The Eudaemonist encounters “provenience,” a variant form of “provenance,” and investigates, with surprising (to me) results; I thank both the Eudaemonist and the Athena de nos jours, Google, under whose aegis the matter was haruspicated.
Addendum. Since the Eudaemonist’s archives seem to have vanished, I will put here the quote I originally stuck in a title attribute:

An eccentric gentleman had, it seems, written a book pointing out that many of the ancient artifacts in said museum “have no provenience” and that the trustees, curators, & co. were, if not actually hushing the matter up, at least not proclaiming this “truth” in large letters on billboards for the edification of the public.* Museological shenanigans are nothing new (cf. Elgin Marbles), but the word provenience, which I had never heard before, gave me pause: pro-VEE-nyehns? what about provenance (PROH-veh-nehns)?

Needless to say, I wish I hadn’t been so coy in my original post, because I no longer (May 2006) have any idea what her surprising discovery was. Memo to self: do not assume websites will last forever.

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