Material consequences of contemporary classical collecting

Christopher Chippindale, David W. J. GIll

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The nature of contemporary classical collecting is explored by studying seven celebrated new collections and exhibitions. The concept of provenance is defined in terms of an object's origins, or findspot, and its modern story, or history. The several hundred objects in these collections are analyzed in terms of their findspot and history since unearthing. These show that the dismaying picture previously demonstrated for Cycladic antiquities applies to classical objects across the board: the overwhelming majority have no declared or credible findspots and simply surface as orphans without history. Some of the many material aspects of this central fact are explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-511
Number of pages49
JournalAmerican Journal of Archaeology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000


  • collecting

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