Brian Curtiss has been a frequent commenter on this blog for a while now, and has left another one on a post where it does not really belong. It seems worth giving him his own voice here though, the points he makes are valid:
This is just a post to enable me to send you a link to an article [by the auctioneer Christie's]. The title of this article is titled in their spam mail: "Why are so Many Limbs left from Antiquity?" Which of course takes the reader to the above promotional "article" for them to drum up buyer interest in the limbs. Talk about the "object" centric point of view! The irony here is how not only have the limbs lost their bodies, but it appears they have lost their paperwork too. No mention in the auction summaries of licit provenance paperwork aside from the usual blather of provenance as:The collecting history is, to use the technical term, crap. "With" means nothing, unless it is "with paperwork". This is antiquijargon not only for "take our word for it (nudge nudge, wink wink)" but also "and we refuse to disclose here more of what we do not know, so don't bother asking".
"PROVENANCE with Boris Mussienko, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
William Froelich, New York, acquired from the above, 1982."
So I guess that means "take our word for it" provenance.