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Old Feb 24, 2007, 03:37 PM   #1
4to2centophilia
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Opinions Please

I am torn between two objects of roughly equivalent value. I am looking for opinions on preference therefore since any future sale will be affected by the publics desire two buy one of these.

First is Apulian H. 10 in. (25.5 cm); Diam. 8 3/4 in. (22.4 cm.)



Second is Attica Black H. 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm.)



Thanks

Mark
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File Type: jpg CBA20rev.jpg (51.1 KB, 184 views)
File Type: jpg attica black1.jpg (34.8 KB, 185 views)
File Type: jpg attica black2.jpg (35.3 KB, 186 views)

Last edited by 4to2centophilia : Feb 24, 2007 at 03:44 PM.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 03:45 PM   #2
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Wow! Nice.

If I was wealthy enough to purchase one of those two, I would take the second one based on eye appeal. The first is stunning as well, maybe graphically more so, but the second one has that subjective feel of antiquity to me.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 04:39 PM   #3
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I second the opinion on the second, taller piece. There's a bit more artistry in the figures on that piece. The first is graphically dynamic, but a bit more crude in execution.

One factor that I would consider, though I have no clue about with these pieces, is any mythological narrative or meaning behind the figures. Something tells me that the second piece may have a more interesting backstory.

Jeff
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 05:17 PM   #4
4to2centophilia
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I would like to see more opinions, but so far others are leaning toward the Attic-Blacks piece also.

Here is the description and provenance

Seated Dionysos flanked by two dancing maenads and satyrs. Recalls the Gela Painter.
Exhibited: Detroit Institute of Art, 1984-97.

The Apulian Piece is Eros driving a chariot. No real provenance.

Neither meets the Dec 30, 1970 International provenance deadline, which is still a concern.

I am going to see these pieces in two weeks (as well as a couple other unlisted items).

If all goes as expected, I will be driving my current car for several more years.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 06:24 PM   #5
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I agree that the Apulian piece is more extravagant in its artistry, while the Attic one is more detailed and more in line with the typical imagery of ancient Greek pottery. I don't think that will affect a future sale though, as both are just different styles, and there are buyers out there for any style. I think you'll be able to make a decision when you see them in person.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 07:02 PM   #6
AlexB
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Hi Mark

I like both but the first one is more unusual, which is always a positive for me. I like the chariot scene and the herculean character within. I think the execution very good.

The second has a great shape and more archaic design but ive seen it all before so not, again, to my particular appeal if I had to make the choice.

Brgds

Alex
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 08:59 PM   #7
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Hi Mark-- In terms of resale, Attic is sexier than Apulian and likely to hold its value better. The fact that the Attic piece has a published pedigree is also a big plus; even though it's post-1970, you would have a fighting chance of tracing it back further through diligent searching through old catalogues. (If you're really lucky, the Detroit Institute of Art might even be helpful.) I also prefer the Attic piece artistically, but if you really fancy the Apulian, I don't think you should let potential resale value sway you.

Phil Davis

ps-- See, a cheerful, possibly helpful response, without even the hint of a twit. I expect you to dutifully fall out of your chair.
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 06:09 AM   #8
4to2centophilia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volodya View Post
Hi Mark-- In terms of resale, Attic is sexier than Apulian and likely to hold its value better. The fact that the Attic piece has a published pedigree is also a big plus; even though it's post-1970, you would have a fighting chance of tracing it back further through diligent searching through old catalogues. (If you're really lucky, the Detroit Institute of Art might even be helpful.) I also prefer the Attic piece artistically, but if you really fancy the Apulian, I don't think you should let potential resale value sway you.

Phil Davis

ps-- See, a cheerful, possibly helpful response, without even the hint of a twit. I expect you to dutifully fall out of your chair.
Sorry it took so long to reply. I wasn't wearing my First Alert necklace and I had to wait for the milkman to hear my calls for help. I am now off the floor and strapped into my chair.

Seriously however, Thank you.

To me, both pieces have their own appeal. I like the uniqueness of the Apulian as well as its condition and the winged Eros. However, the Attic BF represents what I envision when I think of a Greek vase and it does have better provenance.

I need to have some conversations live with the dealer that are not best done via e-mail. Provenance is an issue that nobody wants to talk about yet. For instance "ex Swiss Collection" on the Apulian will hold no water with the authorities if things get ugly down the road. Especially since this is usually code for "probably not legally exported from country of origin".

Pat L. tells me both are grave goods (I thought the BF might not be). Trying to buy something appealing, not astronimically priced and have it meet ethical and legal guidelines is mind numbingly difficult.


BR

Mark
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 02:44 PM   #9
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Mark,

Do these vases come with a thermoluminescence test? They should, this area is flooded with perfectly made fakes (especially from Sicily).

As to "buy something appealing, not astronomically priced and have it meet ethical and legal guidelines", I would say: quite a challenge! The ones found recently come from countries forbidding export of such antiquities (Italy, Greece); the ones coming from old collections are generally sold in auction, at astronomical prices ...

Jérôme
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 03:23 PM   #10
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Here is an interesting article about thermoluminescence testing:

http://www.gotheborg.com/qa/tltest.shtml
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 03:44 PM   #11
4to2centophilia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roma_Orbis View Post
Mark,

Do these vases come with a thermoluminescence test? They should, this area is flooded with perfectly made fakes (especially from Sicily).

As to "buy something appealing, not astronomically priced and have it meet ethical and legal guidelines", I would say: quite a challenge! The ones found recently come from countries forbidding export of such antiquities (Italy, Greece); the ones coming from old collections are generally sold in auction, at astronomical prices ...

Jérôme
Possibly.....I am a bit more cautious on the Apulian pyxis. The dealer is one of the two top dealers in the world and is rarely fooled (he has been used to authenticate many mult-million dollar pieces such as the Portland Vase).

I will be having long conversations next week before making any decisions. I am more concerned with Provenance at this point than I am about authenticity.

I am wading in strange waters with these pieces.

M
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 05:43 PM   #12
4to2centophilia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMoneti View Post
Here is an interesting article about thermoluminescence testing:

http://www.gotheborg.com/qa/tltest.shtml

Georgi

Thanks. It reinforces alot of what I have gathered from other sources and adds to the conversation I will be having with the dealer.


Mark
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Old Mar 2, 2007, 12:00 AM   #13
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Mark,

If you are concerned that these items are goods from plundered tombs - then you better stay away from the antiquities market. Yes, these are goods are from graves, and all intact ceramics are from the graves, as well as nice helmets and most of other items this dealer has published in the catalogue (perhaps except sculptures).

People tend to break stuff, and during excavations of settlements you would expect to find fragments - or damaged items at best. In the graves, the dead do not break the funerary items. Therefore plundering the graves is the only source for intact antiquities.

Vlad.
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Old Mar 2, 2007, 04:05 AM   #14
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You can even precise "if you are concerned that these items are goods from tombs illegally plundered", that is, after national laws having been enforced, protecting the excavation and sales of archeological items. That's why now Sotheby's and Christies almost systematically provide a pedigree for many lots. 'Found' (or plundered) before WWII is fine, 'plundered' in the 80s, illegal. So Mark, are you concerned that the items have a morally bad origin, or just that they're not very legal to possess?
If you have moral concerns, then indeed you have to stay away from the antiquities market; and well, for coins, we're not so far either, since 2000 years old coins are usually found on registered or unregistered sites, and seldom in an otherwise empty field by a peasant, in the middle of nowhere.
Best solution would be to buy coins and artefacts from official digs, where searchers register their finds like in the UK, and then are free to sell them. But we're nowhere close to that kind of process (see Greece, Italy, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, etc ...)! You have to know that for example, some illegal digs in Bulgaria or Sicily used to be done with bulldozers (are still done?), you can imagine the result on the site from an archeological point of view.

Jérôme

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Old Mar 2, 2007, 01:31 PM   #15
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Yup, collecting antiquities can be a guilty hobby. Even if you buy registered items from UK like you say Jerome, there is a limit for what one can get there. After all how many Greek bronze helmets and Attic vases are found in the UK (though there are many old collections there)? Most, if not all of the Southern European countries have strict antiquities laws, so any newly dug item (coins included), originating from there are pretty much guaranteed to be smuggled out of the country illegaly. I don't know what the laws are like in France and Spain though? Are they strict or somewhat ballanced?

The mechanized digging you mentioned is probably one of the biggest negatives of the antiquities trade. Hundreds of Thracian mounds have been devastated by looters in Bulgaria, and apart of taking the valuable items, they destroy other vital archaeological information that's not important to them. Unfortunately, some archaeologists resort to mechanized digging as well, in a race of time with the looters. Like one of the recent high profile discoveries:

http://www.kroraina.com/thracia/gk/
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