Wednesday 14 December 2016

Two Styles of Antiquities Dealership

In the thread called Egyptian MOU imposes Drastic Restrictions  by its outraged initiator we read two different points of view. Here is one dealer (Sue McGovern-Huffman, President Sands of Time Ancient Art,  Washington, DC) speaking of the hoo-haa:
[...] Therefore, in summary, although the MOU was approved, it really doesn't have any impact on objects that have more than ten years of collection history. And, let’s face it, any object that does not have such a history is probably not something to be purchased with confidence. Best regards, Sue 
the actual period may be open to question, but the general way of thinking is correct. Especially compared to this guy:
Yes Nick, WoW. In this list the group can perceive how unethical collusion between the AIA and the Kouroupas regime at the State Department is gradually making licit importation of a majority of antiquities and ancient coins into the USA impossible. Even those with no suspicious aspects whatsoever, sent by trustworthy and reputable sources, are banned unless there is documentary evidence presented that they were outside Egypt prior to the effective date of the MOU. That, at the very least, adds an unnecessary delay and cost to the shipment process. Dave
No prizes for guessing the identity of the ACCG's Dealer Dave there.

Of course, this is a false argument because no additional costs whatsoever are involved. This is simply because in this day and age, nobody should be adding to their stock artefacts which cannot be proven to have been legitimately exported from Egypt before November 2016 (yes, that's right - now). Nor should any collector be buying from such a dealer no matter how "trustworthy and reputable" they believe them to be. In what are they 'trusting', if the dealer himself has no documentation - that immaterial 'feeling' Dealer Dave was talking about [' You've Got to Get That Feeling: Allegedly, the "Right Way" to Collect "Artefacts with Limited Provenance" ' PACHI Tuesday, 6 September 2016]?). How does one test whether a given dealer\'s 'feelings' are correct if there is no paperwork? And on what is that 'reputation' built? A reputation for what, not getting caught, perhaps?

Surely responsible buying (truly responsible buying of antiquities) should be based on more than a plaintive bleatijng: "paperless, I know, but everybody else buys from him".


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