Friday 21 May 2010

The Basis of a Reputation in the Antiquities Trade

Theo Toebosch discussed in a short piece in last Saturday's NRC Handelsblad (May 15, 2009) the recent withdrawal of certain items from sales by a certain leading auction house because it was pointed out that they were pictured among the Medici polaroids. David Gill has published some questions he also addressed to the auctioneers:
- Do you consider 'Japanese private collection 1980s' or 'London art market 1990s' as sole provenance well provenanced?
- If so, why? If not, why do you accept antiquities with this kind of provenance?
- What are your criteria to accept or refuse antiquities for auction?
- What do you consider due diligence?

Christies, who highlight their own 'transparency', have yet to answer. It seems to me however that this is a question which usefully could be sent to antiquity dealers in general, what they as reputable dealers consider as "well-provenanced" and what they would exclude from their stock due to being so poorly provenanced that it cannot be determined whether it was licitly obtained or not. What are the criteria that count when accepting antiquities for resale by a reputable business? What specifically do dealers consider as "due dilligence"? What would be more interesting would be to ask collectors what they imagine is being done by those dealers they regard as "reputable" which is the basis for their implicit trust in them not to be supplying recently looted artefacts. What are the expectations of ethical collectors?

1 comment:

David Gill said...

Please note that the four questions do not appear in the article. They formed part of Toebosch's request to Christie's.

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.