antiquary-Gam2000-full-cloakedANTIQUARY antiquary-Gam2000-face

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human magic-user;
    Antiquary was likely several centuries old, but his actual period of activity is undefined (see comments);
    certainly the pre-modern and modern "eras"

Occupation: Leader of a clan of thieves and the child trafficking / slave-trading Velvet Ministry;
    historical archivist

Group Membership: Head of the Velvet Ministry (numerous members unidentified; formerly Jerome Mouchier, le Diable Blanc (later Remy LeBeau and Gambit), others unidentified see comments) and his own clan (Minister Hoard, Minister Tome);
    the Antiquary's clan was within the larger New Orleans Thieves Guild;

Affiliations: Minister Hoard, Minister Tome, his "demon dogs from Hell";
    he was friendly enough with
"Earth's greatest sorcerers throughout the centuries" to paint their portraits;
    formerly Gambit (Remy LeBeau; before he had either of those names);
    formerly
Jean-Luc LeBeau (who was forced into an alliance of convenience)

Enemies: Assassins Guild of New Orleans, Francois Chicault, Dr. Stephen Strange, Jean-Luc LeBeau

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: A mansion (?) near Red Square, Moscow, Russia;
    formerly New Orleans, Louisiana

First Appearance: Gambit III#1 (February, 1999)antiquary-Gam2000-folding_spell

Powers/Abilities: The Antiquary has extensive knowledge of Earth's occult history, and he possesses a massive collection of occult/magical items and lore. He was particularly interested in the "Old Kingdom."

    He has a number of magical abilities; although only a few such abilities have been demonstrated, Earth's modern Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange, considered him an enormous threat and placed mystic wards around the Antiquary's Russian home to alert him in the event that anyone visited him.

    Notably, he possessed a pair of "demon dogs from Hell," and he could enchant a passageway lined with paintings of sorcerers such that if the sorcerers' names were not named as one passed by, it would set off a "folding spell" trap that sent its victim "between reality -- in the space that makes space between space." One could overcome this spell by ignoring the physical senses and turning the senses inward.

    He was apparently several centuries old, presumably having extended his life via mystic means (see comments).

    He is noted as a prophet, but it is unclear whether that is associated with knowledge of lore and the prophecies within, as well as an understanding of how certain events may lead to other events, or whether he actually has magical abilities that grant him precognitive abilities.

    The Antiquary works in child-trafficking and is apparently a pedophile (see comments). His ultimate goal seemed to be knowledge, and he would sell children and/or manipulate them to enable him to blackmail others to gain such knowledge.

    The Antiquary's New Orleans' library included extensive and well-preserved whole tracts of ancient text, including a mention of Ain Ghazal, a listing of the so-called X-Ternal elixirs, and references linking Sumer and Akkad through Dilmun to the village of Banpo (see comments).

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6'5"; although two steps above Jean-Luc LeBeau, he seemed significantly taller; I'm also estimating that Jean-Luc is close to the height of the 6'2" Gambit)
Weight: Unrevealed (he appears to be lean, but we have no idea if he is just skinny or lean and muscular; given the above estimate height, I'd say perhaps 210 lbs.)
Eyes: Possibly very light blue or green (his irides are virtually colorless in the one panel they are shown)
Hair: Gray (presumably another color in his youth), black eyebrows

History:
(
Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary painted portraits of Earth's greatest sorcerers throughout the centuries (see comments).

(Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#4: Gambit entry)  - The Antiquary served as prophet to the Thieves Guild.

(Gambit III#4 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary had a collection of ancient tomes, talismans, and spells.

(Gambit III#1 (fb)) - The child-trafficking Antiquary considered children to be works of art, worth stealing and selling.

(Gambit III#4 (fb) - BTS) - Clan LeBeau long held the Antiquary's clan in contempt.

(Gambit III#20 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary knew the century-old prophecy that "le Diable Blanc (the white devil)," a child with red-eyes, would one day save the Thieves Guild.

(Gambit III#4 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary considered a red-eyed infant ("le Diable Blanc (the white devil)" later known as Remy LeBeau and Gambit) to be worth owning.

(Gambit III#1 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#4: Gambit entry)  - The Antiquary instructed Jean-Luc LeBeau, leader of New Orleans' Thieves Guild, to steal "le Diable Blanc" from the hospital in which he was born. Jean-Luc did so and delivered the infant to the Antiquary. antiquary-Gamiii1-wgambit

(Gambit III#1 (fb)) - The Antiquary showed off the infant to his...harem (or whatever the women living and/or working out of his base were) ...and posed for a portrait with the infant.

(Gambit III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Though knowing the child was well-cared for, Jean-Luc LeBeau was angered by the thought of the child spending his life in the Velvet Ministry.

(Gambit III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Jean-Luc was unable/unwilling to confront the Antiquary directly, as this would have caused problems within the Guilds clans, and because the Antiquary was too connected to the outside world

(Gambit III#20 (fb) - BTS) - A deal was struck between Jean-Luc and the Antiquary, freeing the child from the Antiquary's collection.

(Gambit III#1 (fb) - BTS) - Wishing to eventually claim "le Diable Blanc" as his own and knowing he would have to learn the way of the Thieves Guild, the way of the shadows and back alleys, Jean-Luc LeBeau arranged to have the child (who became known as Remy) become part of Fagan's mob. Jean-Luc kept a distant but watchful eye over the boy from then on.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - Jean-Luc LeBeau played a key role in the excommunication of the Antiquary from the New Orleans' Thieves Guild.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary exiled himself to a base near the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, continuing his research into the Old Kingdom (and his gathering of children) distantly.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - Jean-Luc LeBeau designed the security systems used in the Antiquary's base.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Strange placed mystic safeguards around the Antiquary.

(Gambit III#4 (fb) - BTS) <"Years" before the main story> - The Antiquary went missing; however, his organization and its collection of people and things continued to operate under his Ministers Hoard and Tome.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary hung his sorcerer portraits in a corridor in his Moscow base, and he wove a spell into the corridor that would assault anyone who failed to speak the name of each sorcerer as they walked past.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary had at least a few years to practice and hone his magical skills.

(Gambit III#1 - BTS) - Fontanelle dreamcasted with Jean-Luc LeBeau, reviewing his history with the Antiquary and "le Diable Blanc."antiquary-Gam2000-cloaked-eyes

(Gambit III#4 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to gain control over the Antiquary's clan so that he could possess its ancient library and artifacts, the vampire Francois Chicault (or former member of the New Orleans Thieves Guild) bit and fatally drained seven members of the Antiquary's clan over a period of two weeks. However, before these victims could be reborn as vampires, the vampire-hunter Blade found and destroyed each of them with a wooden stake through the heart.

(Gambit III#4 - BTS) - Chicault captured Jerome Mouchier, a young boy who had apparently escaped from the Antiquary's Velvet Ministry. Having previously non-fatally drank the youth's blood, Chicault was stopped from biting his neck by the vampire-hunter Blade; to escape Blade, Chicault allowed him to rescue the youth.

(Gambit III#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mouchier was found wandering the streets by Jean-Luc's clan, whom he informed of the vampiric attack.

(Gambit III#4 - BTS) - Jean-Luc LeBeau shared information on the vampiric attacks with Gambit.

    The Antiquary's Ministers Hoard and Tome met with Assassins Guild leader Bella Donna Boudreaux to ask her about Chicault; she revealed his history and seeming demise, and they shared that he was a vampire now decimating their clan.

    Gambit, Jean-Luc LeBeau, and Blade traveled to the Antiquary's private museum and met with Ministers Hoard and Tome, asking access to the Antiquary's ancient "scriptures of the Old Kingdom" so they could help save him; unwilling to risk the knowledge and power they might get from these scriptures, Hoard and Tome refused. 

(Gambit III#4 (fb) - BTS) - Jean-Luc LeBeau instead brokered a compromise: They returned Jerome to the Antiquary's clan's custody, rightly suspecting this would draw in Chicault so they could stop him.

(Gambit III#4 - BTS) - Chicault took control of Jerome, who's transitory state exhibited fangs, had him bite the other children in the Velvet Ministry, extending Chicault's control over them, and then disengage the museum's security systems and invite him inside. Taking the key from around Tome's neck, Chicault entered the Antiquary's library; he was shocked at the extensive and well-preserved whole tracts of ancient text, including a mention of Ain Ghazal, a listing of the so-called X-Ternal elixirs, and references linking Sumer and Akkad through Dilmun to the village of Banpo, showing that the Old Kingdom had already "cast its light at the very dawn of civilization."

    Gambit and Blade then arrived and destroyed Chicault, while the not-fully-vampirized children reverted to normal. As promised, Hoard and Tome released the children/acolytes to LeBeau's clan (despite concerns that this would impinge on their ability to procure further lore for the library); however, they were pleased to have recovered Chicault's book of notes.antiquary-Gam2000-hall-children

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 - BTS) - Seeking the Antiquary's insight on how to prepare for the recrudescence, Jean-Luc broke into the Antiquary's Moscow base of self-exile during winter. Although easily bypassing the security, he unknowingly set off the mystic safeguards placed by Dr. Strange.

    The Antiquary's "demon dogs from Hell" confronted LeBeau, who fed them Milk Bones laced with "enough sedative to knock out a bull elephant," which was effective in flattening the demon dogs as well.

    Jean-Luc then walked through the Antiquary's corridor of sorcerers; failing to speak the sorcerers' names, Jean-Luc triggered the folding spell that trapped him between reality and "the space that makes space between space." Having some experience with magic, Jean-Luc resisted the equilibrium disturbance by focusing on turning his senses inward.

    Confronting the Antiquary, Jean-Luc noted his improvement, and the Antiquary replied that he'd had little to do but practice; he also complimented Jean-Luc on the ease with which he regained his balance. The Antiquary questioned why he sought him out, and Jean-Luc noted that he had no choice: the Guilds needed him, and that this was the only hope of resurrecting the Old Kingdom.

    Jean-Luc further noted that between what the Antiquary knew and what Jean-Luc had learned, they had to work together to plan properly for the recrudescence (the return of Gambit's full power). Amused, the Antiquary asked if he was actually prepared for the recrudescence, and if he knew who was destined to serve as the first host; Jean-Luc confirmed that he did know.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - Jean-Luc and the Antiquary talked and planned for hours before Jean-Luc departed. When the Antiquary asked about Remy, Jean[\-Luc avoided the topic.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 - BTS) - Dr. Strange met Jean-Luc back in his hotel, noting that he thought the Antiquary would be an outcast longer than a few years. Strange further noted that Jean-Luc should respect why he demanded such stringent measures, and he asked if Jean-Luc knew how difficult a path he had chosen to tread; Jean-Luc confirmed that he did.

Comments: Created by Fabian Nicieza, Steve Skroce, and Rob Hunter.

Per Fabian Nicieza:

The Velvet Ministry was the name of the Antiquary's "harem," made up of boys and girls that he fed, sheltered, educated, and used for his personal pleasure and for his blackmailing schemes to amass information (ie knowledge = power).

Yes,. the intent of the comment <about painting the greatest sorcerers throughout the centuries> was to hint that Antiquary was centuries old. If memory serves, I think I planned he'd be 800-900 years old.

    Based on that age, the Antiquary would have been active from either 1100 or 1200-1699, 1700-1899, 1900-1930, 1931-1945, 1946-1959, and, certainly, the pre-modern and modern time periods.

    He seemed to have some sort of Roman fixation, but we really don't know much about the Antiquary.

    There were lots of little tidbits of information throughout this series, and there may be more on the Antiquary in there. I'm going through the issues one-by-one and covering each character (shy of big characters, like the X-Men, Sinister (although I would like to cover him someday!), so I may pick up more as I do so.

    According to the free on-line dictionary, "antiquary" means a person who collects, deals in, or studies antiques, ancient works of art, or ancient times. Also called: antiquarian

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Antiquary
has no known connection to:


antiquary-Gam2000-dogsantiquary-Gam2000-dogs-bonesdemon dogs
    The Antiquary's Moscow base was guarded by a pair of (as described by Jean-Luc LeBeau) "Demon Dogs from Hell," immense, lion-sized (at least) creatures.

    They had sharp claws and teeth, and presumably had at least the speed and strength of a lion-sized dog, if not significantly greater.

    If they were like normal dogs, they likely possessed enhanced olfactory (smell), auditory (hearing), and nocturnal vision, but diminished color vision.

    After Jean-Luc LeBeau bypassed the Antiquary's home's security systems, he soon heard a low growl and saw a pair of glowing red-eyes.

    With the lights on, Jean-Luc quickly appreciated the unnatural nature of this threat.

    As an experienced thief, Jean-Luc always carried dog biscuits to distract guard dogs; in this case, and presumably in most others, the biscuits were laced with sedatives (in the case, "enough to knock out a bull elephant."

    The "demon dogs" were soon asleep."

--
Gambit Annual 2000 (third story/feature)

Note:
It is unrevealed whether they are actually demon creatures from Hell, or whether they were magically- or scientifically enhanced terrestrial dogs, or something else.

    Given that they were taken out by conventional sedatives (as Jean-Luc didn't appear to have been expecting magically-empowered creatures), I would suspect that these were terrestrial dogs, magically- or scientifically-enhanced...but still susceptible to drugged food.

antiquary-Gam2000-sorcerer-portraitshall of sorcerer portraits

(
Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary painted portraits of Earth's greatest sorcerers throughout the centuries (see comments).

(Gambit Annual 2000/3 (fb) - BTS) - The Antiquary hung his sorcerer portraits in a corridor in his Moscow base, and he wove a spell into the corridor that would assault anyone who failed to speak the name of each sorcerer as they walked past.

(Gambit Annual 2000/3) - Having bypassed security and incapacitated the Antiquary's dogs, Jean-Luc LeBeau walked through the Antiquary's corridor of sorcerers.

    Failing to speak the sorcerers' names, Jean-Luc triggered the folding spell that trapped him between reality and "the space that makes space between space." Having some experience with magic, Jean-Luc resisted the equilibrium disturbance by focusing on turning his senses inwardly.

-- Gambit Annual 2000 (third story/feature)

Note: While it's not specified that those pictured in the Antiquary's portraits were Earth's Sorcerer Supremes, naming them as
Earth's greatest sorcerers may seem to imply that.

    Then again, you might, for example, consider anyone in the top 100 amongst the greatest.

    Regardless, if it is a hall of portraits, I would think there were multiple portraits not shown.

    In terms of confirmed Sorcerer Supremes between 1100 and the "modern era" time period of this story, the only names we know for sure are the Ancient One,
Isaac Newton, Demon Rider/Kushala, Nina the Conjurer, and Dr. Stephen Strange.

    There were also unofficial usurpers, such as Hiram Shaw and Salomé.

    The two beings shown in portrait don't fit any other the above, looking at the two people shown in the hall of portraits, I would have thought the one in the forefront to be one of the Montesis, but none of the ones noted look like him...plus, on closer inspection, that looks like an ankh, rather than a cross.

    The in the background looks a bit like Mortigan Goth...to me, anyway...

images: (without ads)
Gambit III#1, pg. 15, panel 7 (Antiquary posing for portrait with infant Gambit)
Gambit Annual 2000, third story, pg. 2, panel 1 & 3 (demon dogs);
          pg. 3, panel 2 (portraits of sorcerers);
          pg. 4, panel 1 (folding spell);
             panel 3 (full, cloaked);
             panel 4 (cloaked face close-up);
          pg. 5, panel 1 (hall, with children);
            panel 2 (uncloaked face)


Appearances:
Gambit III#1 (February, 1999) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Steve Skroce (penciler), Rob Hunter (inker), Mark Powers (editor)
Gambit III#4 (May, 1999) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Steve Skroce (penciler), Rob Hunter with Scott Hanna & Scott Koblish (inkers), Mark Powers (editor)
Gambit Annual 2000, third story/feature (2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Thomas Derenick (penciler), Eric Cannon (inker), Mike Marts (editor)
Gambit III#20 (September, 2000) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Joe St. Pierre (penciler), Eric Cannon (inker), Mike Marts (editor)


First posted: 04/11/2020
Last updated: 04/11/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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