Palestine Exploration Fund, London

Shapira’s Jerusalem workshop turned out a line of even more exotic Moabitica: phallic objects and idols with crudely exaggerated genitalia. Apparently none of these objects is extant; we know of their existence because they were documented by two British representatives of the Palestine Exploration Fund who viewed Shapira’s collection in 1872: Charles Tyrwhitt-Drake, who made pencil drawings of the objects, and Claude Regnier Conder, one of whose water-colors is shown here (compare with photo of additional watercolor). (The Palestine Exploration Fund has considered these drawings so distasteful that many have never been publicly displayed.) At that time, however, both men were convinced of Shapira’s “honesty and good faith,” as Tyrwhitt-Drake put it.