Coptic bronze figurine of an angel
Figurine of an angel
About 5th century A.D.
Figurine of an angel pacing ahead. The right hand, which was broken in antiquity and is missing today, was raised in front of the body, the left hand loosely hangs along the body. Head wearing a wreath.
Height 59 mm
Feet, right hand and wing tips broken and missing. Left broken arm broken is preserved and can be restored (note: the picture was taken before the arm was broken and does not show this damage). Otherwise nicely preserved figurine. Surface gently cleaned with smooth patina. A modern spike for mounting is inserted into the right leg, the modern base itself is missing.
Acquired 2019 in a traditional Paris auction house. Ex swiss collection Bouvier which was formed over 2 generations. Acquired in the collection by the founder of the collection Prof. Maurice Bouvier between 1929 and 1959 in Cairo or Alexandria. Between 1959 and 2019, the collection was in Switzerland, with parts of the collection being or on exhibition in various museums:
Koptische Kunst - Christentum am Nil, Kunsthaus Zürich, November 1963 till January 1964
Frühchristliche und Koptische Kunst, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna, March 11th till May 3rd 1964
On loan at the Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, 1998 till 2003
On loan at the Musée Bargoin de Clermont-Ferrand, 2008 till 2009
Maurice Bouvier (1901 - 1981) studied law in Neuchatel and was appointed as a professor by the government of Egypt in 1929 first at the University of Assiut and later at the University of Cairo where he discovered his passion for the history of Ancient Egypt. In 1943, Bouvier moved to Alexandria where he teached law until 1959. After finishing his professional career, he moved to the village of Gruyeres in Switzerland in 1959, where he spent his retirement.
During the 30 years in Egypt between 1929 and 1959, M. Bouvier built a very comprehensive collection of Egyptian art with specimen from Prehistoric Egypt, the Pharaonic and Roman era as well as many Coptic and Islamic artefacts. In 1959, he brought his collection to Switzerland. Mr. Bouvier's collection was recognized in professional circles, many objects among which also the figurine offered here were on exhibition in important European museums. After Mr. Bouvier passed away in 1981, his son and heir took over the vast collection, thoroughly taking care of the artefacts until they were offered to the collectors again in 2019 in a series of auctions.
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