Throwing Mud At Dealers?

This post by Paul Barford caught my eye, and I had planned to leave a comment but felt that a proper blog post was a better way to formally reply:

Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues: Passing Through, Caught my Eye

Oh honestly, the suggestion of impropriety is an anti-dealer slur I abhor.

If you're going to question the integrity of Bakarat, although I rarely visit them, I have not heard anyone ever substantiate a claim that they were selling fakes.

In fact of the legal cases brought against them, every single one seems to have been because of selling looted material and NOT fakes - they are not run by Mr Weiss!

 Iran vs Barakat; Iran 1 - Barakat 0: see the Court of Appeal judgement here over material the Iranians argued was from Jiroft.

Similarly with claims that Barakat was selling Cuneiform tablets of dubious provenance, this book argues that they were looted, but never suggests that they were fake.

I could go on, but these two screenshots of Google searches make my point:

There are many fakes or dubious items on the market - for example both Paul Barford and I feel uncomfortable with the 'Byzantine' silver plate at Bonhams, an opinion shared by everyone else I've asked about it - but people have to stop throwing mud at dealers just because they are against the perfectly legal practice of collecting.

Has Barakat had items that turned out to be looted? A court ruled that it had. Have they been selling fakes? Not as far as I am aware.

There is a big difference because fakes were not looted, and archaeological sites were not destroyed to find them.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I suspect you have misunderstood the sense of what I wrote. Personally, I would expect Mr B. (like other dealers do) to have some broadly-formulated statement that all his goods have been legally-sourced and "sold with a guarantee of clear title" as well as being guaranteed as authentic (not fake). Have a look though what he actually guarantees on the page to which I linked. That is the point I was making. What one makes of that is another matter.


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