Monday 11 November 2013

"New Dealer in Town" with 'Orphan' Coptic and Ancient Egyptian (?) Material

"Based in Turkey, eemtia has been an eBay member since 23 Jul, 2013". There's something very familar about the stuff he's selling, those ripped-up bits of Coptic textile, those beady mummy-masks. The stuff he's already sold looks familiar too. Now, where have we seen that before? By an oversight, the seller forgets to mention how he came by such stuff, and whether he has an export licence for it.  "Very nice piece as you seen in the pictures % 100 original" he wheedles - no doubt, but then that's not the real issue is it?

Besides which “As you seen in the picturesis not a proper description of any antiquity. Like for example those beaded masks, I cannot see in any of this photos the manner in which they are strung or that stringing is repaired (or not) or even replaced. That obviously is of prime importance to assessing the character (authenticity) and displayability of the offered goods. There is no guarantee from the photo that these beads all belonged originally to the same mask, nothing to say if this is a modern concoction manufactured from a bagfull of loose beads picked up after the rain somewhere (and where). What is being offered for sale should be explicitly stated. In the sixth picture here, the visible thread is clearly modern, with no trace of it being a reinforcement of an existing ancient network. So in what way is it "% 100 original" if the stringing is (all?) modern? Why cannot the seller tell us what he is actually offering for sale instead of posting caveat-emptor pictures?

[But... I was going to give a link to the bit on eBay's policies/regulations page saying where the seller must provide a truthful and detailed description of what is being offered. But oddly enough (unless I have missed it), there does not seem to be one, which is surprising even for eBay]. 


David Knell said...

Selling practices policy - Item description

"You must:
Provide complete and accurate details
Specify the condition of the item
Explain any defects or flaws on the item ..."

Not much - but better than nothing I suppose.

Paul Barford said...

Thanks, so "just look at the pictures" really is doing none of that....

David Knell said...

No, none at all - it's a cop-out - but I wouldn't hold your breath for eBay to take action, any more than they care about export controls. The only thing they take notice of is the threat of litigation.

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