An Egyptian Cat in the Pantheon of Goddesses
A highlight of the Bouvier Collection, a statue of Bastet, great in every sense, rose high in the hierarchy of her sister divinities.
Imperturbable during fierce bidding at the Paris saleroom, and as hieratic as on the day she appeared in Egypt during the reign of the Saite pharaohs, this statue of a seated cat representing the goddess Bastet topped the million mark, purring up to precisely €1,023,400. She had made a considerable impression on the cover of La Gazette No. 41 and at the Hôtel Drouot, where she was exhibited during the Oeuvres Choisis collegiate exhibition. The expert’s in-depth description emphasized the rarity of works of this size—some 28 cm/10.9 in high—and the sculptural quality of this particular piece. And the bidding paid it due tribute.
The sale of the collection of Jean Bouvier (1924-2022) continued with some fine medieval and early Baroque pieces, including a cabinet from Antwerp (148 x 92.5 x 46 cm/58.3 x 36.4 x 18.1 in) in ebony, sporting paintings attributed to Isaac Van Oosten (1613-1661) and embroidery. This cabinet, designed as a theater, yielded its secrets for €80,600. An angel’s head (h. 21.5 cm/8.5 in) carved in limestone hailing from a Utrecht workshop in c.1500 garnered €20,800; a 15th-century contorted Saint Sebastian in limewood (h. 89 cm/33.8 in.) with a prominent ribcage, made in Southern Germany, went for €10,400, and three children (h. 54 cm/21.3 in) carved in the round in walnut emerged from their brine tub for the same sum. This group, made in Touraine in the mid-15th century, formed part of a scene with Saint Nicolas. A lover of curiosities, Jean Bouvier was also a painter, and several of his poetic paintings with their feathery touch were also on offer. A View of Downtown, Manhattan (120 x 73 cm/47.2 x 28.7 in) painted in 1991 in pastel tones obtained €3,900, while €3,250 went to Futaie, ciel rose (High Forest; Pink Sky: 145.5 x 72 cm/57.3 x 28.3 in) from 1996, with an equally subtle range. As the artist said: “The more you paint, the more you see; the more you see, the more you want to paint.”
Tuesday 13 December 2022 – 14:30 (CET) – Live
Salle 4 – Hôtel Drouot – 75009
Giquello & Associés