Archive | February, 2017

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The Bronze Eagle, revisited.

Dear Reader, it has been a while since I’ve written about the eagle and serpent. But I’ve been working on it slowly. Currently it is the custody of Frank Aon of Orenda Labs to be examined and tested.  I’m not sure the exact nature of the testing but he has access to some very sophisticated laboratories, which have specialized equipment that one cannot access easily. He believes in its antiquity, but the repairs done to it have eliminated much of the evidence of its age one generally looks for, patina, and core material. This June I went on trip to Florence, Naples and Rome, looking for parallels. The collector/dealer from whom the eagle came, believed it to be 17th Century Italian, and by Giambologna. Florence is where I was able to see the most bronzes from that period and by Giambologna and his followers.  In Rome and Naples I hoped to find parallels for the eagle in marble and or bronze.  It was in Florence however that I got the most helpful parallels, however no […]

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Story of a Kuanyin statuette

detail of photo taken by Susan B. Anthony last year with the Kuanyin to the far right. This is a tale of the art world and how some dealers operate and what can happen. It also illustrates the arbitrary nature of prices and how hard it is to place value on these objects, whose artistic quality and historic significance makes them truly priceless. About a year ago, or so, I was in my colleagues place and on a counter top full of objects from all sorts of cultures and times, was a small intense dark stone sculpture of a Bodhisattva, of the most amazing quality.  Upon looking at it, and seeing the incredible detail of its carving I had to have it and after a reverse negotiation, i.e., I offered what I thought was a high price, higher than I had been accustomed to paying, my colleague agreed to sell it to me.  He loved the piece as well and said that if I ever needed cash, he’d happily buy it back from me.  I […]

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Colonel Bogdanos on antiquties market

Col. Bogdanos speaking in 2003 at the Pentagon  One of the most quotable and influential public personalities to have emerged from the chaos and destruction following the invasion of Iraq by the US in 2003 has been Colonel Matthew Bogdanos.  He wrote a book following the invasion and looting of the Iraqi National Museum and his efforts to retrieve its treasures, Thieves of Baghdad published in 2005, which I am reading now. He is often featured in documentaries and television interviews. CBS featured him in their report on conflict antiquities, which we were shown as part of the symposium held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York last Tuesday September 29th.  CBS report on Conflict Antiquities   http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/antiquities-expert-on-black-market-for-historical-treasures

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