Provenance and Price: Autoregulation of the Antiquities Market?
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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.
KeywordsAntiquities trade Antiquities auctions Autoregulation Provenance Quality Regulation 1970 UNESCO Convention
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.
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