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17th century CE bust of Hannibal. 

SASKATOON.- The Museum of Antiquities at the University of Saskatchewan is the owner of a 17th century CE bust of Hannibal that was once was owned by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Building upon research done in the late 1980s, Helanna Miazga discovered late last summer that Napoleon owned a bronze bust of Hannibal, which was mentioned in a memoir on Napoleon written by his private secretary Claude François Meneval. Hannibal, the great Carthaginian general, was one of Napoleon’s military idols.

From the research that has been done on our bronze bust of Hannibal, the evidence suggests that our bust is the one mentioned in the memoir,” Miazga said. “It was revealed in the late 1980s that this bust was made by François Girardon, sculptor of King Louis XIV of France, or his protégé Sébastien Slodtz. It is conceivable that this bust eventually came to be in Napoleon’s salon at the Chateau de Saint-Cloud.” The Museum’s Director/Curator, Dr. Tracene Harvey said, “As far as we know this bust of Hannibal is the only one of its kind in the world.”

Judge John C. Currelly donated the piece to the Museum of Antiquities in 1989 in honour of his mother Mary Newton Currelly. Judge Currelly inherited the bust from his father, who received it as a gift from an art dealer that purchased the bust in a New York auction in 1939.

Research will continue to determine how this beautiful French baroque bust travelled from the gallery of Girardon, to Napoleon’s salon at the Chateau de Saint-Cloud, to a New York auction, and finally to the Museum of Antiquities. The Museum intends to publish an article on the Hannibal bust within the next year.

The Museum of Antiquities, located in the Peter MacKinnon Building at the University of Saskatchewan, houses art works from the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the medieval world. The Museum’s collection contains both original artifacts and replicas.