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Rupert Wace Ancient Art at The Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair


AN IMPRESSIVE Egyptian bronze falcon, dating from the Late Dynastic Period, 664-332 BC, (£85,000) will be one of the highlights on the stand of London dealer Rupert Wace Ancient Art at The Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair, which runs from June 11 to June 17, 2009.

For over forty years, this handsome and sizeable bird has been in a Swiss private collection. Having recently acquired it, research for its provenance involved leafing through old auction catalogues. A poor photograph revealed that it had once been part of the renowned Spencer-Churchill Collection at Northwick Park, formed between the 1880s and 1930s by Captain Edward George Spencer-Churchill (1876-1964), a cousin of Sir Winston Churchill.

Northwick Park in Gloucestershire was formerly the family seat of the Rushout family, the Barons Northwick. The mansion was inherited in 1912 by the then Lady Northwick’s grandson, George Spencer-Churchill. During the Second World War, Northwick Park was an American field hospital and became a camp for Polish displaced persons until the 1960s.

This esteemed collection was dispersed in a two-day auction at Christie’s in 1965, when this bird was sold as lot 430 for £420. Many other works from the Spencer-Churchill collection are now in museums around the world.

Revered for its awesome climb into the heavens and its headlong yet sure swoop upon its prey, the falcon was seen as manifesting the powerful attributes needed by the warrior pharaoh. Horus was one of the earliest deities, attested from the beginning of the Dynastic Period, and one of the most significant. The son of Isis and her brother Osiris, Horus was a god of kingship, a sky god as well as a sun god. In his guise as a falcon, Horus was considered a protector of the king and also strongly associated with the concepts of creation and regeneration.

Rupert Wace is one of London’s most respected dealers in antiquities. He is Vice Chairman of the Antiquities Dealers Association in the UK and also of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art, both of which rigorously uphold the ethics of dealing in ancient art and whose members follow a strict code of ethics concerning the authenticity and provenance of the objects they sell.

Rupert Wace’s clients include major international collectors as well as some of the world’s great museums such as the British Museum and the Ashmolean Museum in the UK; the Musée du Louvre, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Antikenmuseum, Basel; and the Staatliche Museum in Munich.