Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Not "Anti-collecting Demands" but Separating the Good Wheat from the Wasteful Tares, Sheep from the Goats

wheat and tares
I made a post here (Shopkeeper Evasion, Dead Pigs, Ancient Coins and Cowboys )  questioning a Californian dugup antiquities dealer's statement that "there is nothing wrong with selling antiquities which have no paperwork supporting the seller's claim that they are kosher". I say they cannot be so treated without that paperwork. Dealer Dave responds with his usual personal attacks, calling me an "archaeomaniac" with "Captain Archaeology anticollecting demands" because of that view. My comments on the matter are merely dismissed as  a "venting" of "overt and compulsive hatred for collectors and dealers".

The dealer is guilty here of generalization; like most people, I despise dodgy irresponsible antiquity dealers and superficial  antiquity collectors unwilling to take responsibility for what they and their fellows do -  and I see no reason to hold back on where I see such characteristics on open display.  Let others see for themselves what we are up against ion trying to get the antiquities market to clean up its act.

Basically it seems to me that it is the dealer who is expressing hatred for and despising his clients by refusing to address the point made in that post.  A dealer in a side of pork and all manner of other commodities should be able to supply  potential customers with documentation that the goods on offer have been procured in accordance with every possible precaution to serve the public interest - otherwise the seller is left with unsaleable material on his hands at best (and a trade inspector on his back at worst). Dealer Dave claims some special privilege for him and his fellow no-questions-asked ("ain't-got-no-paperwork-so-don't-ask" ) antiquities dealers, claiming "it should be understood that" the antiquities trade "cannot" work like that.

Dealer Dave attempts to mislead his readers in thinking that it is some kind of metal disease ("progressive psychological degeneration") to assert that the legitimate antiquities trade in portable antiquities of the twenty first century can indeed function like that.  Those corner-cutting cowboy traders who cannot manage it (Compare them with Charles Ede, Baron Lorne Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Rolf von Kiaer) are the black sheep which bring the antiquities trade onto disrepute and should be pushed out of  the legitimate trade.

The requirement of a documented collecting history is not an example of "anti-collecting demands" but a means for separating the good wheat from the wasteful tares in the antiquities market, a way of separating the virtuous sheep from the loudmouth bleating head-butting goats.

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