Vassil Bojkov’s collection is undoubtedly one of the most appreciated and well-known assortments of antique pieces recognized in the world. Every time he puts on display part of the antique artefacts, the exhibition succeeds in attracting visitors from different countries, of different age, and with different cultural and historical background. Bojkov’s collection is an obvious proof of how the past can be preserved and simultaneously distributed to the public eye to admire and explore. It is a medium where different cultures meet and where different people are brought together. Every single piece contains meaning, symbols, legends, and a certain feel of artistry. It reveals information about a specific period of time, a particular nation, customs, politics, and ancient trends established and practiced by ancient workshops.
The following piece, for instance, dates from the 6th century BC and is attributed to a Corinthian workshop. The bronze strainer is considered to belong to the earlier of the two main types of Greek strainers, created since the second half of the 6th century BC. They were most likely influenced by Achaemenid and/or Egyptian trends back then.
Made of bronze, the the collection of Vasil Bojkov one-handled exemplar contains something quite elegant. Exploring it, we can clearly see that the extremity of the handle shapes a hook that gently follows the lines of the long neck and the down-turned head of a swan. The artist has carefully chiseled and punched certain details – like the long beak, circular eyes, and the feathers that adorn the swan’s head. This chiseled decoration actually makes the entire strainer of exceptional value. Even up to this date, this skillful representation of the bird on the very grip of this vessel is truly one-of-a-kind. The handle attachment to the bowl is as well adeptly decorated. It is in the shape of a lion that has big muzzle, small eyes, and rounded ears. Nevertheless, the detailed work does not end here. Swirling lines depict the curly locks that fall on the back of the head and the neck of the lion. Interestingly enough, the lion head on VBC strainer has its parallels among other handle attachments of different bronze vases that are mostly considered Corinthian.
Other details are scattered here and there as well. For example, a row of tiny chiseled ivy leaves on stems appears directly from the lower bead line. Another interesting motif is the long lanceolate leaf outlined with tiny punctured lines on the upper surface of the handle. Perhaps, we can attach a sort of symbolic meaning behind the creator’s choice to represent a leaf. It could be suggested that he wanted to add a feel of hope, renewal, and revival, as this is what usually the image of a leaf is associated with. In a more concrete context, the lanceolate leaf is linked to some earlier examples, like those deriving from Olympia, Ikiztepe in Lydia, Cavallino, Guardia Petricara, Metapontum, and Lavello in South Italy, as well as Chernozem in Thrace.
Even though some chiseled motifs are somehow worn out, the condition of the entire piece is well preserved.