Advertisement

European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 427–444 | Cite as

Provenance and Price: Autoregulation of the Antiquities Market?

  • Neil Brodie
Article

Abstract

It is becoming common to read that antiquities without a provenance stretching back to before the 1970 adoption by UNESCO of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property are increasingly difficult to sell because of customer concerns over possible illicit trade in the past and reduced resale prices in the future. This paper proposes the term autoregulation to describe the phenomenon, and presents the results of several quantitative analyses designed to investigate its action.

Keywords

Antiquities trade Antiquities auctions Autoregulation Provenance Quality Regulation 1970 UNESCO Convention 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013)/ERC Grant agreement no. 283873. The data and issues discussed were first presented in May 2013 at the Vulnerability and Cultural Heritage conference held at the University of Leicester, and thanks are due to Professor Janet Ulph for organising the conference and inviting the author to attend.

References

  1. Adler, M. A., & Bruning, S. B. (Eds.). (2012). The futures of our pasts: ethical implications of collecting antiquities in the twenty-first century. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research.Google Scholar
  2. Adler, A. L., & Urice. (2011). Resolving the disjunction between cultural property policy and law a call for reform. Rutgers Law Review, 64(1), 117–163.Google Scholar
  3. Akerlof, G. A. (1970). The market for ‘lemons’: quality uncertainty and the market mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 84(3), 488–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ATG (1999). Digging a little deeper to find early treasures. Antiques Trade Gazette, 6 November, 5.Google Scholar
  5. Baugh, M. (2007). Antiquities: The hottest investment. Time, 12 December. http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1693792,00.html. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  6. Blake, J. (1998). Illicit antiquities and international litigation: the Turkish experience. Antiquity, 72, 824–830.Google Scholar
  7. Blumenthal, R. & Mashberg, T. (2012). The curse of the outcast object. New York Times, 12 July. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/arts/design/antiquity-market-grapples-with-stricter-guidelines-for-gifts.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  8. Borodkin, L. (1995). The economics of antiquities looting and a proposed legal alternative. Columbia Law Review, 95, 377–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Braithwaite, J. (2002). Restorative justice and responsive regulation. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Brodie, N., Doole, J., & Watson, P. (2000). Stealing history: the illicit trade in cultural material. Cambridge: McDonald Institute.Google Scholar
  11. Brodie, N., Kersel, M. M., Luke, C., & Tubb, K. W. (Eds.). (2006). Archaeology, cultural heritage and the antiquities trade. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.Google Scholar
  12. Cannon-Brookes, P. (1994). Antiquities in the market place: Placing a price on documentation. Antiquity, 68, 349–350.Google Scholar
  13. Chappell, D., & Polk, K. (2011). Unraveling the “chordata”: Just how organized is the international traffic in cultural objects? In S. Manacorda & D. Chappell (Eds.), Crime in the art and antiquities world (pp. 99–116). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chippindale, C., & Gill, D. (2000). Material consequences of contemporary classical collecting. American Journal of Archaeology, 104(3), 463–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Elia, R. J. (2009). Mythology of the antiquities market. In J. A. R. Nafziger & A. M. Nicgorski (Eds.), Cultural heritage issues: the legacy of conquest, colonization, and commerce (pp. 239–256). Leiden: Martinus Nijhof.Google Scholar
  16. Forrest, C. (2010). International law and the protection of cultural heritage. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Gay, M. (2012). For the St. Louis Art Museum, a legal victory raises ethical questions. Atlantic, 30 May. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/05/for-the-st-louis-art-museum-a-legal-victory-raises-ethical-questions/257839/. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  18. Gerstenblith, P. (2013). Has the market in antiquities changed in light of recent legal developments? In M. A. Adler & S. B. Bruning (Eds.), The Futures of Our Pasts: Ethical Implications of Collecting Antiquities in the Twenty-first Century (pp. 67–84). Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research.Google Scholar
  19. Gill, D. (2013). Recently surfaced antiquities on the market. http://lootingmatters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/recently-surfaced-antiquities-on-market.html. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  20. Grimes, W. (2009). Jan Mitchell, who put the ü back in Lüchow’s, dies at 96. New York Times, 30 November. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/nyregion/01mitchell.html. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  21. Jones, J. (1985). The art of precolumbian gold. The Jan Mitchell collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.Google Scholar
  22. Kaye, L. & Main, C. (1995). The saga of the Lydian Hoard: from Uşak to New York and back again. In K. W. Tubb (Ed.), Antiquities: Trade or Betrayed (pp. 150–161). London Archetype.Google Scholar
  23. Lazrus, P. K., & Barker, A. W. (Eds.). (2012). All the King’s horses. Washington DC: Society for American Archaeology.Google Scholar
  24. Mackenzie, S. R. M. (2005). Going, going, gone: Regulating the market in illicit antiquities. Leicester: Institute of Art and law.Google Scholar
  25. Mackenzie, S. R. M., & Green, P. (Eds.). (2009). Criminology and archaeology. Oxford: Hart.Google Scholar
  26. Manacorda, S., & Chappell, D. (Eds.). (2011). Crime in the art and antiquities world. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  27. Melikian, S. (1995). A degree of destruction unprecedented in the history of the world—and yet I support collecting. Art Newspaper, 52, 27.Google Scholar
  28. Melikian, S. (2008). A wake-up call for the antiquities market. New York Times, 12 June. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/14/arts/14iht-melik14.1.13666041.html?pagewanted=all. Accessed 11 July 2011.
  29. Melikian, S. (2010). Wanted: Antiquities beyond reproach. New York Times, 17 December. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/18/arts/18iht-melik18.html?pagewanted=all. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  30. Melikian, S. (2012). How UNESCO’s 1970 Convention is weeding looted artifacts out of the antiquities market. Blouin ArtInfo. http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/822209/how-unescos-1970-convention-is-weeding-looted-artifacts-out-of-the-antiquities-market. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  31. Melikian, S. (2013). Antiquities, with a proven record, drive auction market. New York Times, 14 June. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/15/arts/15iht-melikian15.html?pagewanted=all. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  32. Nafziger, J. A. R., & Nicgorski, A. M. (Eds.). (2009). Cultural heritage issues: the legacy of conquest, colonization, and commerce. Leiden: Martinus Nijhof.Google Scholar
  33. Nørskov, V. (2002). Greek vases in new contexts. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.Google Scholar
  34. O’Keefe, P. J. (2000). Codes of ethics and the art trade. In F. Francioni, A. Del Vecchio, & P. De Caterini (Eds.), Protezione internazionale del patrimonio culturale: interessi nazionali e difesa del patrimonio comune della cultura (pp. 141–154). Rome: Giuffrè.Google Scholar
  35. O’Keefe, P. J. (2007). Commentary on the 1970 UNESCO convention. Leicester: Institute of Art and Law.Google Scholar
  36. Prott, L. (2000). UNESCO celebrates thirtieth anniversary of its convention on illicit traffic. International Journal of Cultural Property, 9, 347–349.Google Scholar
  37. Rhodes, R. F. (Ed.). (2007). The acquisition and exhibition of classical antiquities. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  38. Rountree, C. (2008). The Geddes Collection. Bonhams Magazine, Autumn, 43.Google Scholar
  39. Russell, H. (2004). Western antiques: the past year has seen a concerted effort by auction houses and dealers to put past troubles in the market behind them, and concentrate on well-provenanced objects of high quality.Apollo, 1 December. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Western+antiques%3A+the+past+year+has+seen+a+concerted+effort+by…-a0126194880. Accessed 11 July 2013.
  40. Sotheby’s. (2010). Antiquities from the collection of the late Clarence Day. New York: Sotheby’s.Google Scholar
  41. Squires, N. (2008). Suspicions that Roman artefacts were illegally traded. Telegraph, 16 October.Google Scholar
  42. Tijhuis, E. (2006). Transnational crime and the interface between legal and illegal actors: The case of the illicit art and antiquities trade. Nijmegen: Wolf Legal.Google Scholar
  43. Tsirogiannis, C. (2013). Something is confidential in the state of Christie’s. Journal of Art Crime Research, Spring, 3–20.Google Scholar
  44. Watson, P. (1997). Sotheby’s: Inside story. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  45. Watson, P., & Todeschini, C. (2007). The Medici conspiracy. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research, School of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations