02-09-2015 10:53 PM
Ant, your sarcasm makes it seem as if you've taken offense at my words, when they were simply comments for Joe to consider... As I stated earlier, I know much less about the Danziger type skulls than the "jawed" versions, but I think the increased availability of these skulls on the market in the wake of the "hoard discovery" makes any Danziger piece worthy of increased scrutiny before purchase. Many of the comments that I made were based on the original posted photo, which shows considerably less of the detail in the piece. I think anyone would agree that this photo
by another ant
shows much less detail (especially in the crevices around the skull and between the bones) than this one:
Indeed, the piece looks much more convincing in the second, newer photo. There are a variety of Danziger skulls out there, with notable differences in the shapes of the eyes, teeth, sutures, and even the "eyebrows." You may have noticed that the majority of the jawless skulls on the SS caps (such as those shown by FB) have the pronounced "eyebrows." There are relatively few Danziger skulls that I have seen on SS caps that lack the large eyebrows, as Joe's does. This type of skull (with its serrated "sawtooth" prongs) seems to be tied directly to the story of the Berlin hoard. It has been hypothesized that it is based on an old imperial design. Here are some other examples of this particular type of skull that are for sale or have been sold recently:
The issue has been discussed many times, on this site and others. Here's a link to a thread on another site where the matter has been brought up: Berlin Hoard Skulls - What is the Deal Here?. Here is another (starting around post #28): 1st pattern Jawless cap skull thread. Here's one more from our forum (Joe, this one seems to show your skull exactly): SS Cap Skull unmarked. Whenever this topic is brought up, it usually devolves into a shouting match between those that doubt the authenticity of the skulls (believing them to be fakes passed off as authentic skulls found in the hoard), and those that believe them to be authentic (often because they own one of these types). In the end, it's a matter of opinion, as no concrete facts can be brought to the discussion. Luckily, these skulls can commonly be found for a lot cheaper than their "jawed" cousins (likely due to the controversy and the divided opinion among collectors with regard to their authenticity). If you like it and believe it to be authentic, based on everything you've read (and, likely, will read), then keep it and enjoy it!
It might help to get a clearer picture of the back of your skull, Joe. The picture you provided shows very little detail on the backside, and the "Berlin hoard" skulls that I've seen have more details, such as the tooth marks, on the backside. This detail might be present on your skull, and the original picture just might not show it. I'm also having trouble seeing the second "smooth" suture line on the right side of the front of your skull. It could simply be worn down...
Ant, I really don't know how I feel about the 3-pronged skulls. I think these skulls have only been found on a real SS cap once or twice (if at all), and without further evidence, it's impossible to say how authentic they are. It IS a very similar situation. And again, that's why you commonly find these skulls for a lot cheaper than their 2-pronged cousins. Personally, I would lean more toward buying a skull with known examples found on SS caps and better-documented authentication, so I can be more sure that it's the "real deal"... However, I don't mind if someone else who believes this type of skull is authentic buys one. At this point, it's just a matter of opinion! As for your other comments, I think others would agree that the surface of the skull in the original picture did not look "smooth," and given that cast items often have a "rougher" appearance, I thought I should mention this. Joe's skull looks to be in really good condition, and doesn't really look like a "dug," which might have explained some of the roughness I saw in the original photo.
In the end, I only gave my observations on the piece. It may very well be authentic, and if so, I'd be happy for Joe! Ant, do you have one of these in your collection? Your comments toward me seemed rather aggressive/sarcastic, so if I've offended you or your collection in some way, I apologize. I was just trying to give Joe some points to consider. Perhaps I'll stick to discussions about the jawed skulls from now on, since I'm much more knowledgeable on that type anyway...
Thanks for all the info, + & -. All in all, it looks nice and I like it and it didn't cost a thing practically. What do any of you think about the IAB? A hollow back version. I'll post it for comments as well later. Much obliged....Out.