Wednesday 19 May 2021

A Matter of Concern for Reputable Antiquities Dealers


Hanson's "Historica" Auction is tomorrow. A few days ago (Asking the Dealer PACHI 15th May 2021) I alerted a reputable auctioneer to an area where his description of one lot (Lot 3 "Greek arrowheads") was a little short of the mark. It'd probably been written by his metal detectorist sidekick, who possibly knows the bottom of a pint glass better than the archaeology of the Pontic region. Anyhow, it seems in the UK at the moment, it is considered perfectly good manners not to acknowledge receipt of, or reply to, an email from the Continent. "A bow tie and blazer a gentleman doth not make" as Nanny used to say. Anyhow, I gave it a second try:

Dear Mr Hanson,
I am a bit disappointed that, as a reputable auctioneer, you have not responded over the matter of the concerns raised about the allegedly “Greek” arrowheads (Lot 3) that you have scheduled for sale tomorrow. As I pointed out on the 15th, these are a very common type of looted find from southeastern Europe, and a “dealer’s ticket” is not an export licence, any more than a Hanson’s catalogue entry. Will the sale be going ahead despite this?

Disappointed by the gap between the assurances you gave when you set out to sell dugup archaeological artefacts and the way they seem not actually to be reflected in your company’s business practice. Thank you
Paul Barford

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