AN 'EGYPTIAN BLUE' RIBBED BOWL
AN 'EGYPTIAN BLUE' RIBBED BOWL
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION
AN EGYPTIAN PALE GREEN FAIENCE CROUCHING CAT

NEW KINGDOM, 18TH DYNASTY, CIRCA 1550-1292 B.C.

Details
AN EGYPTIAN PALE GREEN FAIENCE CROUCHING CAT
NEW KINGDOM, 18TH DYNASTY, CIRCA 1550-1292 B.C.
2 1/8 in. (5.5 cm.) long
Provenance
Comtesse Martine-Marie-Octavie Pol de Béhague (1870-1939), Paris; thence by descent to Marquis Jean-Louis Hubert de Ganay (1922-2013), France.
Antiquités et Objets d'Art: Collection de Martine, Comtesse de Béhague, Provenant de la Succession du Marquis de Ganay, Sotheby's, Monaco, 5 December 1987, lot 87.
Leo Mildenberg (1913-2001) collection, Zurich.
A Peaceable Kingdom, The Leo Mildenberg Collection of Ancient Animals, Christie's, London, 26-27 October 2004, lot 120.
Literature
A. S. Walker (ed.), Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection, Part III, Mainz am Rhein, 1996, no. 140.
P. E. Mottahedeh (ed.), Out of Noah's Ark, Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection, Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem, 1997, no. 94.
Exhibited
Munich, Prähistorische Staatssammlung; Mannheim, Reiss-Museum; Jerusalem, Bible Lands Museum; Bonn, Akademisches Kunstmuseum; Stendal, Winckelmann-Museum, Out of Noah’s Ark: Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection, 11 October 1996 - 28 June 1999.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU or, if the UK has withdrawn from the EU without an agreed transition deal, from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Claudio Corsi
Claudio Corsi Specialist, Head of Department

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Lot Essay

The cat is modelled with a scarab incised on the forehead and crouched (maybe in the act of hissing) on a base in the form of the hieroglyph 's3' which means 'protection'. The cat, often representing the goddess Bastet, was widely represented in ancient Egypt, most commonly in the form of larger bronze votive figures and smaller amulets of faience and other precious materials. While figures of seated cats were widely produced, the motif of the crouching cat is much rarer and this example represents one of the finest, both for quality of the modelling and skill in the working of the faience, which appears to have been incised and polished before firing to achieve a compact and smooth finish. Purely observational pieces such as this small sculpture, not representing a deity and without any specific amuletic function, were popular in particular towards the end of the 18th Dynasty and had no other apparent purpose than to amuse the owner. For another example pertaining to this class of small sculptures, see the ivory puppy in the collection of the British Museum (inv. no. 1883,1018.99), cf. C. Andrews, Egyptian Treasures from the British Museum, London, 1998, p. 314, no. 100.
Another interesting comparison is an amulet of a seated cat made of rock crystal which shows similar features of the beautifully modelled head and effective rendition of the body, also in the collection of the British Museum, cf. C. Andrews, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London, 1994, p. 33, pl. 29a.

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