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Instant expert THERE is always something captivating about artefacts from Ancient Egypt. One example, a turquoise faience glazed pottery hippo (pictured below) is up for sale at auction on Wednesday. It is similar to one nicknamed "William" - unofficial mascot of New York's Metropolitan Museum.

Basics THE figure dates from the Second Intermediate Period - 1786 to 1590 BC - and has hooded eyes and small pricked ears. It stands on squat legs and measures 5-in long and 2-in high. The ancient Egyptians associated the hippo with hunting and fertility - they considered them threatening but also protective. This model was part of a collection gathered by the Adda family in Alexandria in Egypt in the Twenties and Thirties. Other lots in the sale include an Egyptian cylindrical pottery jar from the Predynastic period (5550BC to 3050BC) and an Egyptian gilt wood sarcophagus mask.

How Much? THIS chap is a great example of faience, also known as "glazed composition", which is a type of glazed earthenware pottery. He is decorated with marsh plant and lotus motifs - symbols of rebirth which would be found in the hippo's habitat. He is estimated to sell for pounds 80,000-pounds 120,000 when he comes up for sale at Bonhams next antiquities auction on October 6. Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques.

Real Deal BONHAMS' head of antiquities, Madeleine Perridge, said: "Egyptian faience hippopotami of varying size are today in a number of major international museums, including in New York, Paris and Vienna. Produced in Egypt only for a relatively short period of time, these brightlycoloured creatures are one of the most evocative images found in Egyptian art and are always highly sought-after. The Bonhams hippo is a fine example of the type."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 3, 2010
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