The bull was a popular image for the Celtics as it represented power and strength. The bull is mentioned several times in the Celtic mythology. An example being the Celtic deity Tarvos Trigaranus, the bull god, who is present on sculptures in Paris, France and Trier, Germany. The Paris sculpture depicts the bull also with the god Esus, a powerful deity, displayed as a woodsman, demonstrating its association with many different key Celtic figures. The animal has many significant symbolisms including strength, wealth and fertility. Therefore, it was a common practice to sacrifice the bull to the gods. Evidence has been found across sanctuaries and graves of these sacrifies. The bull was also commonly depicted on clothing, tapestries and carvings.
Celtic Bronze Bull Statuette
A fine Celtic bull statuette cast from bronze in a recumbent position. The anatomical features are rendered naturalistically including the large horns, pointed ears and long nose. However, the almond shaped eyes are larger in proportion along with the tail which curves over the body and drops down behind its back. Green patination covers the surface. The statuette has been mounted on a custom-made stand.
Provenance: ‘The Ancient Menagerie Collection’ formerly the property of a Cambridgeshire lady, collected since the 1990s and acquired from auctions and dealers throughout Europe and the USA, now ex London collection.
Condition: Extremely fine condition, green patination to the surface, some minor wear with age. Measurements of the statuette itself; 3.5cm height, 5.3cm width