A highlight of the Bouvier Collection, a statue of Bastet, great in every sense, rose high in the hierarchy of her sister divinities.
Egypt, Saite period, probably 26th Dynasty, 664-525 BCE. Statue of seated cat representing the goddess Bastet, bronze and electrum, h. 27.8 cm/10.9 in.
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.”