A comments on your post.
1 - Actually, TWO bidders (or, one bidder and a shill) ran up the
price to over $550. One bidder would have bought it at the opening
2 - Are you refering to intaglio cut STONES or METAL? I see many of
both on eBay.
3 - The majority of "ancient artifacts" found on eBay are
reproductions meant to deceive the buyer, many crafted in eastern
Europe and the middle east. There are many suppliers of these items
on eBay with spotless feedback, who nevertheless sell fakes EVERY DAY
to their unsuspecting clients.
Here is an example:
In Columbus, Ohio, next to the wholesale Merchandise Mart, there
used to be a wholesaler of Chinese antiques. This dealer had a 20,000
foot warehouse stuffed with these antiques that retail business reps
could browse through. The only problem was that they would have 50
pieces of exactly the same Ming vase, in exactly the same state of
preservation. Were they authentic? Absolutely not! Were they SOLD as
authentic? YES! This is the state of eBay today. There are tens of
thousands of Bulgarians, Romanians, Lebanese, Greeks, etc., etc.,
that work in the fake antiquities business, pouring forth coins,
jewelry, pottery, glassware, weapons, whatever you can imagine, using
the original processes and artificially aging the items so that it
takes a bonifide expert to tell them from real. Even the experts can
be fooled many times, because the forgers are constantly coming up
with new processes to better mimic style and aging of their fakes.
Sadly, even if an item has 200 years of proven history, it could
STILL be a fake, as these fakes have been made for hundreds of years.