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Fake Ancient Etruscan Terra Cotta Warrior Figures in 1937 Metropolitan Museum

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Seller: joslinhall (7,636) 100%, Location: Northampton, Massachusetts, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 162274754149 “Etruscan Terracotta Warriors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With a Report on the Structure and Technique by Charles F. Binns” By Gisela M.A. Richter. Published in New York by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Papers No.6. 1937. Edition limited to 500 copies. description continues below the picture- - - - DISCUSSION: A gigantic (to say the least) scholarly "oopsie". In late 1915 Gisela Richter, renowned expert on Greek and Roman antiquities at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, received a letter from John Marshall, the Museum's veteran purchasing agent in Italy, describing a newly discovered life-size Etruscan warrior figure in terra-cotta which had been discovered in an Italian field. The "old warrior" (he had a white beard and was emaciated, somewhat like, as one observer commented later, a Giacommetti sculpture) was soon followed by a massive four-foot tall terra cotta warrior's head, and there was even talk of a greater treasure waiting to be found... It was, of course, all fakery, carried out on a grand, almost "mythic" scale, a scale meant to make experts put aside all their nagging doubts and see the "Etruscans" as what they were not (namely, ancient). The first two pieces had been created by Riccardo Riccardi and Alfredo Fioravanti, two young men of skill and a certain vision. Riccardo's father and brothers had also specialized in historic pottery, but Riccardo was the true genius of the family, and with his friend Alfredo he set out to produce "masterpieces" that would wow the world's museums. The white-bearded warrior and massive head were the first two, followed immediately after World War One by the capping stroke- a Colossal Warrior in terra cotta, standing over eight feet tall. Riccardo was killed in a fall from his horse before this project was completed and his place was taken by two less-skilled cousins. As with the earlier pieces, the statue had to be fired in pieces as it was much too large for the kiln. It proved, in fact, to even be too large for the room it was being modeled in, and by the time they had modeled up as far as the waist it was obvious that the elegant classical proportions of genuine Etruscan sculpture would have to be ignored -there simply was not enough room for the upper body without going through the ceiling. The odd result- classical legs and a stocky, disproportionate torso, troubled various scholars, but was explained away in a classic fit of wishful thinking. In 1921 the Met. purchased the warrior for an undisclosed price said to have approached 5 million dollars in today's money. Attempts to erase doubts that were already being whispered in art circles in Europe, as well as the hope that the "secret" field they had been found in might be divulged by their "discoverers", delayed the publication of this scholarly study of them until 1937. For Richter, bringing them to the Met. and publishing them represented one of the crowning achievements of her distinguished career, and it was undoubtedly this fact that blinded her to what was becoming all too obvious to other scholars who were not emotionally or professionally attached to the warriors. The talk about their true origins swirled quietly for the next decade or two, but after a visiting Italian scholar was offered a chance to see the statues in 1959, and commented that he did not need to see them since he knew the man who had made them, authorities at the museum decided something had to be done. In 1960 a series of tests concluded that the glazes on all three specimens contained chemicals which had not been in use before the 17th century, and in 1961 Fioravanti signed a confession of the whole affair, and supplied a missing thumb which fitted perfectly. At that point several other "bothersome" points that had been noted over the years began to make more sense- the Colossal Warrior could not even support its own weight, for instance, and when compared to real Etruscan statuary, simply looks crude and even modern. Today the statues are stored far away from prying eyes, but they still provide an entertaining and sobering lesson in fake busting. A much more detailed account of the warriors was written by David Sox in his excellent book "Unmasking the Forger, The Dossena Deception" (1987). DESCRIPTION: Card covers. 9.5"x12.5", 218 pages plus 24 black & white illustrations. CONDITION NOTES: Minor soil, light wear, but otherwise clean and nice, with a tight binding. - - - - - - OVERSEAS BUYERS PLEASE NOTE: Our International shipping charges are based on the weight, when boxed for shipping, of each book -please check the postage chart for the cost of shipping to your country. We offer “combined shipping charges” for orders for more than one book –this often means the shipping cost for the books is less than it would have been if they had been purchased and shipped one at a time, so please ask us for a shipping quote if you are thinking about buying more than one book. Thanks! - QUESTIONS about this item? If you have any questions regarding this item, please let us know and we will respond promptly. We have more books like this listed in our Ebay store! Joslin Hall Books Selling books since 1983 INSURANCE??? As a seller we take responsibility for properly packing and delivering your purchase safely to you. You do not have to spend extra for insurance to guarantee that. RETURNS: We want you to be completely satisfied- anything is returnable for any reason at all within 14 days of receipt; we do ask that you notify us that you are returning it. OVERSEAS CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE: -We always welcome orders from customers outside the United States. The “Free Shipping” marker found on many of our books only applies to shipping within the United States –we wish we could afford to offer free overseas shipping, but we cannot. Please use the “Shipping & Payments” tab (above) to check the cost of shipping. We charge actual shipping based on weight, so sometimes large, heavy, inexpensive books can actually cost more to ship than the book itself costs –I know that seems odd, but the shipping cost is based on the actual weight of the book, not its selling price. If you have any questions, please use the "Ask Us a Question" button before you buy the book. -Import duties, taxes and related import charges added by your country are not included in the item price or shipping charges. These charges are the buyer’s responsibility. Please check with your country’s customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding/buying. These charges are normally collected by the delivering freight (shipping) company or when you pick the item up – please do not confuse them for additional shipping charges, which we never impose. We do not mark merchandise values below value or mark items as ‘gifts’ to avoid import duties, as this is illegal in most countries. - Member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. Your satisfaction is guaranteed with every book you purchase. Condition: Minor soil, light wear, but otherwise clean and nice, with a tight binding.

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