Monday 5 January 2015

Assyrian and Phoenecian Artefacts "From Switzerland"

EBay seller " shopday2012" ( Member since: Mar 18, 2012,  feedback 125) has cheap "Lots of 50 Uncleaned Roman, Islamic Bronze Coins Good Quality" (well, that's his opinion) and the item location is given as "Zürich, Switzerland". So where would one nowadays be getting lots of Erdfrische Islamic artefacts? Where is there lots of digging and selling of such artefacts going on at the moment? Eh?

Probably the same place as was the source of some of the "Lots of 60 Uncleaned Mixed Bronze Tools ,Arrows , Bracelet ,Buckle", "Lots of 155 Uncleaned Roman and Byzantine, Islamic Bronze Coins", "Lots of 30 Uncleaned Roman Bronze Coins Good Quality", "Lots of 25 Uncleaned Greek , Roman Bronze Coins Good Quality", "Lots of 20 Uncleaned Byzantine Bronze Coins Good Quality", "Lots of 25 Uncleaned Byzantine Bronze Coins Good Quality".

I guess that this may well be where all these complete glass vessels are coming from (most probably from graves and tombs): "Aantik Roman Glass Jug", "Aantik Roman Glass Vase With Two Handhes", "Aantik Roman Glass Jug", "Aantik Roman Glass Vase With Handhe", "Aantik Roman Glass Pitcher With Handhe  ", "Aantik Roman Glass Vase", "Aantik Roman Glass Vase With Two Handhes", "Aantik Roman Glass Pitcher With Handhe", "Two Aantik Roman Glass Vase With Handles", an "Aantik Roman Glass Pitcher With Handhe" . The same goes for some lamps ("Aantik Byzantine Stone Oil Lamp" [probably fake however], and the "Aantik Roman Pottery Oil Lamp With Drawing" which is a type most commonly found, and manufactured in the Antioch region).

"From Switzerland" is not really what would pass as a collecting history for any of these objects.

Some of the pottery is labelled "Phoenecian" ("Aantik Phoenician Pottery Jug With Handle", "Aantik Phoenician Pottery Plate", "Aantik Phoenician Pottery Oil Lamp) and of course this occurs most commonly in Lebanon and the (currently largely  rebel-held areas of) coastal Syria. This is where one of the lamps most likely originated. There is also an "Assyrian Alabaster Stone Lucky Charm" for just $149.99 going straight into somebody's pocket, but whose? It says it's "from Switzerland", but I do not think Assyrian territory extended to central Europe. It did extend however over most of Iraq and eastern Syria - the areas now under ISIL control. If real, how and when did this object leave the ground and the source country?  The seller does not say (but offers a "lifetime guarantee").

So, where did these artefacts come from? How did they come on the market and when? How can anyone contemplate putting something like this on the market with no information offered to persuade potential buyers that these are not recently smuggled conflict antiquities? How reckless. And what do we expect the effect of this lack of information will be on the ease with which he finds purchasers? Let's see.  He's made 14 sales in the last month, mostly uncleaned Roman coin bulk lots.

Thanks to David Knell for expert comments on the lamps and some other artefacts

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