Date of Award
Master of Arts
The purpose of this project will be to examine some of the most central issues in the evaluation and methodology for valuing the category of fine arts known as antiquities. This category covers several historical periods and includes artifacts which originate anywhere in the present countries of Egypt, Greece, or Italy from 4000 BC in the pre-dynastic ages of Egypt through the various dynasties of the Pharaohs, through the Minoan, Mycenaean, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic ages of Greece, and through the times when the Roman Empire rose and dominated practically the entire known world. The final date which defines antiquities is 336 AD, when the pagan world officially converted to Christianity under the Emperor Constantine.
The initial chapter will focus on the history and review of the literature on valuation of antiquities.
The second chapter addresses the examination of the development of the value of antiquities historically, socially and economically from the beginning of their manufacture in 4000 BC through all the various ages of the ancient world and through every major century up to the present time. This section will look at some of the issues that have influenced their value, their popularity, and their falling out of favor.
The third chapter will review some of the legal and social implications and incidents which have occurred since they were made, and we will try to give a broad background of the historical value up to the present time of antiquities. With this background, the paper will go on in the fourth chapters to analyze the antiquities market, using the methodology of gathering data and computation of prices to form a graphic portrayal of trends in the art market and to provide information for a data recall system. From this, a methodology has been developed and will be presented which can be applied to other categories of fine art as well.
The section of this culminating project which deals with the utilization of word processors and technology will be, to the knowledge of the writer, breaking new ground in this field. The large auction houses of Sotheby Parke Bernet and Christie's utilize a computer inventory and recall system. This system, however, for reasons of confidentiality, is not available to the general public. After lengthy discussions and conversations with appraisers across the country and around the world, it is evident that there is a crying need for a methodology which can be utilized by appraisers. This methodology using a computer would enable the appraiser to have at his or her fingertips instant recall of comparables from many fields. It is the hope of this writer that after this first attempt at such an analysis and methodology, a major breakthrough will occur for the appraising profession of personal property by utilizing data technology, a system by which appraisers can record all the necessary market comparable information onto a data recall program will be introduced. Through an analysis of the historical, social and economic aspects which have influenced the value of antiquities, combined with a utilization of modern technology, appraisers can gain a deeper understanding of the objects and their place in past, present and future markets.
Holton, Mary Thornton, "The Value of Antiquities: Historical Development and Evaluation of Trends in the Current Market Through Graphic Analysis and Sales Data Compilation" (1982). Theses. 125.