Prof. Dr. Hans Wolfgang Muller

Munich 13

Herzogstrasse 115 February 15, 1960

 

 

EXPERT OPINION

 

Subject :

 

Relief slab with head turned to the left, height about 16.3 cm, width about 13.3 cm, and a small head with a dilated cranium, height 9.6 cm, both made of reddish lime sandstone ( ? ) , from the property of the Mansoor family, Palo Alto, California.

 

The objects described above were submitted to me by Dr. Voss, Munich-Graefelfing, for examination. I had previously received a written communication from Mr. Edmond Mansoor, dated July 24, 1959, in which he offered me these pieces for purchase by the National Collection of Egyptian objects in Munich, and included very detailed Technical Examination : of 9 Tell El Amarna Objects of 1959 together with photographs. I have not answered this letter, because all objects from the photographs, gave me the impression of modern imitations, in spite of the technical examinations which concluded them to be antique.

 

Dr. Voss now submitted to me a series of additional photographs of objects in the style of Amarna, owned by the Mansoor family, and has requested me to write my opinion on paper, which opinion can now be based on the two originals mentioned above. In this connection I refuse to go into the technical opinions of the DeMent Laboratories and of others, and into their methods, which in my opinion have led to the wrong result regarding the conclusion of authenticity.

 

I.                   It is decisive for me that the forms of all objects submitted to me as coming from the ownership of the Mansoor family, whether in the original or in photographic reproductions, exaggerate certain stylistic characteristics of the Amarna artistry in such an obtrusive fashion, that every connoisseur of Egyptian Art must consider them forgeries without hesitation. With regard to the forms I refer to a group of Amarna forgeries from the collection of A. Stoclet in Brussels, which still in 1930 could be published as antique Amarna objects by Prof. Dr Frankfort ( in : Maandblad voor Beeldende Kunsten, VII Jaargang Nr.3, March 1930 on page 78ff., fig 13-15, 16, 17, 18-19, 20-22 ), but today must be rejected by every connoisseur of Egyptian art as forgeries. I may recognize a certain stylistic relationship of both small heads of princesses of the collection Stoclet ( Fig. 17 and 20-22 ) with photographs of the Mansoor pieces submitted to me by Dr. Voss; they might in fact, be the work of the same forger.

 

II The material of both objects submitted to me in the original ( relief head and small head of princess ) is a reddish lime-sandstone, which is supposed to have derived from Egypt, according to the expert opinions, but which is not known to me as coming from Egypt; this type of stone has during the entire pharaonic history of the valley of the Nile been used neither in its architecture, nor in its art production of reliefs, statues or small objects.

 

It is superfluous to go into further details beyond the forms and the material, which details would only confirm the modern origin of these pieces: e.g. microscopic picture of the worked surfaces, and the touching up of the borders of the fractures of these pieces. I have examined the two pieces that were left with me again and again in the course of long weeks, and can pronounce them modern imitations with absolute certainty on the basis of my studies and comparisons.

 

Prof. Dr. Hans Wolfgang Muller

MUNICH

 

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