Cute Geometric Greek/Anatolian Votive Bronze Bull
About the Piece
This cute standing bronze bull is complete, and dates circa 750-700 B.C. This piece is approximately 3.5 inches long by 2.25 inches high. This piece is solid and was cast as one complete piece. This scarce piece is probably Greek, as examples of this type have been found at Delphi, Olympia, and Samos. These pieces were votive in nature and this is why they have been found at these sacred Greek sites. (See H.V. Herrmann, Die Kessel der Orientalalisierenden Zeit, Teil I, OlympForsch VI, 1966, no.114. for an analogous example that was found at Olympia.) This piece has a round almond eye and the tail is designed between the hind legs, and these are features that are seen in Greek art during the early Geometric period, circa 8th century B.C. Pieces of this type have been found in Anatolia and northern Syria, and have been found in many locations in the ancient Greek world. This is why pieces of this type are classified as being "Anatolian" and/or "Northern Syrian", but it probably is the case that many of these pieces may also have been made in Greece, and one probable site is Olympia. This period is also known as the "Orientalizing" period of Greek art, as there was extensive trade between Greece and the the Levant (eastern Mediterranean). This piece has a dark green and brown patina with dark green mineral deposits. The design of this piece is also very analogous to another example that is seen in the Munich Glyptothek Museum (See attached photo.) The piece offered here, and the Glyptothek Museum example, are both approximately the same size as well, and both have short cropped horns, incised line design on the flat forehead, and a round almond eye. The bull also appears to be pulling back with the weight of his body, as a domesticated animal would do, and this may also explain the cropped horn design of this piece. This type of a solid cast bronze votive bull is scarce, and is not often seen on the market. This piece is also from a private Swiss collection. Ex: Leo Mildenberg collection, Zurich. Published:"More Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection" by A.P. Kozloff and D.G. Mitten, Part III, Mainz am Rhein Pub., 1986, no.17. Ex: Christie,s Antiquities, London, Oct. 2004, no.372.