Friday, 4 December 2015

Unprovenanced Artefact "examined recently, and deemed 100% genuine by a Senior Lecturer in Archeology"

Being sold by "Eye of Kiev" in California: Rare 625-550 BCE Authentic Ancient/Antique Rasmussen Type 3e Pottery Katharos Etruscan Bucchero Wine Cup/Bowl/Vase Mid-Century Modern Decor $1,336.72 CADOnly 1 available
"examined recently, and deemed 100% genuine by a Senior Lecturer in Archeology at the University of East Anglia UK. " |
Ah, so it is OK to buy it then? Can UK archaeologists please stop allowing their expertise to be exploited by the antiquities trade? Note that absolutely no provenance for this item is given, nor any indication of what paperwork the (Ukraininan?) dealer can offer. There is apparently none either for the walrus ivory object he or she is offering.

But it is interesting that we have here an example not only of the (typical for collectors) Argument From Authority logical fallacy, but one not associated with a specific name - in fact East Anglia University has no archaeology department. Archaeologists are frequently the object of attack in certain dullard collector circles, but on the other hand are cited as 'authorities' when it suits commercial needs. What if the errant archaeologist visiting California was there to talk about their specialism of nineteenth century glass making in Cumbria, or lithic assemblages used for butchering mammoths in the Lower Thames Valley, how does their 'endorsement' add anything to the buying experience (and does the buyer get a document signed by the evaluator, confirming what the dealer asserts) or is the buyer again asked to 'take my word for it'?

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