Showing posts with label Salahaddin Sirmali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salahaddin Sirmali. Show all posts

July 8, 2020

When the market incentivises plunder: Unravelling the laundering of the Eldarir family legacy.


For the last two days I have been pouring over the known objects that have sales "fingerprints" which demonstrate a likelihood of possibly being touched by Ashraf Omar Eldarir, the US citizen, recently indicted for smuggling Egyptian antiquities.  Yesterday I added more suspect antiquities to that list and today I will add some more, putting the objects in chronological order as best I can, based on what we know so far as it helps to show how these objects moved from one dealer to another creating what at face value would appear to be a plausible collection history, except it isn't.  

I'd like to thank Paul Barford for his own public efforts at compiling his own version of this list as well as two confidential sources who have helped illustrate a few more of these passages.

Barford's hypothesis that this is not all of the Eldarir artefacts is a valid one,  as this list will demonstrate multiple instances where provenance details were omitted, either earlier on in the "whitening" cycle, or to not show catalogues flooded with objects over and over again coming from one single source. 

What this list will demonstrate is that the demand for objects from 2012 until 2020, and the ease at which they were absorbed into the licit market and resold, sometimes for high sums, is likely to have served to incentivise the accused, who now, alone, faces charges in the US Courts.   

Having said that, now on to the slightly more organized and ever-growing list identified objects up through 08 July 2020 that have been found to be circulating with ancient art dealers in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria with provenance we believe directly pertains to Ashraf Omar ELDARIR.

Date of Publication Unknown 


Ezeldeen Eldarir's name appears with this Egyptian Wood Painted Sarcophagus Mask with Howard Nowes at Art for Eternity.

 05 December 2012 


Christie's LOT 94. This is the first appearance of the Roman Marble Portrait Head of a Man.  Its provenance makes no mention of Eldarir.  It is listed simply as "Acquired by the grandfather of the current owner and brought to New York, prior to 1948; thence by descent" and sold for $52,500.


Ezeldeen Eldarir's name appears for the first time with this pair of Ancient Egyptian Bronze Eyes with Trocadero via Mark Goodstein at Explorer Ancient Art.

01 May 2013


Eldarir sold four Egyptian limestone relief fragments for Wahibrenebahet through Bonhams in London for €31,766 claiming they were from his personal collection, inherited through his grandfather who was a friend of Prince of Egypt Omar Tosson.

04 May 2014 



This Egyptian limestone relief associated with the cult of Amun which was sold through Gabriel Vandervort at Ancient Resource LLC.

18 May 2015 


This Limestone Stele fragment with no clearly named provenance can be found with Howard Rose in his 18 May 2015 Arte Primitivo sales catalogue. It will later turn up again in 2016 with Alexander Biesbroek.

NOTE: Several other Egyptian pieces in this catalogue DO NOT specify Eldarir but have the same "exported to the USA in XXXX" phrasing as the Eldarir pieces.

2016 


The Limestone Relief Fragment reappears, this time with Ashraf Eldarir provenance.  It sells for £28,750 via Alexander Biesbroek at Alexander Ancient Art.

30 June - 6 July 2016 

Page Screenshot as Charles Ede Ltd., has removed this item
from their website as of 8 July 2020
Ezeldeen Eldarir's name appears with this Egyptian hieroglyphic relief fragment that is with James Ede at Charles Ede Ltd.

06 March 2017 


This Egyptian Standing Wooden Overseer with Ezeldeen Eldarir provenance can be found with Howard Rose in his 06 March 2017 Arte Primitivo sales catalogue.

NOTE: Several other Egyptian pieces in this catalogue DO NOT specify Eldarir but have the same "exported to the USA in XXXX" phrasing as the Eldarir pieces.

31 October 2018 



Christie’s LOT 49 First appearance of the Over-Lifesized Greek Marble Head, Provenance: "Acquired by the grandfather of the current owner and brought to New York, prior to 1948; thence by descent".  Sold for $52,500.

05 December 2018 


Ezeldeen Eldarir's name appears with this Wood & Gesso Sarcophagus Mask with Bob and Teresa Dodge at Artemis Gallery.

23 March 2019 


Ezeldeen Eldarir's name appears with this 26th Dynasty, Egyptian wood sarcophagus bust, with Washington DC dealer Sue McGovern at Sands of Time Ancient Art.

16 September 2019





Multiple pieces with Ezeldeen Eldarir provenance can again be found with Howard Rose in his 16 September 2019 Arte Primitivo sales catalogue including the previous pair of Ancient Egyptian Bronze Eyes previously advertised on Trocadero via Mark Goodstein at Explorer Ancient Art in 2012.

NOTE: Several other Egyptian pieces in this catalogue DO NOT specify Eldarir but have the same "exported to the USA in XXXX" phrasing as the Eldarir pieces, including the above Mudbrick and Plaster Painted Fragment #485 which will appear on the market again WITH Eldarir provenance via a Tennessee dealer on eBay in 2020.

2 December 2019 

Ezeldeen Eldarir's name appears again with the same Egyptian Pottery Jar with 70 Ushabtis with Howard Rose in his December 2019 Arte Primitivo sales catalogue.

2020 






Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with Two Diorite Poppy Bead Amulets, an Amulet of a Wadj Sceptre with a Lotus Flower, a Lapis Lazuli Heart Amulet, a Hematite Heart Amulet and for the second time, the collection of 230 Faience Ushabtis,  and this Wooden Standing Figure of a Manat with Christoph Bacher Archäologie Ancient Art GmbH.

The wood figurine and the ushabtis were previously with Howard Rose in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

12 February 2020 


Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with this Wooden Ushabti with Harlan J. Berk in his February 2020 HJB 210th Buy or Bid Sale sales catalogue.

07 March 2020 


Izz al-Din Tah al-Darir Bey's name (different spelling) appears on two objects sold earlier through Christie’s with the Eldarir name. One is now listed as the Ptolemaic Royal Portrait, possibly of Ptolemy III Euergetes and the other as the Portrait Head of the Emperor Severus Alexander. Both were with Jean-David Cahn at TEFAF in Maastricht at Stand 422 when we took pictures but neither object is now on Cahn’s website.

Both of these pieces passed through Christies before arriving to Cahn in Switzerland. The head on 05 December 2012 and the mask on 31 October 2018. 

04 March 2020 


Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with this Egyptian Large Terracotta Isis-Aphrodite with Howard Rose on his website.

04 June 2020 




Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with this Egyptian Polychrome Gesso Coffin Lid, these Egyptian Ptolemaic Papyrus Scrolls, Demotic Script and these other Egyptian Ptolemaic Papyrus Scrolls with Bob and Teresa Dodge at Artemis Gallery. 

July 2020


Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with this Egyptian Polychrome Wall Painting being sold on eBay by "tassbunch2".

The next question is, sure the authorities seem to have caught a potential smuggler with at least 1025 objects circulating hither and thither.  But what about all the actors before and after him in this illicit supply chain of merry-go-round suitcases?

It is only when foreign buying agents, among them representatives from the United States, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria, looking to cash in on padding out private collections back home that smuggling Egypt’s patrimony became such a lucrative money-making business.

By:  Lynda Albertson