Courtesy of David Bradnick, here are a few more examples of mummy masks and other cartonnage associated with the Green Collection (I have been keeping a record of mummy masks in the Green Collection here). I note that the two videos from which these screenshots were taken date from the time after the exit of Scott Carroll from the Green Collection. The first video is a lecture by Jerry Pattengale given at Oral Roberts University in January 2013 in association with the “Sacra Pagina” exhibit of Green Collection items. At several points, “discoveries” from cartonnage are mentioned. The following graphics show some items from the Green Collection’s cartonnage (the mummy mask shown here is one I have not seen before):
Also included in this first video is a listing of academics participating in the Green Scholars Initiative, including Professor Dirk Obbink:
This provides a segue to the next video, a short promotional feature for the travelling Passages exhibition in Colorado Springs in 2013. There is some additional footage here of Professor Obbink dismantling cartonnage at the VIP event held in conjunction with that exhibit:
Assuming that the two masks shown here belong to the Green Collection, I count at least eight masks associated with the Green Collection that have been publicly displayed. When I asked Mike Holmes at an SBL session in November 2019 about the number and the source of the mummy masks in the Green Collection, he replied that there were eight masks, of which four were purchased from Dirk Obbink. Josephine Dru (former curator of papyri at MOTB) was present in the audience and remarked that eight masks seemed like a low estimate to her and may not take note of items that were purchased but never delivered. There is probably more to be learned about the mummy masks in the Green Collection.
Reblogged this on Zwinglius Redivivus and commented:
The never ending saga never ends.
The mummy masks / cartonnage originate from the same dealer as the papyri: the Turkish brothers used to bring them regularly to try to sell to ‘runners’ in London, but there’s a direct correlation between them offering fewer and fewer to dealers and the Green owning more of them and their “scholars” dissolving them. The “Oxford” link in the chain is presumably Obbink, who was also involved with their Sappho fragments etc. I doubt a college would – not could – have sold theirs off.
Could the discrepancy in numbers be between how many they still have whole versus how many they bought but then dissolved?
To reinforce Dr. King’s point, I’d note the inclusion of ‘cartonagge masks’ (sic) in the Mixantik invoice of January 7, 2012 (as reported by MOTB). The number there is plural but otherwise unspecified. It would certainly be interesting to learn more from MOTB about the four Holmes said were purchased from Obbink (which is a claim for which I suspect he has documentary support)–not to mention further clarity on the number of such masks in the collection.
I should be clear I was not going off paperwork – just speaking with people in London and using logic. The dealers were well known for regularly offering them before around 2010, and always seemed to have cartonnage to the point where they were known for it (and not papyri). Then by the time the Green melting videos became publicly known, they no longer seemed to be trying to sell the cartonnage – so I guessed they’d found a regular buyer and no longer needed to offer them around.
The impression I got from the “runner” is that most dealers were reluctant to buy off them, suggesting they were concerned about provenance. And the problem with the way antiquities in London are sold through ‘runners’ – so dealers can claim they legally bought them in the UK – is that some dealers will have no idea whose hands the cartonnage passed through.
It’s also worth reminding people that they were seen as two brothers, not just one Turkish dealer.
Possibly worth noting the ‘dismantling’ methods have changed by 2013; or has been presented as having changed … doesn’t seem to involve dish detergent.
I recently came across this 2015 interview with Craig Evans talking about “First-Century Mark” and mummy masks. I don’t recall seeing it before. Considering what we know now, it’s an interesting listen. Evans was at least under the impression that there were a significant number of mummy masks available for dismantling.