|Balm or Snake Oil?|
See for yourself the latest discovery made by archaeologist and Presenter James Balme of an ancient votive bronze horse in stunning condition. The Statue is currently being studied by experts and early indications suggest that the horse could be almost 3000 years old !!! A relic of the Early Bronze Age ?? A tantalizing look back into the past for sure. The style of the horse is archaic and mirrors many of the horses seen on the reverse of early Celtic coinage ....
I suggest Greek gift shop would be a better place to look for the analogies to both the form and the giveaway chemical patination. Here without the overblown claims and the heroic music are a few to put this detectorist's "Celtic" one in context. There's a base more or less like Mr Balme's on one in the Louvre. Here's one from Christie's, and here's one nicked from Olympia (they got it back). Mr Balme, where are you claiming you found that one?
UPDATE 20th April 2015:
Mr Balme replies:
@JamesBalme 2 godziny temu
@PortantIssues no not quite so .... now confirmed authentic Mr Barford .... sorry to dissapoint [sic].... best of luck. Ur 19 years to [sic] late...
UPDATE UPDATE 20th April 2015:
Now the balmy "Presenter" claims:
"Excavated in 1965. Full provenance held. Now being prepared for auction. This is not a metal detecting find. You really need to mind your own business Paul".I think when a metal detectorist like Mr Balme announces he's made a "discovery" of an ancient artefact (he called it a "find"), it suggests he's found something with his metal detector. What metal detectorists do and claim is indeed everybody's business, they do not have a monopoly of the archaeological heritage.
Now the gentleman has blocked me from his Twitter account just to make sure I cannot see any of his further claims and pseudo-discoveries. He's not blocked me from his Facebook account (yet), and there we read more about this "find", he seems to have bought it (for his "collection") at the end of last month:
"James Balme dodał 2 nowe zdjęcia.It appears he bought it (on eBay maybe?) as an "ancient stag" and the mutable collecting history then was that it was dug up in the 1950s. Mr Balme was had. So here we have yet another case of a metal detectorist buying something on the antiquities (and fake antiquities) market and pretending that it is one of his "finds". That is simply dishonest and contaminates the historical record with spurious "finds".
Fantastic Ancient Bronze Stag acquired this evening, another one for the collection... Circa 2nd century BC - 1st Century AD and excavated in Europe in the late 1950's !!! Stands at 4 1/2 inches tall, over 4 inches wide, weight is 1 Kilo ... A stunning example with triangle pierced design in the base"
This is not the first time that this particular amateur archaeologist has been caught out by a purchased item presented as a "discovery" but in fact a modern confection: Sarah Griffiths, 'Mysterious Anglo-Saxon carving is discovered in a back GARDEN - and it may contain a hidden message' MailOnline, 10 February 2015. Then there is the "ancient" Thai Buddha (export license?) he recently "discovered" - sawn off, but inexplicably has the same patina inside the cast as outside... As for the "Royal Seal of Ramesses The Great" he claims also to have "Discovered" (Archaeologist and presenter James Balme continues his search for important objects and artifacts that lay hidden awaiting discovery in some of the most unlikely places. Well just a few days ago he made yet another exciting discovery, this time in a charity shop in Herfordshire !!"). It bears not the slightest resemblance to any genuine Egyptian artefact, and is a tourist fantasy-piece (imitating a mini-stela). The author of this pastiche gets the name of the ruler (and protocol of its representation) wrong, the inscription is gibberish and the iconography of the reverse is meaningless and comical in its non-canonic execution (the figure looks as if it was copied from a cylinder-seal). There is a dealer in New York who is alternately laughed at and execrated for selling such stuff as genuine artefacts to the credulous, here "archaeologist" Balme reveals himself to be little better at assessing such claims than those customers.
To return to the "ancient stag-horse", to establish its (and his) legitimacy, Mr Balme should release the "full provenance held" and the names of the "experts" who "authenticated" this piece. If he has the provenance of the excavated find, he will be able to show us also the documents of assignment of ownership in the source country (or was it stolen?) and the export licence proving it is not an illicit antiquity. No archaeologist should get involved in handling illicit antiquities or potential illicit antiquities, or passing fakes off as authentic 'grounded' artefacts.
Mr Balme can carry on blocking me, that shows how this "archaeologist" reacts to debate about his "finds" and his interpretation of them. Shame on you, sir.