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AN EGYPTIAN POLYCHROME STUCCO APIS BULL HEAD PROTOME
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AN EGYPTIAN POLYCHROME STUCCO APIS BULL HEAD PROTOME

PTOLEMAIC PERIOD, CIRCA 3RD-2ND CENTURY B.C.

Details
AN EGYPTIAN POLYCHROME STUCCO APIS BULL HEAD PROTOME
PTOLEMAIC PERIOD, CIRCA 3RD-2ND CENTURY B.C.
Wearing a wreath, with long curving horns, the forelock with reserved white central triangle, lolling tongue and heavily-lashed eyes
8 ½ in. (21.5 cm.) high

Provenance
Private collection, Germany, acquired prior to 1980.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 14 June 2000, lot 220.
with Jean-David Cahn, Basel, 2001 (Tiere und Mischwesen II, Katalog 13, no. 90).
Special Notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

PUBLISHED:
W. Hornbostel, Aus Gräbern und Heiligtümern. Die Antikensammlung Walter Kropatschek, Mainz, 1980, p. 276 f., no. 158.

The white triangle over the forehead is characteristic of an Apis bull and together with the horns and a sun-disc would have produced the figure of an Ankh-sign. The lolling tongue would suggest that this represents a sacrificial bull, whose skulls were often displayed to serve as fertility symbols.

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