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July 7, 2020

Caveat Emptor - if the last name is....

Caveat Emptor if the name on the collecting history of your Egyptian artifacts are:

⇏ Ashraf Omar Eldarir (see our earlier post today).

⇏ Anything with any spelling that says something like ex-private Ezeldeen Taha Eldarir collection; ex-Salahaddin Sirmali collection.

⇏ Anything with "formerly Collection Salah al-Din Sarmali Bey. Acquired by Izz al-Din Tah al-Darir Bey in Egypt.

Pieces with Ezeldeen Eldarir provenance can be found with Howard Rose in his 16 September 2019 Arte Primitivo sales catalogue.

Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with this Egyptian hieroglyphic relief fragment is with James Ede at Charles Ede Ltd.

Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with this Hematite Heart Amulet and this Wooden Standing Figure of a Manat with Christoph Bacher Ancient Art.

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

Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with this pair of Ancient Egyptian Bronze Eyes with Trocadero via M Goodstein at Explorer Ancient Art.

Ezeldeen Eldarir's name also appears with this Egyptian Polychrome Gesso Coffin Lid with Bob and Teresa Dodge at Artemis Gallery

Izz al-Din Tah al-Darir Bey's name appears on this Ptolemaic Royal Portrait, possibly of Ptolemy III Euergetes and the Portrait Head of the Emperor Severus Alexander of a Man pictured above.  Both were with Jean-David Cahn at TEFAF at Stand 422 in March 2020.  In fairness to Cahn, in this instance, one of these also snuck through Christie's before arriving in Switzerland.

All of this to say that it looks like one smuggler begat many pieces which are likely of concern and if you are a buyer, and you expect the market to be looking out for your best interests, you might want to think again. 

By: Lynda Albertson


Dear Lynda,
In fact, both sculptures were acquired from Christie’s within the last 6 years. As soon as I was made aware of a potential problem in March I withdrew them from the market as long as there is no confirmation of the authenticity of the documents provided.

Thanks for the information David. Where are these pieces now? Does this mean you will be amenable to relinquishing the piece back to Egypt? Persuing reimbursement from the auction house or consignor?