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Wayne Sanderson
Re: Provenance, Provenance, Provenance
Fri Jan 11, 2019 21:50

I understand the point you are making, even as you use an example that does more to make my point than yours.

The provenance that tends to support the authenticity of an apparent work of an old master only to have it turn out to be a well prepared fake shows us that the fact of the provenance coupled with the IMAGE, whether it was the original work of the master or the work of an expert forger who produced an almost indistinguishable copy used to replace the stolen original confirms the utility of multiple proofs- The provenance taken with the presence of the great forgery confirms that the work of the master once (probably) hung there, even though it no longer does.

It is virtually the same with Old West photos- The image that looks a whole lot like a notable, coupled with a trail that points to legitimate passage from one hand to the next through the years leads to a high level of confidence that the photo is of that notable, whether the image has been copied from an original long lost or taken from a surviving original just yesterday.

Yes, we can be fooled. Yes, we can be taken. No, we can never be 100% sure. All we can do is look at every scrap of proof and act on whatever level of confidence that proof engenders. FRT alone does not do it for me. FRT that is used as part of a search for subsequent proofs that add to a preponderance of evidence which favors authenticity does do it for me.

  • Provenance, Provenance, ProvenanceGary Stover, Fri Jan 11 10:39
    There are as many mistakes made over misdiagnosed provenance as there are over mistakes made by experts examining an object. At the same time, provenance on the photo of Wyatt and Bat we've been... more
    • Re: Provenance, Provenance, Provenance — Wayne Sanderson, Fri Jan 11 21:50
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