Saturday, December 8, 2012

Robin Symes and Dallas

Etruscan antefix
Source: DMA
The name of Robin Symes has been linked to the return of several objects from public and  private collections, as well as disrupted sales of antiquities. Among the objects linked to Symes were two terracotta antefixes that appeared on the New York market last year.

One of the objects that has been returned to Italy by the Dallas Museum of Art was an Etruscan antefix acquired from Symes. It was supplied with the collecting history of Henri Jacques in Geneva. The antefix also appears in the polaroid archive of Giacomo Medici.

This antefix is a reminder to any buying material on the market, not least because ex-Symes material continues to appear both openly, but also, more worryingly for buyers, without that part of the collecting history revealed. How many purchasers of antiquities in sales in the last few weeks could face returning objects when the full collecting histories are revealed?

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