Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Dodge's Antiquities Emporium Brags About a Doggie

Colima laundering?

Bob Dodge, the Colorado antiquities dealer ('Artemis', Erie, CO 80516 USA) persists in advertising his wares by sending emails to me boasting about what he's got. Today its an over-shiny Colima doggie figurine, a favourite for antiquity collectors who want a cute animal figure to brag about, This one, Dodge the Dealer wheedles, is "special"
Why is the above Colima dog so expensive? [...] let's start by comparing it to your 'average' pup (see photo). Now please do not think I am speaking despairingly of this average dog. It is a fine example and quite handsome. And a dog like this usually sells at auction in the range between $2,000 and $3,000. But there are obvious differences, and some of these differences affect the value significantly. So without further ado, let's compare.
And so he does, the spout, the teeth, the paws, the nostrils,  the pose.... bla bla. Not a word about this one having a more completely documented acquisition and collecting history than any of the others. No, one of the reasons why this dealer wants more dosh for this one is because:
Notice the natural creases in the body as a result of this rare pose. That is not something the average potter would have been able to create. This could have only been crafted by one of the true artisans of the tribe and not by some mere apprentice. And this was also not some- thing that an average member of the clan could have afforded. This was commissioned by a very high powered lord. He wanted something in his tomb that would stand out from the ordinary. He certainly got it!
Well, now Mr Dodge has got it and wants to flog it to you. It was hoiked out of the grave by a grave robber, the bones tossed aside, carted off to Colorado, via "Ex-Splendors of the World, Haiku, HI, ex-Roy Oswalt, Scottsdale, AZ", whatever that means.* And now it is yours for $6,950. Now, collector, "Would you rather have an average dog, or spend extra to get an extraordinary dog?". Just think how you can BRAG about your very own special grave-robbed doggie if you do. Oh by the way Dodge the Dealer  tells you:
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
The main reason this is can't-touch-you-for-it legal under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CCPIA) is not because he has an export licence to show the buyer, but because the US scandalously does not currently "implement" the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property with respect to cultural property from Mexico. There is no State Department MOU and designated list  for Mexico, which I guess means that Mr Dodge and his collector clients think puts all of the cultural property of that country up for grabs by the US no-questions-asked and ooops-I-lost-the-paperwork antiquities market.  In any case, whether an object is on the market legally or not depends, if the object really is an antiquity from the ground in Mexico, on these laws. What can Mr Dodge say about that?

"A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all purchases" he says, but no mention of a TL date for such an atypical object which surfaced "ungrounded" on the US market without any paperwork being mentioned? I think this one needs a TL date, don't you? And some more paperwork.

* Oddly, according to Mr Google, it seems a lot of Dodge the Dealer's artefacts are said to have passed through this same exhibition, only to go to other collectors scattered across the world, to then end up in Mr Dodge's stockroom. How is this possible? More details are needed to make sense out of these interlocking collecting histories.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.