The scope of the collection includes objects from the lands that formed the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine world and cultures in Mesopotamia, the Near East, Egypt, Europe, the Balkans, Eurasia, the Steppes. The galleries display exceptional works extending over more than 7,000 years of human history, from the Neolithic Period of the 6th Millennium B.C. to the 14th century A.D.
years in business
exhibitions at art fairs worldwide
curated themed gallery exhibitions
We know from years of experience that living with beautiful works of art changes one’s life in a positive way, and collecting works of art can be a rewarding endeavor. Whatever one collects, we believe a collector should have a deep personal connection to the objects they choose.
We also believe that collecting ancient works of art provides an advantage beyond collecting in other areas – by their nature antiquities have a long history and each object has its own story to tell. The historical and intellectual dimensions found by collecting antiquities provide the collector with an intimate knowledge of the past.
Finally, we believe that collecting must be done legally and ethically. Phoenix Ancient Art has a long history dealing in antiquities, and we have learned from our extensive experience how to facilitate a trade that openly promotes cultural exchange. Our holdings are on par with any museum in the world, and we are committed to doing more than any dealer or museum has to date to insure that what we buy and sell is collected in full compliance with all legal and ethical rules. And, we have a full understanding of how those rules have changed over time—and continue to evolve. We believe there is no more room for grey in the antiquities market and we will not transact in any antiquities in which we have any doubt about the legitimacy and provenance.
Ali Aboutaam is the co-founder of Phoenix Ancient Art with his brother, Hicham. He received an engineering degree at the Jesuit University of Beirut before joining the antiquities business with their father, Sleiman. He was raised around the business and Sleiman often showed him catalogues of ancient coins when he was a kid to quiz him about Greek Rulers and Roman Emperors. Much like his father, Ali’s first love was coins. Naturally, this passion extended to the other works surrounding him, such as stone sculptures, Greek vases, and bronze figurines. Ali spends the majority of his time at the Geneva galleries and enjoys working closely with both established and new collectors.
C. Michael Hedqvist joined Phoenix Ancient Art in 2000 as Managing Director in Geneva. He received a degree in Economics and Literature at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, before a successful career in international sales and marketing. He was also sponsored for an executive business degree at IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Michael manages a staff of five and oversees the operations of the Geneva galleries and the participating European art fairs. He was heavily involved with the launch of Phoenix Ancient Art’s website in 2005, marking the gallery’s presence at the high end of the antiquities trade on the internet and international scene. Over the last twenty years, Michael has been instrumental in developing relationships and conducting sales in Europe, including prestigious private collections and institutions, as well as contributing to important sales to the world’s museums.
Brenno Bottini joined Phoenix Ancient Art in 1995 as Chief Curator, the same year as the inauguration of the Geneva gallery at 6, rue Verdaine. He received a degree in Classical Archaeology from the University of Geneva and specializes in ancient art from the Mediterranean world, as well as Near Eastern and Egyptian art. He became an assistant professor in 1984 and taught at the University for 7 years. Brenno has authored numerous publications in collaboration with the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva, and hundreds of research papers including several seen in each of the scholarly publications by Phoenix Ancient Art.
Virginie joined Phoenix Ancient Art in 2012 as Curator of the Geneva gallery under the guidance of Brenno Bottini. She received her degree in Classical Archaeology from the University of Geneva and has a specialty in Greek vases and terracottas. In 2014, Virginie was instrumental in the opening of the second Geneva gallery, Young Collectors, where she prepares annual exhibitions, along with those at the main gallery. She works closely with the rest of the team on all of the research and preparations for numerous European art fairs, including in Geneva, Brussels, Paris, and London.
Hicham Aboutaam is the co-founder of Phoenix Ancient Art and the owner of Electrum, the exclusive agent in New York. He attended the University of Michigan where he earned a degree in art history before joining Ali and Sleiman in the family business. As Hicham recalls when he was a kid, “My mother would tell my father, it’s time to go to sleep, would you please remove that head from our bed?” Hicham grew up surrounded by antiquities and built a strong passion for gems and seals at a very young age. Sleiman would talk openly about the various objects he handled and would take Hicham and Ali on business trips. Every trip was a learning experience about the world of antiquities and to this day Hicham tries to share his vast knowledge of ancient art on every occasion. In addition to working with renowned museums and established collectors, Hicham enjoys educating and advising aspiring collectors.
Alexander Gherardi joined Electrum, the exclusive agent for Phoenix Ancient Art in 2008. He received a degree in Business and Economics from Stony Brook University in New York. His first large project with Electrum was launching the e-commerce website, www.e-Tiquities.com in 2009. Alex manages a staff of seven and oversees the operations of the New York gallery and the participating American art fairs. He has established several important relationships with American collections and museums on both the East and West coasts and has played an integral part of many of the gallery’s major sales. Alex has taken a special interest in Cycladic idols, particularly for their simplicity and form.
Dr. Alexander V. Kruglov joined Electrum, the exclusive agent for Phoenix Ancient Art in 2013 as the Chief Curator in New York. He received his Ph.D in art history from the State University of St. Petersburg, Russia and was formerly the curator of sculpture in the department of Classical Art at the State Hermitage Museum. He worked there for 30 years and specializes in Greek and Roman Art. Alexander, better known as Sasha at the gallery, was part of 8 international research fellowships including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery, Washington, D.C., and the J. Paul Getty Museum. He has authored several publications and is instrumental in the organization of the themed exhibitions at Electrum.
We have developed one of the antiquities trade’s most vigorous and stringent procedures of due diligence for establishing the provenance/ownership history of its objects.