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Lot 0049
Mesopotamia, Sumerian, ca. 3000 to 2000 BCE. A finely carved stone bull with meticulously delineated twisted horns with openings presumably for inserting bone ornaments, bold facial features including deeply set almond-shape eyes which most likely held inlays at one time, a wonderfully contoured muscular body, and a long tail - standing on four short legs with concave hooves. The bull was a symbol of virility and fertility. What's more, the Sumerians also combined human and bull features in their visual culture. For example, among the most beloved treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur is the Great Lyre (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) which depicts a nude bearded male figure holding two human-headed bulls, as well as the famous lamassu - human-headed winged bulls - of the earlier Neo-Assyrian period which were believed to be protective deities. Size: 3.125" L x 2.25" H (7.9 cm x 5.7 cm)

Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection acquired before 2000

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#126272

Condition

Old nicks to peripheries of horns. Old loss to one foot/hoof. Otherwise just a bit of minor surface wear and overall very good.

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Mesopotamian / Sumerian Carved Stone Bull

Estimate $3,000 - $5,000Dec 20, 2017