Monday 15 February 2010

Something to interest the metal detectorists

There is a nice thread going on over on the Yahoo Ancient Artifacts discussion list at the moment. Collectors of contextless metal objects might be interested in this auction somebody found on eBay. According to the seller these are "Antique Brass Hinges Circa 1680s, these are hand made". A sort of a provenance is given, and they are not dugups:
These were removed from a building in Rhode Island almost 20 years ago. Over the years I have had many experts and collectors tell me about them, and one even told me that in his opinion, they were from the 1680's and that they should be in a museum. These hinges measure approx. 6 - 1/4" in length, and 3 - 3/4" in width [...] If you are a collector of Colonial American Items, then this is a must have!
The seller has his heart fixed on a price of 500$. So imagine, a building of the 1680s was being demolished in the early 1990s and only the hinges of one cupboard survive. Tragic. Many "experts and collectors" have seen these items in Oklahoma, and one of them said that the hinges are late seventeenth century. I wonder what the others said, maybe they noticed the countersunk screw holes and gave a more accurate opinion on the date. The seller adds defensively:
If you want to e-mail me trying to tell me these aren't authentic, don't bother! I already had one ebayer, who doesn't have a clue try, and he/she just made themselves look like an uneducated fool!
Well, is eBay baseball card seller "conncretecards" an uneducated fool himself, or an impudent scammer? Let us see if some collector in the US falls for the sales patter and buys these things. Auction ends in nine days.

There is some interesting and level-headed discussion of what might lie behind the sellers description on the Yahoo forum worth a look to show how these things can happen.

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