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Curt D.





Joined: 22 Oct 2019

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed 23 Oct, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Iranian Bronze Dagger?         Reply with quote

Greetings collectors. I am mostly a WW2 collector, which is a minefield of fakes, but I am also intrigued by antiquities. Is there any chance this item is original? If so, what would be a fair price?

This is the only picture I have at the moment. To me, the wood looks very old.

Thanks in advance.



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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,364

PostPosted: Thu 24 Oct, 2019 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello! Yes, that could certainly be an actual antique, but from the description on the card it's probably looted. "Luristan" is basically shorthand for "Looted somewhere in the middle east". That actually lends credence to it's being real and not a fake, in a twisted way. Things like this are pretty easy to find, along with tons of fakes. Probably that won't surprise you!

Matthew
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 27 Oct, 2019 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These items should be reported. It might be possible to determine whether it was stolen from an active dig. These items only have value if you know their context and provenance. It is just a lump of old metal if you don't know where it was found.

Matt is right about Luristan. Whenever a bronze item is looted or the owner doesn't know where it came from, they say it came from Luristan. Judging by the amount of items that are given that origin, Every Luristanian peasant and his dog must have had a trunk full of bronze weapons.

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Daniel Parry




Location: UK
Joined: 08 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Oct, 2019 12:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks similar in style to one I have (pic attached). I agree with the comments above about Luristan being a catch-all for anything vaguely bronze age and middle eastern.

I am not a bronze age specialist by any stretch of the imagination, as I am mostly a rapier and smallsword collector, and certainly not compared to Dan above, but I have a few bronze age pieces. I am never sure whether they are fake or not but I guess my only question about fakes or looting for bronze age items is people generally create fakes or loot for money and is there any money in bronze age items ? There are a lot around in the market place (and possibly many are fakes) but not many collectors want them (sadly in my view as I have been a life-long fan of bronze age Aegean history since I was a schoolboy). So unless it's exceptional, a lot of bronze age daggers and spearheads go for £100 - £200. So you question the value in people looting or faking, but maybe the base price for the looter in their own economy makes it worth it.

Also many of these items, if genuine, may have been acquired a long time ago, in the 19th century when excavation and acquisition of ancient archeology in Europe really took off. It doesn't mean it wasn't looted in that period, but tracing it becomes a whole different practical and legal issue.

I guess corrosion is a big factor. Bronze doesn't corrode as much as iron so an iron age piece much later is as rare as hens' teeth but bronze age pieces are not that rare. As noted above, how many are genuine is up for debate. Which is why I generally stick to my specialist area !

Daniel



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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 329

PostPosted: Mon 28 Oct, 2019 11:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No real comment on the first one..but that photo of the second one above raises serious suspicions. IF it was a genuine bronze age specimen..I'd not expect any of the organic handle material to remain in what appears such good condition. A top quality, genuine museum grade specimen, maybe, but not what a normal collector is liable to run across.
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Tue 29 Oct, 2019 1:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I may be wrong, but it looks like it might be bone, which stands a better chance of surviving than wood.
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Daniel Parry




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Oct, 2019 3:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is bone. Thatís one of the reasons I was interested in it because you donít see many with organic material remaining. That may mean it has been tampered with or fake possibly but I liked it so took my chances. A couple of people I know who collect that sort of thing think itís OK but who knows. Organic material depends so much on environment it was lying in and levels of moisture. Look at all the wood items intact in Tutenkhamunís tomb. Maybe it was in a dry place, maybe the grip was added or faked. I donít know for sure. Itís one of those ones where the odds are against it but you think I like it so why not. Take a chance. Most of the time you may be wrong but you never know. I had a cathartic experience last year with an 11th century sword ( not my area) which I bought in the past and assumed since that it was may be fake. A couple of collectors on this site saw pics and said I donít think it is and took it to a major auction house and low and behold completely genuine. I guess I am an optimist at heart when it comes to items outside my main area ! But totally take the point - organic material remaining raises suspicions immediately. Worst case it would be a good letter opener😁
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Oct, 2019 3:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Auctions houses sell fakes all the time. They use "certifiers" who don't try too hard to determine the provenance so the auction house has plausible deniability when they sell it as genuine and it is later discovered to be fake. If you really want to know whether an item is genuine, don't take it to an auction house. Find an independent expert who has nothing to gain from the appraisal.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Daniel Parry




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Oct, 2019 4:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It was only for valuation not sale. And a very reputable auction house and I know the guy. Point taken though. Also showed it to two further collectors in that area for 25 years plus each and they were happy.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Oct, 2019 5:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

People usually only want a valuation for two reasons: for insurance, or because they are thinking of selling. Even if you don't want to sell it right away, you might want to later. Auction houses know that if they give someone a realistic appraisal and another house gives an inflated one, then the other mob is more likely to get the commission to sell it.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Daniel Parry




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Oct, 2019 5:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I take the point Dan but I also think that conflict of interest is mitigated when you explain that not only are you not selling but if you do it will not be through them as I do. I do the same for work on the house sometimes- get a builder or plumber in to assess work and pay them on the clear understanding I wonít be hiring them. I agree there is an inherent risk of bias in this area but I am not sure in the very top few auction houses that people are quite that cynical, but I may be wrong. There is reputational risk for them. If they consistently value over the odds and put things through that turn out to be fake and it happens regularly peopleís trust in them diminishes and for those houses reputation is everything. I am not talking about mass online auction houses here. Also the estimates and valuations I have seen on pieces I do know about are pretty much on the money in terms of auction prices and private sales. But point taken which is why I also consult collectors I know to be knowledgable and experienced. It is discussion with passionate and very experienced high end collectors I find the most valuable as they will be brutally honest if you ask them to be.
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