2021 Marks the 50th anniversary of Charles Ede
Over the last five decades the gallery has sold more than 30,000 works of ancient art to collectors and institutions from all over the world.
To celebrate, over the next 50 weeks, we will showcase 50 items from the many hundreds we have sold to museums and public institutions. They will be displayed on our Instagram account and the ‘insights’ page on our website.
Through this selection of works, which range from impressive large-scale sculptures to smaller, more humble objects of daily use, we hope to shine a light on what is meant by 'museum quality'.
Museums are recognised as storehouses of human knowledge, culture and creativity. When exploring a public collection, it's always a thrill to come face-to-face with artworks for which we have helped find a permanent home. Indeed, some of them may well be in your local museums, and I hope that you too will enjoy recognising them.
We look forward to our next fifty years; continuing our much valued relationships with museums, and helping you expand your own collections.
After all, museum quality isn't just for museums...
‘Ptah and Amun wish you a Happy New Year’
This is the message on an Egyptian faience flask which dates to the 26th Dynasty, c.664-525 BC. It was acquired by the Houston Museum of Natural Science, USA, in 2013.
Such vessels were perhaps gifts for the Egyptian New Year, which started in late summer when the Nile began its annual flood. It was regarded as a transitional and unstable time, with many rituals designed to ensure a smooth progression from one year to the next. It is believed that these vessels held liquids used in the ceremonies that surrounded this turbulent yet promising period.
At the gallery we currently have an intriguing plate with bands of inlaid blue faience decoration. The magical inscription includes hieroglyphs which evoke the same well-wishes for the New Year as the flask in Houston.
Ptolemaic Period, c.323-30 BC, diameter 16.4cm
Provenance: Monsieur Martin, Paris, France; acquired 1950s