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418RE: [African_Arts] Dealers who distort

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  • Terry Sasser
    Aug 2, 2005
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      Of course you are right on this. Anyone who misleads the buyer should be hung by the thumbs at every tribal art show and auction with a hammer and bucket of nails beside them so any disgruntled buyer could drive in their point of anguish at will. Outright deception is wrong whether it be from an eBayer, a runner, an African craftsman, and very much the high end gallery people who know how to perfect the bad or mediocre piece to one of desire, or even just creating a false provenance. All these people are wrong and unfortunately very much entwined in the world of African art. But until we can get this solved, Ha, it is BUYER BEWARE!!


      Our only defense is to protect ourselves with knowledge which is why I own a library of books on African art, surround myself with knowing people, go see all the known authentic art I can get my eyes and preferably hands on, and am a member of this group. If we stop buying that stuff then they have to own it themselves and I’d bet they wouldn’t enjoy it so much either.




      -----Original Message-----
      From: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com [mailto:African_Arts@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of okorodus_art
      Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:57 AM
      To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [African_Arts] Dealers who distort


      Dear group
      After reading the posts concerning the "dogan" nail fetish and about some dealers
      distorting pieces to make them look real makes me ask the question "Do such dealers
      have the right to be called experts and authorities in African arts ?"
      This disgusting habit by some dealers to change the features of pieces because they will
      be able to fool unsuspecting buyers into believing that the pieces are genuine is one I
      think should carry a long prison sentence
      A case in study is a very "reputable" dealer in Brussels that is considered by some to be the
      authority on African antiques distorting a mask to make it more marketable the said dealer
      on the other hand is so haughty with other dealers   to him only his pieces are
      genuine,this disgusting practice is carried out surprisingly by the very well known dealers
      all over the world (remember the case of Oded Golan )and the sad sad thing is that serious
      collectors will most times pay exorbitant prices for pieces that will normally not get a
      chance if they were in the possession of a lesser known dealer and nothing will make the
      collectors believe they are been cheated
      We all post miles and miles of messages every time lambasting the African artisan that
      makes copies of African antiques for the foreign market but then do we really think they
      are more guilty than these distorters ?The African artisan most times is just copying what
      he sees in book and the buyer has to use his discretion when buying these pieces but the
      dealer that has distorted a piece knows what the market wants and they make sure they
      give them what they want whether by hook or crook.They have all the advantages of being
      an"authority" so their word is law for me also dealing in African ethnic arts I have  to be
      careful with the information I give buyers that come to my gallery,Most times the buyers  
      come into the shop and see a piece they immediately ask if it was old or if it has a
      provenance the dealers that are dishonest now makes up a tall cock and bull story the
      more elaborate the story the better the chances that the buyer will acquire the piece and
      of course when they encounter the dealer that has "name" they are already intimidated by
      him so whatever the dealer tells them about a piece is taken by them to be the gospel

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