An exhibition showcasing remarkable ancient art works of faience from the private Aboutaam family collection will open at Phoenix Ancient Art in New York this week, continuing through December.
The works include three blue-green faience hippopotami, similar to the beloved Egyptian “William” in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two of the exhibit’s hippopotami date from the Middle Kingdom, and one from the Late Period, or the Persian Period. The hippopotamus theme was truly international, being the subject of art in regions ranging from Egypt to Iran and Levant. Though the hippopotamus looks benevolent and almost cute, it was considered a dangerous force of nature in both this life and the next.
Some of the exhibit’s other highlights include a light green Egyptian New Kingdom figurine of a seated antelope; an Egyptian pectoral depicting Ramses; a Greek aryballos shaped as a hedgehog from the mid-6th century B.C.; an Egyptian amphora with a gold leaf wreath from the Hellenistic period and a Late Period Egyptian dish embellished with a pair of lions.
The exhibition features the private collection of the Aboutaam family, which was initiated by Sleiman Aboutaam, and continued by his two sons Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam. In January, the exhibit will travel to BRAFA, the 57th Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts Fair, Tour and Taxis, and will later appear on display at Phoenix Ancient Art in Geneva.