Thursday, 16 February 2017

Travis Hits Gold

From the Tim's Pirate Band Ancient Artefact Collectors Discussion Group:
Real Ptolemaic shabti? Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:53 am (PST) . Posted by: Travis
Hello all, I am just starting out (ordered my copy of "Egyptian Shabtis" by H.M. Stewart a few days ago), and am waiting to make any big purchases until I am more well-versed; however, I came across a listing that seems like a good, inexpensive starter piece. The seller is from this list of trusted dealers I came across; however, the list is from 2010 so I thought I'd double check here before I purchase. Many thanks for your insights into the authenticity. See attachment for photo. The description reads: "Egyptian Faience Ushabti, Ptolemaic Period, 332 - 30 BC. Mold made blue-green faience ushabti. The figure wears the typical wig and beard, and carries a pick and hoe. On the back is a central column and a basket on the left shoulder. 11.2 cm tall. Intact, no repairs." Respectfully, Travis
The dealer is Barry and Darling, who very rarely can supply a proper documented collecting history for the antiquities they sell. Why is it that starter collectors are more worried about 'authenticity' of artefacts and not their licit origins? I doubt whether 'Travis' was interested enough to read through the introduction to the list to which he refers (which, if he'd read it he'd have spotted that it actually came from the very same forum he was asking whether members agreed with it !) or down to the bottom of my post. It was probably too many words for the neophyte.  Anyway, the list was reproduced not to help collectors buy undocumented items, like this one, but as I said to provide a checklist of websites and venues where the workings of the antiquities trade can be examined at first hand. 'Carefree Travis' seems less concerned about that... Travis also seems to think rather amateurishly that a Shire Archaeology paperback is the definitive reference....

He might also like to think about the fact that the items he is thinking of collecting were all made to be piously placed in tombs, and these tombs are now being located and opened on an industrial scale by grave-robbing looters in order to hoik out stuff they can flog to the dealers who supply the likes of the folk on my list. If he was at all bothered about the ethics of all this, 'Travis' might like to ask the dealer selling these items on about what happened to the human remains disturbed in this shabti-producing plunder of the ancient sites of Egypt. More than likely the grave robbers treated them like they do all over Egypt, as here.

Looted mummy remains at El Hibeh
Without the documentation, walk away Travis, don't buy objects that you cannot verify were not looted recently by commercial grave robbers.

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