Wednesday 6 October 2021

Fakechaser Says Barford is "Wrong" About Antiquities Market


I see I am mentioned on a collectors' forum... instead of the kneejerk collectors coming here and making a civil comment, they prefer to attempt to discuss things behind my back...  Some guy assuming the [not very original] pseudonym "oldthings" ("Global Moderator, Full Member, 29 Posts) in a topic about New York dealer Sadigh (Reply #20 on: September 04, 2021, 07:21:24 PM) thinks it is OK just to lift an entire blog post of mine and publish it over there - and actually dishonestly giving the link totally wrong like the idjit many antiquities collectors are "" (should be here). Being a bit of a dunce, the links in my post do not appear in Oldthings' lifted version. The collector then adds from himself, with a lot of exclamation marks:

Mr Barford says:
But this affair shows the inability of the antiquities market to self-regulate itself.
No, that is nonsense! Sadigh was never a member of the proper antiquities market!! He was just a crook. This long standing fiasco of him getting away with fraud for so long was NOT the inability of the antiquities market to self-regulate itself but simply an example of how criminals can get away with their fraud despite people trying to get the "authorities" involved and get him prosecuted. The problem continues of course on eBay!!!
Self-regulation means for me the ability of a group to rid itself of people involved in undesirable practice. This case shows that the antiquities market cannot do this.

There is a fallacy here that the selling of portable antiquities takes place in two or more different markets, there is here a mention of a "proper antiquities market" (which is?) and then an alleged separate market that contains the crooks and the cowboys. Mr Oldthings does not say where one can find that separate market. Is it a Dark Web one? Well, no because the dealer under discussion had his own central New York gallery and sold online by the same means as all the rest. How would Mr Oldthings classify a dealer that sells mostly authentic dugups but one or two fakes somehow get into their stockroom? What happens if among the dugups are dozens of fakes? When does the "proper antiquities market" (his phrase) not become the "proper antiquities market"? And of course to have a market you need customers, are there "proper antiquities buyers" (who buy only on the "proper antiquities market") and are there "improper customers" that buy from the crooks and cowboys? And how does the newbie buyer decide which sector of the market to go to? 

No, "Olthings", there is one antiquities market, the bulk of which is a grey market in which variously-dodgy artefacts are sold openly alongside other artefacts. The responsible dealing of antiquities involves the buyer being able to verify from the paperwork that the seller has and transfers with the purchase, exactly where the object came from, how and when it left the ground and how and when it left the source country. All the rest are cowboys selling unpapered artefacts, all of which should be treated by responsible buyers with suspicion and disregard. Just say no.

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