Roman Bronze Horse Head Protome


A Roman horse head protome cast from bronze. The stylised animal has been carefully rendered to display its short muzzle, large eyes and pointed ears. The mane runs down the back of neck with small grooves along the edge defining the hair. The horse displays a wide neck and is mounted on a custom-made stand.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd century AD
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: Fine condition, slight indent to one side of the neck, patination is visible to the surface. Height of promote itself; 5cm


SKU: LD-585 Category: Tag:

During the Roman Empire, horses were extremely important for battle, as well as for aspects of everyday life, such as transportation, hunting, farming, and chariot racing. The Romans associated the horse with the spoils of war, connecting it symbolically with power, victory, honour, domination, and virility. In Graeco-Roman mythology and culture, the horse was said to have been created by Poseidon (Neptune) and devoted to Hades (Pluto) and Ares (Mars). The Romans also believed the horse to be a symbol of the continuity of life, and would sacrifice a horse to the god Mars every October, keeping its tail through the winter as a sign of fertility and rebirth.

For more information about the meanings of animals in Roman art, see our relevant blog post: Animal Symbolism in Roman Art.

Weight 123.7 g
Dimensions W 3.9 x H 8.4 cm



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