Saturday 11 April 2009

Texas Collector uses this blog to seek "low end artefacts"

Joel Warren, astronomy buff and apparently also a Nazi memorabilia afficionado (member of the Wehrmacht Awards forum) admits:
Personally, I like reading what Barford says. Thanks to some of his stories, I've found some great new sources for antiquities
One can only presume he is referring to the eBay sellers of looted Balkan artefacts and the connection with organised crime discussed here. Mr Warren is also (as "Sloppy Joe") apparently interested in acquiring from (US?) treasure hunters "lower end items" such as nails, tools, musket shot and cannon balls from "any pre 1733 shipwrecks". Surely there is a law against that, even in the USA?

If Mr Warren is interested in buying the kind of artefacts I discuss on this blog, no-questions-asked, and interested in acquiring genuine Nazi memorabilia for his collection and equally not a bit interested where they come from, he'd perhaps be interested in a group of metal detectorists whose activities I have been following over here who can supply genuine Nazi badges and uniform fittings (not like the reproductions and 'doctored' items which infest eBay these days). Straight from the bodies of fallen soldiers in the forests of central Europe. I will not however be giving him their addresses, I am sure any collector of this sort of stuff can find them themselves and decide whether or not there are questions they should be answering (in court actually).

I wonder how many intact dog tags from Nazi war graves are in US collections in general? They are quite a popular "collectable" in the Nazi militaria market these days. Of course none of these collectors asks whether they should be on the market, or where they came from - still less what happened to the human remains (since the two halves are together) they would have accompanied and which can be identified by the items they so avidly collect - which was after all their function. I would say given the circumstances of their discovery, that these items rank pretty "low" on the "lower end' of the no-questions-asked relics market - just above the collection of bits lopped off mummified bodies.

There are six on ebay right now. Being sold from the UK ( 140312550069, 140312550310 [oculomotorius22] “It was dug out in Poland using metal detector”) and Poland. It is not just archaeological artefacts that should be encompassed by a strictly enforced eBay policy of only accepting objects of documented legitimate origin.


J. Warren said...

Mr. Barford,
I don't collect Nazi items. For a period of time I collected WWII Japanese Imperial Navy items, mostly cloth and autographs. You linked to the Japanese section of Wehrmacht Awards forum, if you noticed. I have never owned or puchased any WWII Nazi dug items, in particualar dog tags. I have no interest in them. How you go from my post to the coin list to Nazi dog tags, I have no idea. Also, the dealers I referred to weren't the ones you talked about from the Balkans. I do collect some shipwreck items. Mainly coins and some artifacts from the 1715 fleet and Atocha. Some of the items I own were sold off by the State of Florida and are all legally aquired. I enjoy your website and respect your views, but when you label me a "Nazi memorabilia" afficionado, you are completely wrong. I don't collect it and have no interest in it. As I said, you linked to a Japanese militaria message board. If you want to know anything, all you have to do is ask me.


Paul Barford said...

Glad to hear it. Nevertheless the forum is called what it is called, and looking through the other posts makes it quite clear what sort of guys hang out there.

My comments about the dog tags were aimed at that kind of "Wehrmacht-Award" type collecting in general, certainly not a cut-and-dried issue by any means, especially if no questions are asked by the buyer of the seller which as you have gathered is my main point.

Now I really beg to differ about the tone of your request for relics on a treasure hunting forum - you say nothing there about asking to buy items that have been "sold off by the state of Florida" it sounds like you are asking wreck hunters to let you have stuff - again no mention here of the sort of questions you would ask about the origins or legitimacy. The reader can follow the link and judge for themselves.

Liked the Mars page though.

Paul Barford said...

So what "great new sources for antiquities" have you learnt of reading my blog then? Pray tell.

J. Warren said...

I might be wrong Mr. Barford, but as far as I know, the 1715 fleet, Atocha, 1733 wreck sites are all worked by people who have a legal lease and salvage rights. I know the pieces I have, even though they are few, were aquried legally by the lease and salvage rights holder. I can understand if you disagree with the salvage operations and laws, but they are legal operations. And, in regards to the dealer who I was referring to, it was "Museum Surplus". I have not and won't be doing business with him. But I had never heard of him until I read your blog. My post to the coin list was pretty much tounge-n-cheek. I am curious if you worry about promoting the very thing you are against by listing these dealers and would like to know your thoughts on it. But I'm not your enemy Mr. Barford, and as I said, I enjoy reading your blog.

Paul Barford said...

Seems to me that the request for stuff from "wrecks" in general was in the public forum, so not addressed to anyone in particular and no particular wreck. As I said, I gave a link, the reader can make what they want from your words for themselves and judge it in the context of what you said on Moneta-L about this blog.

Museum Surplus is mentioned here: In that context, I am not sure why in that context you'd refer to it as a "great source of artefacts". Still, what you said on Moneta-L is your problem, not mine.

There are many places anyone can buy artefacts. That's not the problem, its who buys what and how and the wider effects of that which is the issue I'm interested in.

I am curious if you worry about promoting the very thing you are against by listing these dealers I do not "list" any dealers (or collectors). The posts of this blog are a reaction to things I see which move me to write about them when I have time.

Frankly I do not care if you or anyone else decides to patronise a particular dealer or not. That is your problem and decision not mine.

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