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Old 21st November 2009, 11:58 PM   #3
fearn
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
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Hi Alan,

What can I say? Value has a strong social component. For better or worse, it's also part of the story of a piece.

I would also suggest that it's inevitable that all of the keris that you now own will pass out of your hands, either because you sold them, gave them away as gifts, or ultimately, became part of your inheritance. Assuming none of them are destroyed, it is almost inevitable that anything you display on this site will eventually be sold, and their appearance on this site will be part of their provenance. It's unclear to me why it's totally unethical to display items that you hope to sell in the near future, but it's totally ethical to show them if you're not planning on selling them yet.

I'm also puzzled by why reworking is unethical too. If someone puts in some work to improve the quality of a keris (perhaps by dressing and staining it properly, fixing the fittings, and so forth), doesn't that increase its value? Obviously, fraud is possible in reworking, but that, too, can be uncovered on this site. For example, if someone sold me a piece with the pamor silk-screened on, I'd be happy to post a high resolution image of it, as an example of what to be careful of. Then again, I can be a little blunt.

Another way to look at it is to flip it: assume that there's a total ban on selling anything that's displayed on this site. Fewer items will be shown, and certainly some of the most avid collectors who regularly recycle their collections won't bother. Moreover, the items that do appear for sale will have little or no commentary. Is that a good thing? Not to me: I'd rather hear what everyone thinks. While it's not a perfect antidote to fraud, I suspect that multiple opinions do help people better evaluate what they're looking at.

Finally, I'd also gently suggest that one reason we may be seeing more sales is that there's a recession going on, and people's financial situations are changing quickly. Let's allow them to sell their collections if they must.

Best,

F
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