A Greek Bronze Figure of a Bull, probably Boeotian, ca. 6th Century B.C.


Finely cast in solid bronze using the lost wax method, this superb bull will appeal to collectors of ancient and modern alike. The sensitively sculpted head features slender, pointed horns that arch upward, a grooved mouth, articulated nose, and large almond-shaped eyes that are beautifully incised with defined pupils and irises. The animal’s anatomy is more fully modeled than earlier examples from the Geometric period: the wide legs are carefully rendered, as is the delineated genitalia and its slim, elongated body with peaked dewlap and long straight tail is well modeled with shoulders and haunches subtly indicated.

Background: Such pleasing bronzes were made as offerings to Zeus from worshipers, and perhaps offered in place of actual animals, as either living or bronze animals would have been fitting for Zeus for whom bulls were particularly associated.

Condition: Deep rich green surface patina with scattered areas of red-brown oxides, the bull is intact and in excellent condition overall. Custom mounted on a vintage hardwood base. A superb example!

Dimensions: Length: 4 in. (10.2 cm.)

Provenance: Hans and Marie-Louise Erlenmeyer, Basel, acquired prior to 1967. Antiquities from the Erlenmeyer Collection; Sotheby's, London, 9 July 1990, lot 7. Antiquities, Sotheby's, New York, 6 June 2006, lot 34. Antiquities, Christie's NYC, lot 70 acquired 5 June 2014

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