SCYTHIAN GOLD APPLIQUE WITH A WINGED HORSE
Measurements: 2.5 cm – width, 2.5 cm - height
Description: A flat-section appliqué of a winged horse with repoussé detail, annular eye, pelleted mane and saddle. Scythians used gold appliques and plaques to decorate clothing. The whole culture of the Scythians revolved around their dependence on the horse: it was used for herding and prospecting fresh grazing grounds, and it was the warrior's chief ally. When a man died his horse was buried with him, not slaughtered like an ox but killed honourably either by strangulation or a single blow to the forehead. Horses have been found buried with the dead in kurgans from the Ukraine across the Caucasus to the Altai Mountains, sometimes in great number and often in full regalia. Even the most humble Scythian seems to have been buried with a horse, or at least its head or horse figurines.
Provenance: Ex Mayfair gentlemen.
Reference: The zoomorphic plaques in Bonora, G.L. & Marzatico, F. Ori del Cavalieri delle Steppe, Milan, 2007, p.145, 207.
Period: 6th cent. BC – 3rd cent. AD
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