Wednesday 24 February 2021

The "Known as Buckinghamshire" Late Iron Age enamelled harness-brooch Suddenly Recorded in Derby on a Sunday: Some questions for the PAS

Following on from my text on the "Known as Buckinghamshire" Late Iron Age enamelled harness-brooch suddenly recorded in Derby on a Sunday, as a researcher, I have some questions for the PAS. The Derbyshire FLO is Meghan King:  

Dear Dr King,
I am enquiring about the circumstances surrounding database entry DENO-2BAD49 created by one of your staff on "Sunday 21st February 2021 Last updated: Tuesday 23rd February 2021".

Is Michelle Ray currently a formal employee of the Scheme, or a volunteer? Since it was created on a Sunday, was this entry approved by you, and was it based on the examination of the find itself, and liaison with the finder (from Buckinghamshire)? If so, when and where was this find examined? Was this record created on the initiative of the auction house or Ray Pusey, the finder? I note this is one of only eight records this person has made in DENO since 2019. Why was this complex and controversial find from Buckinghamshire her first one this year?
Paul Barford  


Database entry photo use query
Returning to DENO-2BAD49, I note that the photos on the database, that all lack scales, include those that are the exact same as the ones in the Hanson’s Auction Catalogue and seem to have been taken by the auctioneers (they are similar in format and concept to the other ones in the same catalogue), yet they are labelled “Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme”. At what stage were those rights transferred and in what form? Why is the Portable Antiquities Scheme using a dealer’s photos in its database? If they are, why is that collaboration not acknowledged in the public record? This again raises the question of how, where and when the description of this object was created. Was it just from the photographs? If so, again the public record should say so.
Paul Barford

Let's see what results this will produce. All a bit odd-looking. Does the recorder of this item have any connections, professional or otherwise, with either the Derby-based auctioneer or maybe one of his employees? How did the record of this harness-brooch come about being made using photos from the dealer, and apparently about the same time as Andy Brockman was asking the dealer about the lack of PAS recording details? 


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