Thursday, February 18, 2010

Exhibition: A Collector’s Menagerie

Art Daily

The Sladmore Gallery, 57 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London, is renowned for exhibiting animal sculpture from the last 200 years, and has now invited Rupert Wace Ancient Art to introduce collectors to a veritable menagerie from the ancient world, spanning a period of some 2,400 years. A Collector’s Menagerie: Animal Sculpture from the Ancient World will be on view from Wednesday 12 to Friday 28 May 2010. Around 70 important and appealing pieces will be offered for prices ranging from £1,000 to over £150,000. . . .

One of the best known Egyptian gods is Bastet represented by the cat and, indeed, the most prized piece in this exhibition is a handsome bronze mummy mask of a cat’s head, its large scale indicating that it would have belonged to a particularly important or venerated cat. Dating from the Late Dynastic Period, 25th-31st Dynasty, 715-332 BC, it was formerly in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, the bequest of Arthur B. Michael, 1941 (fig. 2). The female cat came to be associated uniquely with Bastet, an ancient goddess worshipped at Per-Bastet (Bubastis) in the Delta. The seated cat, an example of which is also included in this show, represents the goddess on earth and would have been the focus of ritual and worship in the temple (fig. 3).

Other Egyptian animals and birds represented in the exhibition include bulls, baboons and crocodiles, falcons, vultures, ibis and owls, and these, like the cat, either represent gods or goddesses or are important protectors of the king. The materials used to represent them vary from gold and bronze to wood and terracotta.

No comments: