Description: A bright turquoise blue glazed faience flat-backed ushabti, a mould-made mummiform figure wearing a tripartite wig and with arms crossed on chest, but with no discernable tools. Some wear to the glaze, particularly on the reverse, and a chip to the foot, otherwise a nice example of the type.
Size: 76 mm/3 ins. high
Date: Late Period, c. 600-300 B.C.
Provenance: From the collection of Julian Bird (1959-2014) and acquired as part of Lot 288 at Bonhams Antiquities Sale, Knightsbridge, London, on 23 October 2012. Previously in the Joseph Klein Collection, formed in New York between 1941 and 1980.
Background: Julian Bird was a passionate collector of Egyptian antiquities, who built up a fine and extensive collection from the 1970s onwards. He sourced his items mainly from the UK market, from specialist dealers, fairs, markets and auctioneers. He was a model collector, carefully documenting his collection, and his notes on this particular item will be supplied to the buyer.
Joseph Klein (1899-1987) was born in Warsaw, Poland, but moved to Paris as a teenager with his family who established a luxury leather goods factory. Fleeing the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, the family lost everything they owned, but made it to Lisbon where they obtained passage on the SS Excalibur, one of the last American ships to leave Europe in December 1941. Arriving as a refugee in New York, Joseph was able to re-establish his family’s luxury leather goods business. Long interested in antiquities, Joseph began rebuilding his collection from New York auction rooms and also from European dealers while holidaying in Europe after the war. After his death, his collection was put into storage for nearly 30 years before being auctioned at Bonhams in London in October 2012.