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mikewof

Anyone here ever returned a looted antiquity?

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7 hours ago, DA-WOODY said:

depending on the  your wood and how you someone  rubs it results vary quite a bit

 

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5 hours ago, burndoc said:

"The first, known as the Waldipertus Land Grant Document, was recorded in 821 in Benevento, Italy. It details “a grant of level land in Murtula by Waldipertus (Gualdipertus), son of Aldelpertus, to Lupus, Lampertus, Amipertus, and Walpertus (Gualpertus), sons of Bonepertus, Dadeprandus, son of Radulus, and Adelprandus, son of Ragimpertus,” according to the court document."

Jeez, colorful bunch back then. :huh:

Good on the university.

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Update?

@mikewof

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14 hours ago, Lark said:

Update?

@mikewof

The NY Attorney General got back to me after a month, said they have no record of its theft, though he thought it might have been a museum piece at one time. It matches the dimensions of the looted Caiaphas ossuary box. This is the Caiaphas box ...

Ossuary_of_the_high_priest_Joseph_Caiaph

and this is the mikewof box ...

33nexzk.jpg

Mine is hardwood rather than limestone, which I read it typical of the ceremonial ossuary boxes that are kept indoors. As soon as the Interpol clearance comes back, which it should, then I hope to send a photo of it to the curators at both the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and also the Zoroastrian Museum in Iran. (That flame flower in the center looks suspiciously Zoroastrian.) An antiquities guy told me that kind of wood, when stored indoors, typically doesn't show a patina.

The USA is signatory to the UNESCO antiquities treaty, so the box essentially has zero dollars value if it needs to be repatriated to the country of origin. But I may be able to do a permanent loan for the box. One small problem is that I bought it when I lived in NYC, I never had to drive anywhere there, and I wasn't an employee, so I spent a lot of days completely shitfaced, it was a drunk purchase. I have no idea how much I paid for the box originally.

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Mike, I just want to thank you for starting this thread. Not because I have read any of it but because I was just thinking the other day about that dusty old antiquity in our attic.... stuffed behind the suitcases and old backpacks. So I said to my wife, "Wife, I was reading a thread on Sailing Anarchy started by this guy named Mike. He made a lot of sense in starting  this thread about returning antiquities and it got me thinking about that priceless artifact we have just collecting dust and wasting space. "  By gosh this is just the sort of motivation we needed to get the ball rolling. Problem is we are having a time of it tracking down the rightful owners as it provenience is a muddled, even suspect. Israel, Palestine, whoever is in control of Temple Mount, King Solomon's descendants, The Knights Templar, the Monks of Aksum? The list is so long and frankly we really do not wish to see it in the wrong hands or worse yet, start some sort on international incident. Then there are the legal ramifications of making it known that we are in possession of such a historic piece.... I mean Moses himself.....oppps  I may already have said too much! 

Anyhow we have decided on hiding it in an upcoming garage sale and just hope and pray that it goes to a good home.

Your input here is greatly appreciated as it would seem you have given this a good deal of thought.

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10 minutes ago, BillDBastard said:

Mike, I just want to thank you for starting this thread. Not because I have read any of it but because I was just thinking the other day about that dusty old antiquity in our attic.... stuffed behind the suitcases and old backpacks. So I said to my wife, "Wife, I was reading a thread on Sailing Anarchy started by this guy named Mike. He made a lot of sense in starting  this thread about returning antiquities and it got me thinking about that priceless artifact we have just collecting dust and wasting space. "  By gosh this is just the sort of motivation we needed to get the ball rolling. Problem is we are having a time of it tracking down the rightful owners as it provenience is a muddled, even suspect. Israel, Palestine, whoever is in control of Temple Mount, King Solomon's descendants, The Knights Templar, the Monks of Aksum? The list is so long and frankly we really do not wish to see it in the wrong hands or worse yet, start some sort on international incident. Then there are the legal ramifications of making it known that we are in possession of such a historic piece.... I mean Moses himself.....oppps  I may already have said too much! 

Anyhow we have decided on hiding it in an upcoming garage sale and just hope and pray that it goes to a good home.

Your input here is greatly appreciated as it would seem you have given this a good deal of thought.

It's was pretty straightforward for our box. I just called my attorney to let her know what was happening with it, then I called the DA's office in the state of purchase, in my case it was NYS.

It's might be better for you if it was looted from a collection, because the bounty/reward on looted items is established. But if it never was in a collection like our box, and needs repatriation under the UNESCO rules, then you might only see them pay for transport on a permanent loan. C'est la vie.

Do you have a photo? Temple Mount is administered by the Israel Antiquities Authority, if you send them a photo they'll probably help you out, if it's looted, you'll probably get 100X when you would get from a garage sale.

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

It's was pretty straightforward for our box. I just called my attorney to let her know what was happening with it, then I called the DA's office in the state of purchase, in my case it was NYS.

It's might be better for you if it was looted from a collection, because the bounty/reward on looted items is established. But if it never was in a collection like our box, and needs repatriation under the UNESCO rules, then you might only see them pay for transport on a permanent loan. C'est la vie.

Do you have a photo? Temple Mount is administered by the Israel Antiquities Authority, if you send them a photo they'll probably help you out, if it's looted, you'll probably get 100X when you would get from a garage sale.

The Ark of the Covenant might pull in a pretty penny. Even from a garage sale. 

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10 minutes ago, chinabald said:

The Ark of the Covenant might pull in a pretty penny. Even from a garage sale. 

Yes, as long as you can get past that melty facey thing.  

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, shaggy said:

Yes, as long as you can get past that melty facey thing.  

 

 

 

 

That is a concern. 

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So where did it go? 

At the very least Wofsey would share its provenance and it’s successful return to the rightful owners. I’d expect nothing less from him.  

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3 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

How's the Sothebys valuation coming along?

They couldn't value it, presumably because they can't sell it, since it was under investigation by the NY DA and still has an open Interpol file on it, both of which I disclosed to them. Either that, or they decided it's worthless. Not sure which.

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11 minutes ago, mad said:

So where did it go? 

At the very least Wofsey would share its provenance and it’s successful return to the rightful owners. I’d expect nothing less from him.  

rif-logo-blue_large.gif

 

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1 hour ago, chinabald said:

The Ark of the Covenant might pull in a pretty penny. Even from a garage sale. 

I met an inebriated Jesuit-- knew a guy who knew a guy kind of thing -- said that it's in the basement of The Vatican, and that it's actually made of wood with some hammered gold over it, rather than the solid gold ark of the legends.

Probably bullshit though ... it's one thing to trust a Jesuit, something else to trust a drunk Jesuit.

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2 minutes ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

I raped a mummy at the Rosicrucian Museum when I was 12. Does that count?

It only counts if you gave the mummy a reach-around. Common courtesy, even for a mummy.

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1 minute ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

I raped a mummy at the Rosicrucian Museum when I was 12. Does that count?

what didde you rap hime/herre with?

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20 minutes ago, mikewof said:

They couldn't value it, presumably because they can't sell it, since it was under investigation by the NY DA and still has an open Interpol file on it, both of which I disclosed to them. Either that, or they decided it's worthless. Not sure which.

I'll give you a hundred bucks for it.

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Did you look on the bottom for a made in China label?

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1 minute ago, bmiller said:

Did you look on the bottom for a made in China Japan label?

If its oldere it woude be thisse.                           :)

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2 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

If its oldere it woude be thisse.                           :)

 Or "Made in Tawain ROC"

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2 hours ago, mikewof said:

I met an inebriated Jesuit-- knew a guy who knew a guy kind of thing -- said that it's in the basement of The Vatican, and that it's actually made of wood with some hammered gold over it, rather than the solid gold ark of the legends.

Probably bullshit though ... it's one thing to trust a Jesuit, something else to trust a drunk Jesuit.

I went to a Jesuit High School for a year. They are all drunk. 

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2 hours ago, mikewof said:

They couldn't value it, presumably because they can't sell it, since it was under investigation by the NY DA and still has an open Interpol file on it, both of which I disclosed to them. Either that, or they decided it's worthless. Not sure which.

that's odd, They'll do valuations whether it's for sale or not.

May I request an estimate if I’m not ready to sell my item?
Yes, of course. However, most who request an estimate intend to consign their items with Sotheby’s.

https://www.sothebys.com/en/auction-estimates?cmp=ppc_google_estimate_sitelink_us_ae_1-nov-2018&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIv4mo8dXk3wIVAR4rCh0-CQxTEAAYASABEgK17_D_BwE

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4 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

that's odd, They'll do valuations whether it's for sale or not.

May I request an estimate if I’m not ready to sell my item?
Yes, of course. However, most who request an estimate intend to consign their items with Sotheby’s.

https://www.sothebys.com/en/auction-estimates?cmp=ppc_google_estimate_sitelink_us_ae_1-nov-2018&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIv4mo8dXk3wIVAR4rCh0-CQxTEAAYASABEgK17_D_BwE

It's not odd. Submit something to them, wait a few weeks, you'll get an email titled "Sotheby's Has Reviewed Your Bubmission XXXXX" with the X's being your submission number. Maybe you'll have better luck with a valuation. 

They typically sell pieces with known provenance, I guess if you have a valuable piece with known provenance, they'll give you an estimate even if you're not ready to sell. if you have open enquiry on the piece, I doubt they would take the time to estimate something that they know they couldn't sell, at least that's my case. If I knew the actual provenance of my box, rather than the counterfeit one I received when I bought it, then I wouldn't have to go to this trouble.

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Sorry, I've read this thread over, I still don't understand.

1) why you think it's an ossuary box rather than simply an old box, dower chest, blanket box or originally used for the normal uses any old chest is put to.

2) why you think it's a "looted antiquity" or even an antiquity at all.

 

 

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1zmz11x.jpg

any one recognise what sort or tree this may be..It might help identify the place of origine if Mike can Identify the tree.. Stylised magnolia?

 

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On 12/6/2018 at 3:58 PM, mikewof said:

I'm just looking for some guidance from anyone who has gone through the process.

Sorry Mike, I can't help you.  I've decided to keep my stolen Gauguin from WWII that I got from "a guy".  It just looks so nice in my office, I can't part with it.  Good luck though with your efforts.

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15 hours ago, mikewof said:

It's was pretty straightforward for our box. I just called my attorney to let her know what was happening with it, then I called the DA's office in the state of purchase, in my case it was NYS.

It's might be better for you if it was looted from a collection, because the bounty/reward on looted items is established. But if it never was in a collection like our box, and needs repatriation under the UNESCO rules, then you might only see them pay for transport on a permanent loan. C'est la vie.

Do you have a photo? Temple Mount is administered by the Israel Antiquities Authority, if you send them a photo they'll probably help you out, if it's looted, you'll probably get 100X when you would get from a garage sale.

I ummmm, I …… thanks for the advice Mike.

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10 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

Sorry, I've read this thread over, I still don't understand.

1) why you think it's an ossuary box rather than simply an old box, dower chest, blanket box or originally used for the normal uses any old chest is put to.

2) why you think it's a "looted antiquity" or even an antiquity at all.

I know that the provenance that I received with the piece is counterfeit, because the box was supposedly a hundred year old box from India, but the retrofit is older than a hundred. Someone added some hinges to the lid, the hinges, based on the width of the plates and the types of screws they used are at least 150 years old. And then they removed the rear interior lip to install the hinge, which shows some oxidization from the original wood.

I also looked at the carvings with a good lens, and they weren't done mechanically, like in that little box in your photo, they were carved and sanded by hand. The typical method for the contemporary boxes like the one in your photo is to use an overlay, and then a grinder takes out the material. Those can be made in a day or less, no problem. You can look at the stems in that photo of the box in your post, and see that the sides are mostly vertical, from the grinder with constant depth. We have some pieces from India made with that same process. But a hand-carving has various depths of the carve, it's done by hand, usually a rough carve with a chisel or knife (you can see those marks at the base of the carve) and then the finer carves on second and third passes. That hand carving of that size took someone about a year, and the dimensions of the box match the common ossuary boxes.

To answer your question, I don't know for sure that it's an ossuary box, or an antiquity, or looted. I only know for sure that the provenance is counterfeit, that the box was hand-carved, that the carving took about a year, that it's at minimum 200-some years old, based on the retrofit, that it was carved by someone with some real skill, because it's a deep carve but they never punctured the wood panel over that entire chest, with some 80% of the depth of the panels on the carve, and that whomever had that thing commissioned was able to pay a skilled craftsman the equivalent of a year's salary to make it. Also, the dimensions of the box match all of the other ossuary boxes that I could get approximate measures.

I have found a lot of photos like you did that seem to match it, but they all show mechanical grinding. Your little box in the photo is very pretty.

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2 hours ago, mikewof said:

I know that the provenance that I received with the piece is counterfeit, because the box was supposedly a hundred year old box from India, but the retrofit is older than a hundred.

How do you know these hinges are older than 100 years? The engineering and manufacture of hinges would hardly change over 1000 years in some places in the world.

 

someone added some hinges to the lid, the hinges, based on the width of the plates and the types of screws they used are at least 150 years old. And then they removed the rear interior lip to install the hinge, which shows some oxidization from the original wood.

You've found someone that can date the manufacture of hinges and screws made in a pre industrial country over 150 years ago? then this "expert" should be able to identify your box?

So..your box has had some restoration work done. this does not negate the provenance 

I also looked at the carvings with a good lens, and they weren't done mechanically, like in that little box in your photo, they were carved and sanded by hand.

And people 100 years ago in India werent hand carving? 

The typical method for the contemporary boxes like the one in your photo is to use an overlay, and then a grinder takes out the material. Those can be made in a day or less, no problem. You can look at the stems in that photo of the box in your post, and see that the sides are mostly vertical, from the grinder with constant depth. We have some pieces from India made with that same process. But a hand-carving has various depths of the carve, it's done by hand, usually a rough carve with a chisel or knife (you can see those marks at the base of the carve) and then the finer carves on second and third passes. That hand carving of that size took someone about a year,

So??? people in india or Iraq for that matter..take 10 years to weave a rug by hand..today...

and the dimensions of the box match the common ossuary boxes...

How big is a Common Ossuary box? 30"x 18"? How big is a common sea chest? blanket box? 

 

To answer your question, I don't know for sure that it's an ossuary box, or an antiquity, or looted. I only know for sure that the provenance is counterfeit, that the box was hand-carved, that the carving took about a year, that it's at minimum 200-some years old, based on the retrofit, that it was carved by someone with some real skill, because it's a deep carve but they never punctured the wood panel over that entire chest, with some 80% of the depth of the panels on the carve, and that whomever had that thing commissioned was able to pay a skilled craftsman the equivalent of a year's salary to make it. Also, the dimensions of the box match all of the other ossuary boxes that I could get approximate measures.

In other words

the story the seller gave you may not be accurate..welcome to the timeless sales pitch world of the timeless.salesman. He wasn't giving you provenance, nor was he necessarily lying..he told you his estimated story of its age and origin. India about 100 years ago

Most boxes in india or the middle east would have been hand carved and would have taken a year or more. The carving on your box is actually comparatively crude.

You have no way of knowing how old the "new" hinges are .

And the box is the same size as a box the same size.

 

 

I have found a lot of photos like you did that seem to match it, but they all show mechanical grinding. Your little box in the photo is very pretty.

The box I showed was to possibly identify the origin ..of course it's a cheap little contemporary box.

But look at the pattern...and compare it to yours...I'm suggesting your box is indeed indian 

re the hinges..like I said..hinges ( handles and other ironwear) are often replaced or substituted. Sometimes with things older, sometimes newer. I had hundreds of of genuine handles and hinges recovered from older furniture in my workshop. It's a restorers stock in trade.

Is a box an ossuary box because it's the same size as one...is a woman a witch because she looks like one?

Mikey Mikey mikey...you want it to be something rare and beautiful?..It is something rare and beautiful..be happy.

 

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1 hour ago, Shortforbob said:

The box I showed was to possibly identify the origin ..of course it's a cheap little contemporary box.

But look at the pattern...and compare it to yours...I'm suggesting your box is indeed indian 

re the hinges..like I said..hinges ( handles and other ironwear) are often replaced or substituted. Sometimes with things older, sometimes newer. I had hundreds of of genuine handles and hinges recovered from older furniture in my workshop. It's a restorers stock in trade.

Is a box an ossuary box because it's the same size as one...is a woman a witch because she looks like one?

Mikey Mikey mikey...you want it to be something rare and beautiful?..It is something rare and beautiful..be happy.

 

"How do you know these hinges are older than 100 years? The engineering and manufacture of hinges would hardly change over 1000 years in some places in the world."

The engineering and manufacturing of hinges has changed dramatically since WWII, and changed after the industrial era of the late 1800s too. Before the era of the leadscrew, you can see the draw marks on the pin, those are gone in the era of screw machines. When you have any experience with machining, you'll see the complexity in any hinge, from the clearances, to the play and the type of steel. I've restored two 1800s era pianos, the difference between an 1800s-era hinge and a later is like night and day.

 

"You've found someone that can date the manufacture of hinges and screws made in a pre industrial country over 150 years ago? then this "expert" should be able to identify your box?"

No, it's the pitch of the threads, and the head configuration. The box was retrofitted twice, the original screws connect the hinges to the lid, the second retrofit connect the hinges to the box. Screws are just as readily identifiable as hinges. A screw from an automatic lathe has a very consistent thread, a handmade screw is easy to identify, here's a primer if you're interested. https://www.antiquetrader.com/articles/furniture-detective-screws-give-valuable-clues-when-in-search-of-antique-furniture-origins/

"So..your box has had some restoration work done. this does not negate the provenance "

What negates the provenance is that the box was sold to me as a hundred year old box, and the retrofit is at least 150 years old, with the box older than that, from the oxidization from the removed lip.

 

"And people 100 years ago in India werent hand carving? "

People hand carve now. From what I've looked at that box, if machine carving was available to the craftsman, it would have been used, because the side and back were apparently carved by an apprentice, they have a different hand, less cut depth, less expe

"So??? people in india or Iraq for that matter..take 10 years to weave a rug by hand..today..."

Sure, but mainly because that's what the market demands, and the barrier to entry for machine looming is insanely high. But the barrier to entry with a handheld grinder is trivial, literally a few bucks. People still hand make things because it's economical for them to do so, but they'll use power tools when it's economical to do so.

"How big is a Common Ossuary box? 30"x 18"? How big is a common sea chest? blanket box? "

I have no idea about those other boxes, not really interested.

"the story the seller gave you may not be accurate..welcome to the timeless sales pitch world of the timeless.salesman. He wasn't giving you provenance, nor was he necessarily lying..he told you his estimated story of its age and origin. India about 100 years ago

Most boxes in india or the middle east would have been hand carved and would have taken a year or more. The carving on your box is actually comparatively crude.

You have no way of knowing how old the "new" hinges are .

And the box is the same size as a box the same size.

 

I've examined that box for the twenty-some years that I've owned it, every little piece of it. I know from previous posts that you have a lot of expertise with this kind of thing, but I know that box, and I've shown it to a lot of people, it just doesn't add up the way you want it to add up.

If it's just a regular POS box, then I'll happily keep it in the house, or give it to someone as a gift, I don't care. If it does need to be repatriated, then I'll take that path.

The little box in your post is "comparatively crude" in that I can see the machine grinding. My box doesn't look have that same look. The little flowers in your box are very pretty, and yes, they are similar to my box, it's not the first contemporary design I've seen that has those same flowers. Craftspeople have design vocabularies that they follow for generations. My box seems to have more in common with some old Zoroastrian designs that I've seen than with that little contemporary box in your photo.

 

Please understand Meli, I've had that box for twenty-some years, at this point I care less about keeping it than I do about finding where it belongs. If it belongs to a culture center, I'll send it there. If it's just a regular POS box, then I'll keep it in my house and leave it at that, it's a beautiful thing. You write that I want it to be something "rare and beautiful." Nope. I'm not an antique guy, I have very little interest in antiques, and I tend not to keep them in my house. My house is mostly contemporary art, and industrial furnishings. I've been able to get rid of most of our antiques, other than the bartender supplies, which I like and want to keep.

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17 minutes ago, mikewof said:

"How do you know these hinges are older than 100 years? The engineering and manufacture of hinges would hardly change over 1000 years in some places in the world."

The engineering and manufacturing of hinges has changed dramatically since WWII, and changed after the industrial era of the late 1800s too. Before the era of the leadscrew, you can see the draw marks on the pin, those are gone in the era of screw machines. When you have any experience with machining, you'll see the complexity in any hinge, from the clearances, to the play and the type of steel. I've restored two 1800s era pianos, the difference between an 1800s-era hinge and a later is like night and day.

 

"You've found someone that can date the manufacture of hinges and screws made in a pre industrial country over 150 years ago? then this "expert" should be able to identify your box?"

No, it's the pitch of the threads, and the head configuration. The box was retrofitted twice, the original screws connect the hinges to the lid, the second retrofit connect the hinges to the box. Screws are just as readily identifiable as hinges. A screw from an automatic lathe has a very consistent thread, a handmade screw is easy to identify, here's a primer if you're interested. https://www.antiquetrader.com/articles/furniture-detective-screws-give-valuable-clues-when-in-search-of-antique-furniture-origins/

"So..your box has had some restoration work done. this does not negate the provenance "

What negates the provenance is that the box was sold to me as a hundred year old box, and the retrofit is at least 150 years old, with the box older than that, from the oxidization from the removed lip.

 

"And people 100 years ago in India werent hand carving? "

People hand carve now. From what I've looked at that box, if machine carving was available to the craftsman, it would have been used, because the side and back were apparently carved by an apprentice, they have a different hand, less cut depth, less expe

"So??? people in india or Iraq for that matter..take 10 years to weave a rug by hand..today..."

Sure, but mainly because that's what the market demands, and the barrier to entry for machine looming is insanely high. But the barrier to entry with a handheld grinder is trivial, literally a few bucks. People still hand make things because it's economical for them to do so, but they'll use power tools when it's economical to do so.

"How big is a Common Ossuary box? 30"x 18"? How big is a common sea chest? blanket box? "

I have no idea about those other boxes, not really interested.

"the story the seller gave you may not be accurate..welcome to the timeless sales pitch world of the timeless.salesman. He wasn't giving you provenance, nor was he necessarily lying..he told you his estimated story of its age and origin. India about 100 years ago

Most boxes in india or the middle east would have been hand carved and would have taken a year or more. The carving on your box is actually comparatively crude.

You have no way of knowing how old the "new" hinges are .

And the box is the same size as a box the same size.

 

I've examined that box for the twenty-some years that I've owned it, every little piece of it. I know from previous posts that you have a lot of expertise with this kind of thing, but I know that box, and I've shown it to a lot of people, it just doesn't add up the way you want it to add up.

If it's just a regular POS box, then I'll happily keep it in the house, or give it to someone as a gift, I don't care. If it does need to be repatriated, then I'll take that path.

The little box in your post is "comparatively crude" in that I can see the machine grinding. My box doesn't look have that same look. The little flowers in your box are very pretty, and yes, they are similar to my box, it's not the first contemporary design I've seen that has those same flowers. Craftspeople have design vocabularies that they follow for generations. My box seems to have more in common with some old Zoroastrian designs that I've seen than with that little contemporary box in your photo.

 

Please understand Meli, I've had that box for twenty-some years, at this point I care less about keeping it than I do about finding where it belongs. If it belongs to a culture center, I'll send it there. If it's just a regular POS box, then I'll keep it in my house and leave it at that. You write that I want it to be something "rare and beautiful." Nope. I'm not an antique guy, I have very little interest in antiques, and I tend not to keep them in my house. My house is mostly contemporary art, and industrial furnishings. I've been able to get rid of most of our antiques, other than the bartender supplies, which I like and want to keep.

OK..I give up. If you want the box to be a Zoroastrian ossuary...that's what it is.

Just don't ever try to pass it on (sell it) on ebay with that "Provenance":rolleyes:

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2 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

OK..I give up. If you want the box to be a Zoroastrian ossuary...that's what it is.

Just don't ever try to pass it on (sell it) on ebay with that "Provenance":rolleyes:

And you want the box to be some recently-made thing out of some guy's basement in Mumbai.

I already wrote the provenance was counterfeit. It's not "salesmanship" when someone makes something up like that. Given the conditions that I purchased it, I suspect that the dealer was just trying to move inventory. Unlike what you've written here, I've made no claims to anything other than my guesses.

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15 minutes ago, mikewof said:

And you want the box to be some recently-made thing out of some guy's basement in Mumbai.

I already wrote the provenance was counterfeit. It's not "salesmanship" when someone makes something up like that. Given the conditions that I purchased it, I suspect that the dealer was just trying to move inventory. Unlike what you've written here, I've made no claims to anything other than my guesses.

I've no idea whether the box is 100 years old made in india or 30 years old made in Mumbai.

But there's no evidence whatsoever that it's a Zoroastrian Ossary..that's just a made up fantasy.

What concerns me is that you tell this fantasy of yours to your kids...and THEY, in good faith..sell it with that "provenance" to some gullible schmuck for 10 times its worth. 

I've got many nice old things, some over 400 years old that I could create an "oral history" about with way more probability than your box tale..but I dont.

The antiqities and antiques industry have a shitty reputation..and quite deservedly so in most cases..you dont have to contribute,

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and the central motif looks remarkably like a lotus leaf..you know..sacred to Buddha :rolleyes:

Zoroastrian my arse, 

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2 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

I've no idea whether the box is 100 years old made in india or 30 years old made in Mumbai.

But there's no evidence whatsoever that it's a Zoroastrian Ossary..that's just a made up fantasy.

What concerns me is that you tell this fantasy of yours to your kids...and THEY, in good faith..sell it with that "provenance" to some gullible schmuck for 10 times its worth. 

I've got many nice old things, some over 400 years old that I could create an "oral history" about with way more probability than your box tale..but I dont.

The antiqities and antiques industry have a shitty reputation..and quite deservedly so in most cases..you dont have to contribute,

I'll walk you though my reasoning ... I saw that central motif on a Zoroastrian icon, it had the look of some flames. It can't be Islamic, because they forbid the carving of any natural creations, it has to be geometric. I doubt that it's Judaic, because the carvings suggest that the box is from Asia and that's less likely. That leaves the religions in Southeast Asia, Persia, Turkey ... I guess Zoroastrian out of numbers, because it looks like something that was expensive to make, and they tend to spend the money on funerals, the other religions like Jainist and Hindu either don't use ceremonial boxes like that or don't plow money into ceremony like that. The central flame/flower thing got me, and also someone else suggested Zoroastrian. Two different experts over the years immediately saw it and ask me "ossuary box?". I'm going with that.

What you've written about provenance is wrong. Right now, that box has NO provenance, because I'm able to establish that the provenance I received 20 years ago is counterfeit. Provenance is a specific thing, it's like a pedigree for art, my kids could no more create provenance than create a fake pedigree for a mutt. If the box is identified at some point, then its provenance can be restored, but I think that's unlikely it's not a painting, it's a low-profile item.

My "oral history" and your "oral history" have nothing to with provenance. I'm not trying to be an art snob here, when you buy artwork from a known dealer, the provenance is a citable history of the piece, it includes dates of sale, appraised values, owners, dealers, collection name, galleries, etc.. You can reference many items in the provenance to other collections and other items. My "oral history" would never be confused with provenance, because only Rain Man remembers all the dates and values of a piece of artwork and nothing about an "oral history" is appraisable, and that's the foundation of provenance. Think of it like a CarFax for artwork, or the county's records for the valuation and sale prices and ownership for a house.

 

It's funny that you think my interest in this box is "contributing" to a "shitty reputation" of the industry. I could have sold that box for enough to buy a pretty decent little 1950s collectable car, and now I'm looking to move it on permanent loan to a collection somewhere, zero dollar value. As far as I know, the economy of the permanent loan drives curation. I've no idea how you equate that to "shitty."

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

I'll walk you though my reasoning ... I saw that central motif on a Zoroastrian icon, Where..?? 

it had the look of some flames. It also looks like a lotus leaf and a flower stamen

It can't be Islamic, because they forbid the carving of any natural creations, it has to be geometric.

BULLSHIT they forbid human and animal representation..not plants. 

Plant motifs and patterns were used to decorate architecture and objects from the earliest Islamic period. Plants appear in many different forms in Islamic art, ranging from single motifs to extended patterns, and natural depictions of flowers to plant forms which are complicated and heavily stylised. Artists drew inspiration from different types of plants and flowers at different times. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/p/plant-motifs-in-islamic-art/

I doubt that it's Judaic, because the carvings suggest that the box is from Asia and that's less likely.

That leaves the religions in Southeast Asia, Persia, Turkey ..INDIA.

I guess Zoroastrian out of numbers, because it looks like something that was expensive to make,

Faaaak:rolleyes:..expensive? How do you know it wasn't made by a son?? do you know what the going rate for tradesmen or even craftsmen was in the whatever century ?

and they tend to spend the money on funerals, the other religions like Jainist and Hindu either don't use ceremonial boxes like that or don't plow money into ceremony like that.

WHAT? So..you claim to know how much a totally unknown Zoroastrian spent on a box ..that might have been one of the only known decorated osstuaty box in the known world.

And you KNOW they spend more money on funerals than Hindu'ss or Janists ?

The central flame/flower thing got me, and also someone else suggested Zoroastrian. Two different experts over the years immediately saw it and ask me "ossuary box?". I'm going with that.

You know Two ossuary box experts? or other antiquities experts..well enough to visit your home? 

 

Have you actually found an example of a WOODEN Zoroastrian Box of any kind? image please

What you've written about provenance is wrong. Right now, that box has NO provenance, because I'm able to establish that the provenance I received 20 years ago is counterfeit. Provenance is a specific thing, it's like a pedigree for art, my kids could no more create provenance than create a fake pedigree for a mutt. If the box is identified at some point, then its provenance can be restored, but I think that's unlikely it's not a painting, it's a low-profile item.

My "oral history" and your "oral history" have nothing to with provenance. I'm not trying to be an art snob here, when you buy artwork from a known dealer, the provenance is a citable history of the piece, it includes dates of sale, appraised values, owners, dealers, collection name, galleries, etc.. You can reference many items in the provenance to other collections and other items. My "oral history" would never be confused with provenance, because only Rain Man remembers all the dates and values of a piece of artwork and nothing about an "oral history" is appraisable, and that's the foundation of provenance. Think of it like a CarFax for artwork, or the county's records for the valuation and sale prices and ownership for a house.

 

It's funny that you think my interest in this box is "contributing" to a "shitty reputation" of the industry. I could have sold that box for enough to buy a pretty decent little 1950s collectable car, and now I'm looking to move it on permanent loan to a collection somewhere, zero dollar value. As far as I know, the economy of the permanent loan drives curation. I've no idea how you equate that to "shitty."

Jesus.. I gave up halfway..you know absolutley shit all about any of this...Patina being applied? I uses inverted commas for provenance .

You think half the antiquities in the V&A or any other museum in the fucking world have " a citable history of the piece, it includes dates of sale, appraised values, owners, dealers, collection name, galleries, etc.."

I'm done ...you're an idiot..and an ignorant idiot to boot.

But I've got a 2000 year old pot I can sell you..I know it's 2000 years old because iit's hand painted and you can see the marks on the foot where it came off the wheel, and I've seen other pots with these sort of flowers on it..must be italian because it was found on the med sea bed and only the romans painted flowers.:rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

Jesus.. I gave up halfway..you know absolutley shit all about any of this...Patina being applied? I uses inverted commas for provenance .

You think half the antiquities in the V&A or any other museum in the fucking world have " a citable history of the piece, it includes dates of sale, appraised values, owners, dealers, collection name, galleries, etc.."

I'm done ...you're an idiot..and an ignorant idiot to boot.

But I've got a 2000 year old pot I can sell you..I know it's 2000 years old because iit's hand painted and you can see the marks on the foot where it came off the wheel, and I've seen other pots with these sort of flowers on it..must be italian because it was found on the med sea bed and only the romans painted flowers.:rolleyes:

Museum pieces may not have provenance, lots of antiques don't have it. But I'm quite sure that a provenance isn't endangered by any kind of "oral history."

You're getting angry, and all due respect, but I'm willing to believe experts to whom I've already spoken about that box. I'm not sure why my little box is making you so angry, nor do I care too much. I already wrote that I'm happy with whatever it is, but you seem oddly connected to the idea that you know more about it than I do, your twenty minutes on the internet currently trumping having researched it for twenty years and people to whom I've spoken.

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36 minutes ago, mikewof said:

Museum pieces may not have provenance, lots of antiques don't have it. But I'm quite sure that a provenance isn't endangered by any kind of "oral history."

You're getting angry, and all due respect, but I'm willing to believe experts to whom I've already spoken about that box. I'm not sure why my little box is making you so angry, nor do I care too much. I already wrote that I'm happy with whatever it is, but you seem oddly connected to the idea that you know more about it than I do, your twenty minutes on the internet currently trumping having researched it for twenty years and people to whom I've spoken.

 

If your 20 years research  tells you that Islam forbids using plants and flowers in their artwork, you must be researching wrong. :rolleyes:

True it's making me a little cross..I don't like liars.

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6 hours ago, Point Break said:

Good lord.....would you two get a room.......

They already have a box, why bother with a room. 

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10 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

But there's no evidence whatsoever that it's a Zoroastrian Ossary..

At the age of fourteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum, it's breathtaking, I suggest you try it.

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4 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

 

If your 20 years research  tells you that Islam forbids using plants and flowers in their artwork, you must be researching wrong. :rolleyes:

True it's making me a little cross..I don't like liars.

Islam forbids representing any people or animals, plants are okay, but usually not literally like that, they have to be representational, it's why geometric art dominates Islamic memorials.

Sure, some "jack" Muslims will do what they want, but it's much less common than geometric representational art.

As to Zoroastrianism, it's long been a common religion in India, it's the most populous country for that religion, more than even Iran. And Cenotaphs are common for them, they are less common for Hindu, Islam and Jainism.

But again, I'm not necessarily connected to any theory, and it doesn't matter, the origin may or may not sort itself out eventually.

My little box has made you angry, but researching it has given me some peace. You are the only person with whom I've interacted who has become angry about it. I guess it succeeded as art, then, any emotional response is a success.

 

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

At the age of fourteen, a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum, it's breathtaking, I suggest you try it.

 

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23 hours ago, Point Break said:

Good lord.....would you two get a room.......

Ummmm, Mr. PB, could I have a word with you..... only take a moment I trust.....if you please sir.

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKIN MIND SUGGESTING THAT WOOFSEY AND MELI GET A ROOM? THE IMPLICATION THAT THESE TWO SHOULD GO OFF AND FORNICATE AS A WAY TO SETTLE THEIR DIFFERENCES COULD WELL RESULT IN THE BIRTH OF AN OFFSPRING..... THE OFFSPRING OF WOOFSEY AND MELI, TO BE PRECISE MAN!

<breathe in and breathe out….. breathe in and breathe out>

I am not so sure humanity could stand such an assault on our collective mental health.

Sorry I raised my voice but seriously????

 

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25 minutes ago, BillDBastard said:

Ummmm, Mr. PB, could I have a word with you..... only take a moment I trust.....if you please sir.

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKIN MIND SUGGESTING THAT WOOFSEY AND MELI GET A ROOM? THE IMPLICATION THAT THESE TWO SHOULD GO OFF AND FORNICATE AS A WAY TO SETTLE THEIR DIFFERENCES COULD WELL RESULT IN THE BIRTH OF AN OFFSPRING..... THE OFFSPRING OF WOOFSEY AND MELI, TO BE PRECISE MAN!

<breathe in and breathe out….. breathe in and breathe out>

I am not so sure humanity could stand such an assault on our collective mental health.

Sorry I raised my voice but seriously????

 

I'd be an interesting science experiment though...

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Holy shit, Mikey is window sashaying right into your brains.  Of course it is not an antiquity, look at the damn thing, there is no magic wood that does not age.  I doubt it is 50 years old, probably a Cost Plus World Market special.  

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, BillDBastard said:

Ummmm, Mr. PB, could I have a word with you..... only take a moment I trust.....if you please sir.

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKIN MIND SUGGESTING THAT WOOFSEY AND MELI GET A ROOM? THE IMPLICATION THAT THESE TWO SHOULD GO OFF AND FORNICATE AS A WAY TO SETTLE THEIR DIFFERENCES COULD WELL RESULT IN THE BIRTH OF AN OFFSPRING..... THE OFFSPRING OF WOOFSEY AND MELI, TO BE PRECISE MAN!

<breathe in and breathe out….. breathe in and breathe out>

I am not so sure humanity could stand such an assault on our collective mental health.

Sorry I raised my voice but seriously????

 

:lol:

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27 minutes ago, 2slow said:

Holy shit, Mikey is window sashaying right into your brains.  Of course it is not an antiquity, look at the damn thing, there is no magic wood that does not age.  I doubt it is 50 years old, probably a Cost Plus World Market special.  

 

 

 

Clearly. But I still think it's worth the $100 I offered. I'll even pay shipping.

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9 hours ago, IStream said:

Clearly. But I still think it's worth the $100 I offered. I'll even pay shipping.

If memory serves, you also offered me a beer money for my 1975 Fiat 124.

Does it ever work? Do people sell you stuff for the wad of Lincolns you happen to have stuffed into your jacket pocket?

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10 hours ago, 2slow said:

Holy shit, Mikey is window sashaying right into your brains.  Of course it is not an antiquity, look at the damn thing, there is no magic wood that does not age.  I doubt it is 50 years old, probably a Cost Plus World Market special.  

Hardwood with low VOC content, stored dry and indoors will barely oxidize.

Meander around the antiquities wing of your local Atlanta museum and you'll see 500 year old hardwood that looks like it was carved last week.

Wooden boats age from the sun and the water ... but try and guess the age of a Chippendale chair and get back to this thread about "magic wood." Yeah, wood is magic, that's what wood is.

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10 hours ago, floating dutchman said:

I'd be an interesting science experiment though...

My god, you want to join in?!!:o

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Mike I truly hope your box turns out to be something special. But in today's world it's highly suspect. 

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/is-your-antique-windsor-a-fake/

You seem certain the hardware is very old. But hardware is probably one the easiest things to recreate. Even if the hardware is antique it could have been repurposed last week.

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10 hours ago, 2slow said:

Holy shit, Mikey is window sashaying right into your brains.  Of course it is not an antiquity, look at the damn thing, there is no magic wood that does not age.  I doubt it is 50 years old, probably a Cost Plus World Market special.  

Just to revisit ... what is the process of "aging" in a genuine, molecular sense? What actually happens to make materials "age" and look different?

Things oxidize, right? And molecular domains "ripen". But what actually causes that to happen? Time? Hydrogen bonding? Thermal stress? What is wood, ceramic, metal or glass, in a molecular sense?

If you don't identify these basic processes, then you're left with nonsense, talking about things like "patina" and assuming that an uneducated opinion is more truthful than actual training in materials science.

And that uneducated opinion is transmitted and validated using the electronics of some of those exact same processes of oxidization and ripening.

It's something akin to a Luddite breaking his employer's machines with a laser shock peening system instead of a sledgehammer. But that's our future right?

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8 minutes ago, bmiller said:

Mike I truly hope your box turns out to be something special. But in today's world it's highly suspect. 

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/is-your-antique-windsor-a-fake/

You seem certain the hardware is very old. But hardware is probably one the easiest things to recreate. Even if the hardware is antique it could have been repurposed last week.

Yeah, that's the point, I already have reasonably confirmed that it isn't what what sold to me. It can't be "fake" because it currently has no identity to fake.

Now I'm in the long process of trying to find out why someone spent a year carving that thing. In its original form, it had no hardware.

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2 hours ago, mikewof said:

Hardwood with low VOC content, stored dry and indoors will barely oxidize.

Meander around the antiquities wing of your local Atlanta museum and you'll see 500 year old hardwood that looks like it was carved last week.

Wooden boats age from the sun and the water ... but try and guess the age of a Chippendale chair and get back to this thread about "magic wood." Yeah, wood is magic, that's what wood is.

Whatever Mike, throw as much word salad as you want at the screen, it isn't sticking.  

That antique Chippendale chair has been polished for 400 years.  If  it was left alone the wood would not be in great condition.  Show me some raw wood examples that show no aging, or treated/varnished/protected examples that look like your blond wood example.  How bout some pics of the hardware and screws, joinery, inside of box....yeah sash weights 

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5 hours ago, mikewof said:

If memory serves, you also offered me a beer money for my 1975 Fiat 124.

Does it ever work? Do people sell you stuff for the wad of Lincolns you happen to have stuffed into your jacket pocket?

I don't recall offering to buy your 124, though I did appreciate it as a former 124 owner/rebuilder. I don't have a garage or the infrastructure for a project car anymore.

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7 hours ago, mikewof said:

Just to revisit ... what is the process of "aging" in a genuine, molecular sense? What actually happens to make materials "age" and look different?

Things oxidize, right? And molecular domains "ripen". But what actually causes that to happen? Time? Hydrogen bonding? Thermal stress? What is wood, ceramic, metal or glass, in a molecular sense?

If you don't identify these basic processes, then you're left with nonsense, talking about things like "patina" and assuming that an uneducated opinion is more truthful than actual training in materials science.

And that uneducated opinion is transmitted and validated using the electronics of some of those exact same processes of oxidization and ripening.

It's something akin to a Luddite breaking his employer's machines with a laser shock peening system instead of a sledgehammer. But that's our future right?

You know Mike, a while back I dated a woman that had a PhD in physics and a PhD in philosophy.  An actual physicist-philosopher.  She usually made sense when she talked, unlike you.

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6 hours ago, 2slow said:

Whatever Mike, throw as much word salad as you want at the screen, it isn't sticking.  

That antique Chippendale chair has been polished for 400 years.  If  it was left alone the wood would not be in great condition.  Show me some raw wood examples that show no aging, or treated/varnished/protected examples that look like your blond wood example.  How bout some pics of the hardware and screws, joinery, inside of box....yeah sash weights 

The joinery is all wood, not visible. The box was modified for the hardware, because the rear interior lip was removed. The original box had no screws or joinery. Unless someone modified a new box with antique hardware, then it's at least 150 years old.  (I do know something about hardware, if nothing else.)

And I've seen hardwood much older than that, stored indoors that doesn't show much oxidization. Woods tend to have phenols, which are VOCs, and oxidize almost immediately after the wood is carved. If the wood is kept away from the elements, it tends to stay in its originally oxidized condition for a long time. Auber Parent's lime/elmwood carvings are about 250 years old and look less aged than my little box, they are masterpieces, and were all stored well, with zero application of wood protectant, given the delicacy of the carvings. If you think that wood isn't magic, you should work with wood more. It's magic.

I get that you have deigned expertise here, but I've studying my dumb little box for nearly 20 years, I've already gone through all the horse-sense explanations that you and Meli have stomped out, they don't fit.

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3 minutes ago, Ed Lada said:

You know Mike, a while back I dated a woman that had a PhD in physics and a PhD in philosophy.  An actual physicist-philosopher.  She usually made sense when she talked, unlike you.

I don't know jack-shit about the philosophy, but I'm half-decent at physics. If you don't understand what I write, I'm happy to explain it to you, it's correct. Regardless, why would a woman of such intelligence date you? Was it one of those make-a-wish things?

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2 hours ago, IStream said:

I don't recall offering to buy your 124, though I did appreciate it as a former 124 owner/rebuilder. I don't have a garage or the infrastructure for a project car anymore.

I hauled it back to my house, shoved it in the back bay, put in a new battery and some fuel ... she started right up after not even been cranked since 1989, even drove her a bit with essentially no brakes. Then I noticed it sprayed fuel everywhere. I have to replace every fuel line in the vehicle, dry rot I guess, but still not bad for a fix-it-again-tony.

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

The joinery is all wood, not visible. The box was modified for the hardware, because the rear interior lip was removed. The original box had no screws or joinery. Unless someone modified a new box with antique hardware, then it's at least 150 years old.  (I do know something about hardware, if nothing else.)

And I've seen hardwood much older than that, stored indoors that doesn't show much oxidization. Woods tend to have phenols, which are VOCs, and oxidize almost immediately after the wood is carved. If the wood is kept away from the elements, it tends to stay in its originally oxidized condition for a long time. Auber Parent's lime/elmwood carvings are about 250 years old and look less aged than my little box, they are masterpieces, and were all stored well, with zero application of wood protectant, given the delicacy of the carvings. If you think that wood isn't magic, you should work with wood more. It's magic.

I get that you have deigned expertise here, but I've studying my dumb little box for nearly 20 years, I've already gone through all the horse-sense explanations that you and Meli have stomped out, they don't fit.

Even if the hardware is 150 years old it could have been installed last week.

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

I hauled it back to my house, shoved it in the back bay, put in a new battery and some fuel ... she started right up after not even been cranked since 1989, even drove her a bit with essentially no brakes. Then I noticed it sprayed fuel everywhere. I have to replace every fuel line in the vehicle, dry rot I guess, but still not bad for a fix-it-again-tony.

Ille giftte you a bottelle of you favritte gin fiorre the littelle Italian whiorre, welle...... aftere you fixe thoise rubbere hose issues.      :)

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I've done a little research regarding Mikey's box. Discontinued but a few years back Pier One Imports used to sell them for $79.00.

Mystery solved. Nothing more to see here.

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1 hour ago, Snaggletooth said:

Ille giftte you a bottelle of you favritte gin fiorre the littelle Italian whiorre, welle...... aftere you fixe thoise rubbere hose issues.      :)

Ummmm, Snaggy, ummm, where to start...… let me just go straight to the point.,woofey is full of crap, there is no Fiat, there never was a Fiat, he wouldn't know the business end of a box wrench if you drew him a diagram. So do yourself a favor and sit back, drink some of that railroad gin you have there and dream of sailing your zephyr to the ends of the earth.

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3 minutes ago, BillDBastard said:

Ummmm, Snaggy, ummm, where to start...… let me just go straight to the point.,woofey is full of crap, there is no Fiat, there never was a Fiat, he wouldn't know the business end of a box wrench if you drew him a diagram. So do yourself a favor and sit back, drink some of that railroad gin you have there and dream of sailing your zephyr to the ends of the earth.

I thouht we wearer friendes...... Ime am a tadde gullibelle.......  butte realley, do I comme up theht shorte?

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9 minutes ago, BillDBastard said:

Sorry, I respect you too much to be honest with you .

nowe I undestandde.......  thack you I gesse              :)

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2 hours ago, bmiller said:

Even if the hardware is 150 years old it could have been installed last week.

Yeah. Or twenty years ago, to be precise. But why would someone use 1800s era screws on a new box? And why would someone hand carve that much hardwood in the era of power grinders? In fact, why would they make a box with lip insets in the age of steel hinges?

If you're in Golden, you're welcome to stop by anytime, maybe you can decode that little puzzle, because I haven't figured it out yet.

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5 hours ago, Snaggletooth said:

I thouht we wearer friendes...... Ime am a tadde gullibelle.......  butte realley, do I comme up theht shorte?

I do wish people would stop using slang on the internet....

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He isn't interested in you coming to Golden and kicking his arse either. He is just wasting time during the US Government shutdown and doing so with his usual extensive fabrications.

Maybe one of our Canadian friends could send him a pizza?

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I'd like to see some more photos, especially of the 1800s hardware. Really, I like that stuff.

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