ARCHEUS was founded in Bond Street in 1991 by Scottish art dealer Brian Balfour-Oatts, who began his career at Sotheby's in 1985. Balfour-Oatts made the most of the last years of the 80s boom, selling an important Picasso of Dora Maar to the famous collector Heinz Berggruen, and convincing art-dealing legend Daniel Wildenstein to sell him a Monet Haystack, all before the age of 24. ARCHEUS initially specialized in German Expressionism, as Balfour-Oatts prized top quality oils by Erich Heckel and Emil Nolde from the collection of Canadian connoisseur Charles Tabachnick, a collection made famous by landmark auctions of Expressionist watercolors at Sotheby's.
A developing interest in Twentieth Century British Art gave the gallery a following of loyal clients in London and in the US, and in 2000, ARCHEUS opened its first street level gallery in London’s Albemarle Street. ARCHEUS' initial program at the gallery was predominantly British, holding successful solo exhibitions of William Scott, Bryan Pearce, Lucian Freud and Bridget Riley amongst others.