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A HITTITE BRONZE BULL
A HITTITE BRONZE BULL

CIRCA 14TH-13TH CENTURY B.C.

Details
A HITTITE BRONZE BULL
CIRCA 14TH-13TH CENTURY B.C.
Solid cast, standing majestically on four legs with the forelegs and the hind legs fused together in pairs, depicted with strong naturalism, the fleshy dewlap undulating as it hangs from the neck to between the front shoulder blades and curves under the body, the head with a flat muzzle and protruding brow, the almond-shaped eyes deeply recessed for now-missing inlays, the tapering horns curving forward above the fanning ears, the long tail with a spirally-ribbed switch, tangs below the feet for insertion
6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm.) long
Provenance
with N. Koutoulakis, Paris and Geneva, prior to 1970.
with Robert Haber Ancient Art, New York, mid 1980s.
Michael and Judy Steinhardt, New York.
with Phoenix Ancient Art, Geneva, 1992.
Private Collection, Antwerp, 2006.

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Lot Essay

For the form of the bull, with a similarly strong physique and undulating dewlap, see the protome on a silver rhyton from the Norbert Schimmel collection, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 109, in Aruz, Benzel and Evans, eds., Beyond Babylon, Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C. According to de Lapérouse (pp. 183-184, op. cit.), the Schimmel bull likely represents a dedication to the Storm God, the Hittite deity who was often associated with bulls. Its "body conveys a sense of robust corporeal power characteristic of Hittite art and contrasts with the earlier, more stylized depictions of bulls found at central Anatolian sites."

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