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Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Joe2007, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

  2. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    spam reported
     
  3. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    Normally Russian or Viet-Nam on a daily basis, this one is Trinidad and Tobago.:D
     
  4. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    Such a sensitive topic. No easy answers but my personal opinion is that items that were bought legally belong to the current owner and it’s their right to do whatever they want with the items including selling them to the highest bidder. Obviously this doesn’t apply to items that can be documented as having been stolen.

    Regarding Nazi items, I definitely have an opinion and it’s pretty much the same as the above. I know Jews ( and I’m a non practicing Jew) who collect the stuff (appalling to me but whatever) as they want to make sure that the stuff stays out of neo groups and they also feel that they’re flipping Hitler off if the objects live in Jewish homes. Pretty much the same sensibility as blacks who collect Black Americana. That’s why I thought it was insane for ebay to pull the category for “sensitivity”. It’s predominately blacks who collect it.

    Where does it end? There’s probably more of Ancient Greece in the British Museum than in Greece and there’s no western Mexican shaft tomb MesoAmerican pieces in any US museum that weren’t initially looted IMO.

    Sorry but if NA pieces were originally legally sold for whatever reason, IMO return to the individual tribes is a lovely gift but a gift that is the choice of the owner to give or not.
     
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  5. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    I went to a sale today and they had some items showing in the photos which made me sick, Nazi rings I think that the owner may have fought in the war and these were things he brought back.But I don't know for sure.

    I know some who are not Jewish who buy this type of thing in the hopes they can sell it to Neo Nazi's somewhere since they can no longer sell it on ebay, etsy etc. Frankly I would like to see this stuff put in to museums rather than individuals
    JMHO
     
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  6. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    Many feel as you do but not everything Nazi is museum worthy and there is no way to control who buys items that are legally sold on the open market. I got rid of a bunch of pre 40s perfectly wonderful NA jewelry as the pieces had NA whirling logs and I got tired of explaining that they weren’t swastikas.
     
  7. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    My thoughts on this topic appear to align fairly closely to yours. I do not agree with repatriation unless there is strong reason to believe that the items were looted or stolen. The Elgin Marbles are a perfect example of the controversy in this since they appear to been have removed with permission of Greece's one-time overlord the Ottomans but to many Greeks were considered looted. Delegitimizing property ownership creates additional problems but we need to develop protocols for determining when items should be considered looted. Under the Vichy government in France large portions of the country were looted wholesale by the Germans

    I do not have any desire to collect Nazi items, although those that do should be allowed to do so since we live in a free society especially if the items are historical in nature brought back by returning soldiers. In my community there was a debate about several historical buildings that have swastikas' in some of their antique tilework. There were activists agitating for the destruction of such tiles including in several ornate historic retail buildings and in a church. I don't think those outraged care that the swastika was used for hundreds of years as a symbol of peaceful origins before the Nazis improvised it for their own ends.

    Yesterday at a auction I was at there was a table full of Black Americana that sold for very high prices. I think eBay actions are causing more harm than good since there is more people seeking it out for financial windfall than previously and more collectors clamoring for it since they think it will be unavailable at some point. In the end such items become more cemented in the antique world.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
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  8. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    I always am a bit appalled to see nazi items being sold. (I would be equally upset to see anything from any genocide being sold.)

    That said, I don’t have any solution. It is historical. And not all items are museum worthy so they have to end up somewhere.

    I just walk on by. I won’t browse those items.
     
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  9. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Nazi stuff makes me cringe, but like the old saying goes those who forget history are bound to repeat it. I'd rather have the bad stuff sitting somewhere with a tag about the nastiness it came from than have it in a landfill and everyone's head in the sand.
     
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  10. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    My issue is that a lot of the non museum items probably wind up going to "the fine people" who collect this stuff to further their Nazi cause.
     
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  11. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    And that’s what’s so frightening about where that category may or may not end up but either we live in a free society or we don’t and whether a neo nazi wears a vintage nazi emblem or one made yesterday, the intent and message is still the same.
     
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  12. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

  13. all_fakes

    all_fakes Well-Known Member

    There are types of indigenous items that by their appearance alone can be verified as the product of grave-robbing; I have no problem with auctions for such items being ended, and the items returned to their tribe of origin; regardless of how the current owner obtained them. Hopefully with some agreement as to appropriate compensation, or donation. And there are other indigenous items where it is considered sacrilege for them to be owned by anyone outside the tribe; and again, I have no problem with those items being returned.
    And in Canada there is good documentation for indigenous ceremonial items being confiscated by government agents, then sold to the highest bidder. It is heart-breaking to see the tears of a family member when such items are returned, many years later.
    I'd have similar feelings for any item that could be verified to have been stolen, and can think of a number of examples...art stolen by Nazis; paintings stolen from museums; items looted from churches.
     
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  14. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    what about a Canadian who has an American 1st Nations mask, bought from a USA auction house legitimately , and the American tribe wants it given back....no compensation...

    Asking for a friend...;)
     
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  15. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    I agree that items that can be proven to have been looted or confiscated must be returned. The problem lies with those items where provenance cannot be proven and then it’s really up to the current owner who can prove legal purchase to decide what they want to do. The situation is problematic without question. I completely sympathize with those who try to get their tribal items returnedbut I also understand that the original sale of these items outside of the tribe may have generated funds that were desperately needed at the time.
     
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  16. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    I would think that the tribe needs to talk to an attorney and I would guess that they’d lose their case. IMO the current owner should also consult an attorney to check their options.

    This is probably a mess of a case but I think the tribe is wrong to not offer compensation which is just my opinion. Wonder if the current owner could use and legally take a
    full current market value tax credit for a donation of the object to the tribe. That could be win win but am I wrong that I think the tribe is totally out of line to expect it for free? It was legally purchased and the auction house was responsible for due diligence, no?

    Not a lawyer and just speculating.
     
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  17. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    legally purchased...with very scant description.........
    the 'tribe' is in NY, and no doubt have financial resources ...to pony up a substantial amount........

    Tax credit from USA 1st Nations.....to Canadian donator .......
    not sure that would work !
     
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  18. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    Me neither but just speculating which is why both sides should probably get legal advice but if I had to bet, I’d bet the tribe is SOOL unless your friend is extremely charitable and I know that for me, charity begins at home in my own country first but that’s just my own take. What does your friend want to do?
     
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  19. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    I’m for sure the wrong person to comment on this as I think Black Americana is a collectible category that should be legal to buy and sell, is collected more frequently by blacks than whites (obviously there are racist white collectors) and has a long history of collectibility.

    I think the whole current deal of sensitivity has gone over the top out of control (and I am fully supportive of equal black rights as well as equal rights for all races and sexes). I applaud Trader Joe’s for taking a stand against the ridiculous request for rebranding. As far as I’m concerned they can rebrand their challah and their blintzes Trader Yosef.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
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  20. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    She's had interest from several Iroquois.....but no sale.
    So...keep it...sell it...or get it into a museum that could showcase it properly....but Museums.....unless you're a somebody...or on their list.....they want it for free.
     
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