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Lot 2315: Western Asiatic Standing Bull Statuette

Antiquities: Day 4

by TimeLine Auctions

December 9, 2016

London, United Kingdom

Live Auction
Sold
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Description: 2nd millennium BC. A bronze figure of a bull with long neck and small head, eye socket empty for inlay, small open mouth; hump on the back, wide body and with tail falling to one side of the rump; hooves with suspension rings to the rear. 531 grams, 23cm (9"). Property of a London gentleman; acquired before 1996. Fierce animals, such as bulls, could be linked with certain gods whose qualities they shared, and the storm god Adad was linked to the bull in part because of the similarity between the rumble of thunder and the roar of a mighty bull. In the Ancient Near East the earliest evidence of a bull cult was found at Çatal Hüyük in Anatolia around 7000 BC. In Mesopotamia, the bull was to become a symbol of divinity rather than just an object of cult veneration. For the early Sumerians the bull symbolised divinity and power. Their chief gods Enlil and Enki would be honored as the “Great Bull” in song and ritual, and bulls would occasionally be represented on stamp seals with the gods. Later, the storm god Teshub is seen standing on the back of a bull brandishing a thunderbolt. In the Roman period the god Jupiter Heliopolitanus, who was worshipped at the great temple of Baalbek, is seen with bulls to either side of him.

Condition Report: Fine condition, restored.

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