The TL testing was done by Kotalla Labs which must have received clay core samples from all 75 pieces. What are the odds of having clay cores that could be tested on every object in the exhibition?
What are the odds of over 100 authentic early Ife and Benin bronzes would be found by one gallery owner in Berlin. I would say Las Vegas would be betting large against. But I am getting ahead of myself.
With 37 years in the business as a gallery owner and appraiser let's say Peter Hermann has decided to hire me as his independent consultant to advise him on the selling of his collection worldwide. And let's say I accept with the stipulation that I have complete control and a sufficient budget to test, authenticate, and market the collection.
And you say that's economically not very practical. With more than one Benin head being sold recently in the millions of dollars and with the current market for top material reaching unparalleled heights, you can't afford not to do your homework.
If the collection passes this process, it is time to market and sell the collection. I would hire Alain Monbrison, Paris dealer and auctioneer of the Goldet and Verite collections to sell the collection at auction. Previously unknown, authentic, early-but-well documented Benin and Ife material properly marketed worldwide to include China and the Middle East could potentially net Mr. Hermann an enormous amount of money.
Instead Mr. Hermann has chosen to not fully explore independent sources for testing and stylistic analysis and decided to become his own expert and source of authentication preferring to argue his own case (see: http://www.galerie-herrmann.com/arts/art6/Kolumnen/2008_10_TL_vrs_Metalanalyses.htm) . Why waste the time and effort, just let the objects speak for themselves after they have been independently verified. If he has what he says, his response makes no sense. And it is not logical.
I have not reviewed Hermann's data, so I certainly can't say whether the material is authentic. Common sense says you, as a buyer, should certainly be asking questions. As an authenticator and an appraiser, there are certainly a number of red flags that need to be resolved. Maybe Peter Hermann is the luckiest guy in the world. And then again maybe he is not.