A Sumerian Limestone Bull Cup, Late Uruk/Jemdet Nasr Period, ca. 3100-2900 BCE
Object No: MV1402-PB
Conical in form on a flat base, the sides boldly carved in raised relief with three bulls in a procession to the right, one bull complete, its head turned out, with large oval eyes, short downturned horns, an undulating border above the base.
Background: Stone vessels of this type - highly prized luxury goods made of imported stone and carved with great skill - dating to the late Uruk period were often found in temples or palaces. Bull cups are thought to have been made for ceremonial use in temples (the sacred herd motif of processing bulls is known from cups and cylinder seals of this period) and may be associated with fertility cults.
Published: Concordia University, catalogue number: FOT-46.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/4 inches (5.5 cm)
Condition: Surface pitting and wear, heavy loss to rim and sides of vessel, one bull complete, the other two partially portrayed.
Provenance: The Diniacopoulos Family Collection, prior to 1951. Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos arrived in Montreal from Alexandria in 1951, bringing with them the largest private collection of antiquities known in Canada. The family-owned an art gallery on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, Ars Classica, and continued to buy and sell artifacts until the death of Vincent in 1967.
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