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Home > Auctions > 5th March 2024 > Western Asiatic Bronze Rhyton Bull Head

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LOT 0271

GBP (£) 2,000 - 3,000
EUR (€) 2,340 - 3,510
USD ($) 2,530 - 3,800

Current bid: £370 (+bp*)
(14 Bids, Reserve met)

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(14 Bids, Reserve met)   |   Current bid: £370
8 5/8 in. (1.3 kg total, 22 cm high including stand).

Hollow-formed head of a bull with short curved horns, large bulbous eyes, lateral scooped ears, short muzzle with flared nostrils, dewlap beneath; possibly from a rhyton; mounted on a custom-made display stand. [No Reserve]

Acquired between 1980-1983.
From the collection of a London, UK, gentleman.

Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no.12019-213616.

See Ebbinghaus, S., (ed.), Animal-Shaped Vessels From The Ancient World, Feasting With Gods, Heroes, and Kings, Cambridge Massachusetts, 2019, for discussion and comparable examples; cf. also the Walters Art Museum, inventory no.54.791; cf. similar item in ceramic in the collection of Rhode Island Museum under accession no.26.166.

The rhyton was dipped into a krater and held above the drinker's mouth with the spout covered by a thumb, then opened to release a stream of wine into the mouth. The bull was a symbol of man’s control over the nature. Not only were these heads used to serve wine in the banquets, but they were also destined to hold blood from sacrificial animals, that was collected and then poured on the ground as a libation.