Roman Bronze Horse Statuette

£ 750.00

A Roman horse statuette cast from bronze featuring the animal standing with all four legs straight. The horse displays a slightly arched neck with its head slightly bowed. The anatomical features have been rendered naturalistically with limited detailing including the large pointed ears, deep insets for the eyes and a long tail. The hooves are attached to a rectangular base and the piece has been mounted on a custom-made stand.

Date: Circa 2nd- 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: Very fine condition, earthly encrustation and patination to the surface. Measurements of the statuette itself; 4.6cm height, 5cm width


SKU: LD-643 Category: Tags: ,

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 122 g
Dimensions W 5.5 x H 6.1 cm



Reference: For a similar item,Christie’s, London, 26th-27th October 2004, lot 247

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