**Originally Listed At $600**
Ancient Rome, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. A wonderful bull head comprised of copper and 4% gold, beautifully defined with bovine ears, large almond-shaped eyes, and a protruding snout as well as incised details - this visage integral with a hooded, hollow, tubular backing for attachment. The bull is one of the animals associated with the late Hellenistic and Roman cult of Mithras, in which the killing of the astral bull, the tauroctony, was of primary importance, virtually as significant as the Crucifixion was to the later Christians. A wonderful example with gorgeous green and rich russet patina. Size: 2.125" H (5.4 cm); 3.375" H (8.6 cm) on included custom stand.
The bull was considered a deeply divine animal throughout antiquity - a meaningful symbol of the moon, fertility, rebirth, and power. We find the earliest depictions of bulls in Paleolithic cave paintings. Moreover, the veneration of the bull would influence several religious cults in antiquity: from the Minoan practice of bull jumping in Crete, to the fervent worship of the Apis bull in Egypt, to the sacrificial practices of Roman Mithraism.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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