this sale includes ceramics, paintings on the theme of racing, bronzes, 18th-century furniture and a precious Egyptian bronze.
Egypt, Saite or Late Period, 16th-30th dynasties (664-332 BC). Bronze votive statuette of the goddess Bastet in cat form, h. 34 cm (13.18 in).
In 1978, Sylvia Roth, a Ukrainian-born former model and Israeli army sergeant, married Daniel Wildenstein (1917-2001), famous as a collector and art dealer, like his father and grandfather before him. Nicknamed "the man of 10,000 paintings", Wildenstein met Roth one Valentine’s Day evening at the Paris restaurant Ledoyen, and passed on his passion for horses to her. The Wildenstein silks won the Prix de Diane five times, the Prix d’Amérique four times and the Prix Arc de Triomphe twice. The couple shared their time between Paris, New York, the Virgin Islands and Kenya—where their ranch served as the set for Out of Africa. In November 2010, 77-year-old Sylvia Wildenstein died at her home in Paris.
The star of the sale is a cat: not just any cat, but a votive statuette of the goddess Bastet in feline form that has been in the collection since the 1970s. seated on its antique wooden base, the animal is impressive for its rather exceptional size and refined details—for example, the eyes, inlaid with another material—perhaps white calcite—providing a naturalistic effect. Her whiskers are very finely incised, a carved collar with a heart-shaped pendant adorns her neck and the top of her head is engraved with a scarab. Modestly estimated at €60,000/80,000, this bronze depicting the peaceful feline reincarnation of the wild and bloodthirsty goddess Sekhmet should appeal to an international clientele.
Meanwhile, bidders can compete for porcelain jockey statuettes in the Wildensteins’ colors, a half-moon Louis XVI commode from Marie-Antoinette’s apartment at the Tuileries inlaid with landscapes and flower bouquets and marked with two intertwined "Gs" (€10,000/15,000), and an intricately carved giltwood Louis XV console based on a model by ornamentist Nicolas Pincau (€15,000/20,000).