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Auction : an exceptional collection dedicated to Egypt

The collections Bouvier, scattered at Artcurial on may 15, to reflect all facets of the ancient civilisations of egypt, from the predynastic period until the Tw

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Auction : an exceptional collection dedicated to Egypt

The collections Bouvier, scattered at Artcurial on may 15, to reflect all facets of the ancient civilisations of egypt, from the predynastic period until the Twelfth century.

While the great travelling exhibition celebrating Tutankhamun is now a stopover at the Grande Halle de la Villette, Egypt is at the heart of the next sale of archaeology held at Artcurial on 15 may. On this occasion will be delivered to auction the collections of 1930 to 1960 by Maurice Bouvier (1901-1981), a lawyer born in Moutier, Switzerland, who taught the law in Cairo and Alexandria.

Objects of the pharaohs, shabtis, art, coptic, jewelry, textiles of the islamic... Some 250 lots showing the splendor of the egyptians from time to time. Acquired with simple peddlers as among the best antique shops, these works of good quality have, for some, been the subject of exhibitions throughout Europe, in Switzerland and in France in particular.

READ ALSO >> Tutankhamun : a priceless treasure

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This set includes fifty figures of wood, faience or alabaster called initially "shaouabtis" ("wood"), and renamed later "shabtis" ("respondents"). Essential elements of the funerary furniture of ancient Egypt, these statuettes with the image of the deceased, inscribed with his name, his title and an extract of the Book of the Dead, were supposed to perform in his place, the chores requested in the other world, allowing him or her access to the rest.

fifty Shabtis in wood, faience or alabaster will be auctioned during the sale...


Among these workers of the beyond, a shaouabti acacia wood, bitumen evoking Sethi Ier is estimated at between 10 000 and 12 000 euros. High of 19 centimetres, this statuette funéraire royal - engraved with six lines of hieroglyphic inscriptions and two cartridges indicating the names of the throne and birth of the pharaoh was placed in his tomb, discovered in 1817. Composed of ten rooms funeral, the burial, one of the most spectacular of the valley of the Kings, contained many hundreds of these figurines made of wood coated with bitumen.

Coated with a glaze a deep blue reminiscent of the lapis lazuli - the colour of predilection of the Egyptians -, other designs, in earthenware, are estimated to be from 1500 to 5000 euros. They were stored in the hiding-place of Deir el-Bahari, discovered in 1871, in which were stored, in order to prevent looting, the mummies and the funerary furniture of the most important pharaohs.

Other remarkable pieces of this collection, statuettes, votive, image of the divinity whom we wished to attract. Estimated between 20 000 and 25 000 euros, a bronze inlaid with gold and silver, dated to the Xxvith dynasty (circa 664-525 avant J.-C.), represents the goddess Neith, standing, wearing a long tight dress, decked with bracelets, and wearing the crown of Lower Egypt. A native of the city of Sais, in the Nile delta, Neith, mistress of weaving, arts, domestic and of the woman, is the creator of the world, using seven arrows. Extremely revered under the Xxvith dynasty, she was also a protectress of sleep, sarcophagi and canopic jars.

Stele of Papnouthis limestone, Egyptian, Art, coptic, 6th-7th SIÈCLEStèle funeral Former collection of Maurice Bouvier, Alexandria Estimate 6 000 - 8 000 €


A selection of works and objects of daily life - jewelry, tools, musical instruments, etc. - illustrates the period coptic, located between pharaonic Egypt and the Egypt muslim from the Third to the Twelfth century. Announced between 6 000 and 8 000 euros, a funerary stele in limestone, high 36 cm, dating from the sixth-Seventh century, is carved out of a building with a triangular pediment, enclosing in its lower part, a cross, surmounted by a conch and a vault - supported by two columns. Above is engraved the inscription : "Jesus Christ, come to Papnouthis."

prices soar

Among the Shabtis-Shaouabtis, these small statuettes funerary egyptian with agricultural implements which accompanied the deceased in the afterlife, some floated up to the image of the Oushebti in the name of Neferibresaneith of the Xxvith dynasty earthenware light green, sold 54 200 € and Shaouabtis in the name of Hor-Nekh-Ti, tiled turquoise of the Xxii dynasty, which reached 25 of 100 €.

The statue of Neith, the goddess creator of the world with the help of his seven arrows, dating from the Xxvith dynasty (circa 664 to 525 bc (J-C) triple its estimate to 59 600 €.

Read our complete file

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The funerary stele of Papnouthis was sold 12 200 €.

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