Okay … I’ve been forcefully woken from my blog slumber by some images that initially seemed just a little suspicious to me, but might eventually set alarm bells off in my head. Folks who follow me on twitter (@rogueclassicist) might be aware that earlier today I was pondering thusly: first, I noted this sarcophagus at the San Antonio Museum of Art (and @MariolaRub posted the photo … the official page says it is “probably from Tyre”):
… had a panel or two that were remarkably similar to an item coming to auction (from a Florida private collection):
… then @keftiugal noted a lead coffin at the UPenn Museum, with similar panels “Provenience: Lebanon Tyre):
… and then I came across this piece, in very high relief and with similar panels, at J. Bagot:
- via: J.BAGOT Arqueología – Ancient Art (go there for other views; this one is said to come from the necropolis of Tyre and was “decatalogued” by the Chrysler Museum … hmmm, I wonder why they decatalogued it)
Then there were actually two (not one, as I previously mentioned on twitter) examples in McCann, Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, specifically a Lead Sarcophagus of the Columnar Type (number 25; from Tyre) and a similarly described one which follows (number 26; not sure where from).
Last (for now), but not least, there is one at the-saleroom (from a private NY collection):
As I saw more and more of this image, I openly speculated that we must be dealing with some sort of factory situation and then the conspiracy portion of my brain wondered whether that factory was ancient or modern. Then that portion of my brain suggested I focus on the ‘medusa’ image from the liveauctioneers piece (which is similar to all the others, but a bit more visible:
Does this image not bear a certain resemblance to an image from another controversy from a few years ago, namely, the Jordan LEAD codices? Specifically, this image:
I borrowed that from Tom Verenna’s post from the time, back when we were all thinking the image was Apollo. [in case you need a refresher on the Lead Codices, see: Lead Codices – Once More into the ‘Reach’ along with the links provided therein]
So now I’m wondering … were the sarcophagi and the codex image the product of the same stamp? They have the same ‘right’ eye indentation and square jaw … the same ‘bird’ over the right eye, etc.. Lots of things here to make you go hmmmmmm, no?