YOU ARE HERE>>REAL or FAKE>>Auction houses make mistakes too
The experts at the auction houses are not infallible!
Neither are museum academics.
Experienced dealers see more genuine and faked artifacts than any museum or auction house does.
Remember, you saw it first here!
Another quite famous fake that slipped through and was offered at auction by an entirely respectable source.
Some responses on the two yahoo discussion groups
slightly edited so that it should make some sense in this contect
Sorry to disagree with you but this cup is absolutely authentic and of the stated period. though, as stated in the listing, it is repaired and restored.
You don't need anyone to search for you in catalogues, the description of Bonham's clearly states it was in their auction in November 2001.
If we should judge items by the fact that they were previously in auctions, sold or unsold, then half of all antiquities in collections, museums and big galleries must be also questionable.
You say you know of at least twenty of these cups showing up in the last 10 years? I would put the number to 200, faience included. Does the number make them fake?
Glass, not faience, faience cups are not that rare.
It was offered before, infact it was in theMay 2003 sale, lot 63, estimate 2,200 to 2,600 pounds:
All the best with your back; I hope you'll be upagain soon, and be able to go to Bond Street yourself to tell Chantelle what you thinka bout this piece.
Do spare Joanna a bit, she isexpecting a baby.
As Alexander pointed out this jar was also listed in the May 2003 sale (it went unsold) which is NOT mentioned in the new auction listing. Credit goes to Alexander for the spot. 2001 listing in the description of the current lot. :-)
So, listed at least three times in four years through Bonhams alone.
Not scandalous, but interesting -- if no one was spotting a problem with it, I would be surprised to see such a high turnover on a piece that is uncommon and has been priced at reliably low estimates. I've never handled a similar piece, so I can't comment much on the authenticity myself.
Andy, don't confuse faience with glass. Faience, frits, and glass are all quartz-based materials, but different procedures are used to make all three and they differ physically in the amount of alkali in the mix. Very few glass objects are found in Egypt prior to the New Kingdom, and during Amenophis III's reign most raw glass would have probably still been an expensive import. According to Nicholson, glass making from scratch probably didn't occur in Egypt until Akhenaten's reign a few decades later.
I have not checked the object in 2003, so I only have the photograph to look at. When you zoom in on it the patina looks convincing (but then again, one cannot zoom in enough).
The inscription is not too clear either; what are the signs below the cartouche? I can think of two translations, but in both cases there is a wrong sign. Maybe there is more text than the image reveals.
Typically something to check with the object in hand.
I agree with you that - if authentic - it is a bargain at that price.
But I will stay away from it.
I am glad to be able to stimulate such a discussion as in the long run the collectors will benefit enormously.
To deal with his points:
A copy of
BRITISH MUSEUM - Bimson and Freestone
Early Vitreous Materials. 1992 191 pages with numerous b/w illus, drawings, charts,maps and tables. This combines various papers on the subject of early vitreous materials and includes:Early Faience Glass and glazed materials Egyptian Blue Minoan faience 18th Dynasty faience
September 29th 2005
Speaking of Bonhams, also look at their lot 359:
This is supposed to be a sandstone slab, inscribed with a "Greek", "Gnostic", "indecipherable" text from the "6th-4th century BC" ("or later").
Apart from the obvious question ("how do you know it is Gnostic if you cannot decipher it?") it is clear that their description is wrong.
October 5th 2005
Description changed to:
This lot has been incorrectly catalogued and dated. The description should be as follows: A Coptic inscribed sandstone slab, circa 4th-7th Centuries A.D., inscribed with eleven lines of Coptic text, possibly beginning with "the day of commemoration for our blessed brother, who is at rest....", also containing an abbreviation for "Jesus Christ" in line 1, composed of the letters IC and XC between three crosses.
They say that the text "possibly" translates as (etc)..............
Alexander teaches the language for goodness sakes!
The translations given to them are correct.
It isn't a complete tranlation simply because Alexander cannot see the lower half of the text properly in the image.
This is from Michel van Rijn (suitably edited to avoid legal problems!)
An Egyptian gold stirrup ring, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, 1353-1335 BC
Sold for $354,700
New York, Rockefeller Center
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