worldwide. In England PAS officers rely heavily on this research when identifying finds.
David Miller (Coins & General Antiquities)
David has been a professional dealer specialising in Greek and Roman coins since 1968, when he left the British Museum to join Spinks' ancient coinage department. Later he became Corbitt & Hunter's London manager, then a partner in Italo Vecchi's family firm. From 1973, he headed the coin department at Stanley Gibbons Currency Ltd, eventually rising to joint managing director, and in 1980 joined California's Superior Stamp and Coin Co. as their European representative. Two years later, he started he own business as a numismatic and fine art consultant.
He has published articles on a variety of historical subjects both in the UK and USA, and has appeared on television identifying and valuing ancient and medieval artefacts and coins. David has been a member of the BNTA since its inception in 1975, serving on its council and various specialist committees. Presently, he is a valuer for the Treasure Valuation Committee, specialising in coins and antiquities from 2000 BC to 1600 AD. Now in his seventieth year, he remains active, holding stalls at Coin-Ex, the London and Bloomsbury coin fairs, and travelling widely in Europe and the USA.
Dr. Jack Ogden FSA, FGA (Jewellery & Gemstones)
Dr. Jack Ogden is a world-renowned jewellery industry analyst and a leading expert on jewellery history, with a special focus on the development of materials and technology, its dating and authenticity. He has written and lectured worldwide and taught courses at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Institute of Fine Arts (New York) and Institute of Archaeology (London).
He has a unique insight into the international gem and jewellery trade. Between 1994 and 2000 he was Secretary General to CIBJO (The World Jewellery Confederation) and between 2004 and 2012 was Chief Executive of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A). He has served on the UK Government Treasure Committee for fourteen years, latterly as vice-chairman. He has been editor of both 'The Jeweller' and 'Gems and Jewellery' magazines and a contributor to other jewellery trade journals.
Dr. Ogden is an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and has been awarded a Doctorate from Durham University (Egyptology), the Gem-A Gemmology Diploma (with distinction), and the Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics (with distinction) from the Institute of Art Law.
Stephen Pollington (Anglo-Saxon, Viking & General Antiquities)
Stephen has been studying the linguistic and material culture of early mediaeval Europe for more than thirty years, during which time he has written more than a dozen books on various aspects of Anglo-Saxon England and its neighbours. His research interests range from early medical literature to the manufacture and use of edged weapons, the contents and distribution of burial mounds to the social phenomenon of communal feasting, the nature of religion in the Iron Age to the runic writing systems of Scandinavia and England.
His ‘Wordcraft’, first published in 1994 and still in print, provides a Modern English to Old English dictionary and thesaurus and has been a mainstay title for students wishing to compose in Old English or to familiarise themselves with specific areas of vocabulary. ‘The English Warrior’, first published in 1996, is an examination of the warrior ethos of the Anglo-Saxons and their neighbours, providing Old English texts and translations for several poems and excerpts from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and an overview of weapons and warfare. ‘Meadhall – The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England’ (2003; 2nd edition, 2011) offers an introduction to the role of feast-giving and hosting in early mediaeval societies (Anglo-Saxon, Welsh, Irish and Scandinavian) and has proven popular with historians trying to understand the dynamics of the world of ‘Beowulf’ and the role of public gift-giving. In 2001 he published ‘Leechcraft’, an examination of the medical traditions of Anglo-Saxon England through fresh translations of three key texts: the ‘Lacnunga’, ‘Old English Herbarium’ and ‘Bald’s Leechbook’. In 1997, ‘First Steps in Old English’, an introductory course in the language was published, and is now in its third edition. He produced a double CD of readings in Old English, including many standard texts; students have found the spoken texts make a great deal of difference when approaching the language for the first time. More recently, in ‘Elder Gods – The Otherworld in Early England’ (2011), the evidence for pre-Christian religion among the Anglo-Saxons was compiled, contrasted with the more copious Icelandic texts and with the challenging archaeological evidence.
In 2008, Stephen was asked to give a lecture at the Sutton Hoo Society Conference on the subject of the Anglo-Saxon Meadhall. In 2009 he was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Cambridge University conference on hospitality and gift-giving in the Middle Ages. He has lectured widely in the UK and abroad on aspects of early English history and material culture with particular emphasis on the finds from Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard as well as on the ‘World of Beowulf’. Apart from appearances on television as a ‘talking head’, Stephen has also worked as script consultant in historical drama and provided voice-over on series such as Michael Wood’s ‘The Great British Story’ (2012); he also appeared in ‘Michael Wood on Beowulf’ (2010). Stephen collaborated with Brett Hammond and Lindsay Kerr on the 2010 book 'Wayland’s Work', documenting Germanic material culture in the post-Roman world; from there developed a close working relationship with TimeLine.
Dr Laura Proffitt (Classical & General Antiquities)
Laura graduated with a B.A. (First Class) and a M.A (with Distinction) degrees in Ancient History from the University of Durham, and went on to complete a Ph.D in ancient Greek artistic and dramatic representations of slavery at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has taught evening classes on Greek and Roman art, drama and history at Birkbeck College, University of London and is the author/editor of “Reading Ancient Slavery” (Duckworth Books, 2010).
After a spell working in the press office of a publishing company, Laura spent two years getting to know the auction world at Bonhams, where she worked closely with the antiquities department, and was involved in the production of several catalogues. She has worked as a historical researcher for the television industry. Laura is proficient in Classical Greek and Latin and is presently studying Biblical Hebrew. Whilst dealing with a wide range of artefacts, her particular interests lie in Greek ceramics and Roman glass and jewellery.
Michaela Simonova, M.A. (Viking, Mesoamerica, Religious & General Antiquities)
Michaela completed a five-year degree in comparative religion, specialising in Mesoamerica, at Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. She is a member of the Centre of Mesoamerican Studies and co-organised the centre’s 2014 European Maya Conference. Her primary interests include iconography and epigraphy, in particular Mayan hieroglyphic writing.
She also holds an interest in the history and art of pre-Christian Scandinavia, including the Baltic and Rus regions, and has participated in a Swedish seminar series focused on Scandinavian rock art. Her Bachelor’s dissertation focused on the god Loki, whilst she addressed representations of the Valkyries for her Master’s thesis. Michaela is also familiar with the art and religions of the ancient Western Asia, Greece, Rome, and the Caucasus.
Stefany Tomalin (Beads & Associated Jewellery)
After art school in London, Stefany decided to specialise in the study and creation of beads because so little was known of their origins, materials, techniques, traditions and history. She made and collected every type of bead, designed jewellery with beads, and did original research.
Stefany ran a successful bead shop in Portobello Road for almost 20 years, wrote three popular books on the subject and founded the Bead Society of Great Britain in 1989. She is a committee member of the Bead Study Trust, and belongs to the Society of Bead Researchers and Society of Jewellery Historians, etc. Stefany has lectured on aspects of beads at local and international conferences and to special interest groups.
Italo Vecchi (Coins & General Antiquities)
Italo was born in Modena, Italy, in 1948 and has been a professional numismatist since 1971. His varied numismatic career has taken him to appointments based in London, Bern and Zurich. In the early 1980s his company, V.C. Vecchi & Sons, partnered Bonhams in a series of coin auctions held in London. Italo later became sole proprietor of this venture. From January 1996 to December 1999, his company Italo Vecchi Ltd held a series of auctions in London, principally of ancient coins. In early 2000 Italo was appointed Managing Director (Europe) of Classical Numismatic Group, Inc, a position from which he retired at the end of 2012.
Apart from compiling auction catalogues, Italo has written, edited and produced many books, including 'Archaic Greek Silver Coinage, The 'Asyut' Hoard', by Martin Price and Nancy Waggoner in 1975; 'Coins and their Cities', by Martin Price and Bluma Trell in 1977; 'The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and Their Fractions', by Michel and Karin Prieur in 2000; 'Italian Cast Coinage, Aes Grave' in 1979 (co-written); 'A Find of Silver from the Mint of Rome for the Period 640-750', in 1985 (co-written); and 'The Coinage of the Rasna: A Study in Etruscan Numismatics', in five articles from 1988 to 1999.
His latest publication project is an extensive review of Etruscan numismatic history titled 'Etruscan Coinage' (Part 1 in 2 volumes), being a corpus of the struck coinage of the Rasna, together with an historical and economic commentary on the issues in gold, silver and bronze.