23 May 2011

Greek bronze figure of a horse

From the Geometric Period, circa 8th century B.C.
...of Corinthian type, of stylized attenuated form standing on an openwork rectangular base, with crested mane, long forward-pointing ears, and cylindrical muzzle; height 5 3/4 in. 14.6 cm. Estimate 150,000—250,000 USD. Lot Sold 842,500 US. 
Photo: Sotheby's.  Found at Les cahiers d'Alain Truong, via The Ancient World.

(I have to admit the first couple times I viewed this photo, I saw a horse with it's neck extended and mouth wide open.  It wasn't until I read the description that I realized the nose/mouth is presented as a cylinder and the upper part of the head is the ears/mane presumably.  Viewed either way, it's still a striking image.  And crafted in the 8th centurty B.C....)

Addendum: 032125 knew of another strikingly similar example, from the same period, in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


  1. This is exceedingly similar to another horse in the Met Museum.


    The heavily stylized form doesn't seem consistent (to me, so take with salt) with Greek art even that far back; I'd swear this thing has some practical function that we are unaware of, like a hand towel rack or simple abacus, etc.

  2. Excellent. I've added the link to the post.

    Thank you, 032125.

  3. I wonder if it's modelled after an Arab breed? They've got the characteristic concave facial structure

  4. The abstraction of the form of the horse is just spectacularly gorgeous. If I had $842.5K to spare, I'd have bought it. Wouldn't you love to have met the sculptor?

    --Swift Loris


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