Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Timeline: Anatomy of Antiqui-Fraud


The owner of a "private collection of seals and amulets, the property of a Canadian gentleman living in London" and Brett Hammond of Timeline Auctions really should have done a bit more research before trying to flog off some coloured stones as a precious antiquity. Spot the fake:


left, part of a real mosaic from a Turkish museum spotted by Prof. Marek Olszewski (borders omitted, picture reversed, Dick Osseman), right Timelines Auctions (4 bids already, 12000 quid). If this really was acquired before the 1980s, why did it take the owners so long not to find out that this was a bad and doctored copy of  an object in a Turkish museum? Four decades of ignorance. Or, ummm, perhaps the problem is that after four decades, they actually realised (or were told) that dead daddy had bought a dud. Perhaps Christies/Sotheby's/Bonhams, even turned it down, saying its a fake. What would you do with it then? Put it in a skip? Sell it on ebay in the garden decoration section clearly labelled as a modern copy for $120? Or take it to a dealer who can't tell the difference and see what happens?

Perhaps Mr Hammond should've stuck to the wildlife trade.

UPDATE 16th April 2020

Julia Gearhart has contributed links to better photos of the original object on the Princeton University website: The Excavations of Antioch-on-the-Orontes 1932-1939, Item 3561  and colour in 1938:  Item 8146. Also  Ryan Baumann @ryanfb givs the information that it's inventory no. 958 in the museum, with a number of  pictures here: Dionysus by Dick Ossemanpbase.com 



 
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