During the Roman Empire, horses were extremely important for battle, as well as for most 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.
Roman Bronze Horse Statuette
A very fine Roman, bronze statuette in the shape of a horse. The beautifully moulded animal is positioned standing with its strong, slightly stocky legs planted on a rectangular base.The well-proportioned body leads to a long curved neck and carefully formed head with a strong nose bridge. The face features simple stylised detailing with circular eyes and a straight line indicating the mouth. A long tail falls straight down at the rear.
Dimensions of the horse without the stand: W 5cm x H 4.7cm
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 with surface patination.
|L 5 x W 5 x H 6 cm
Reference: For a similar item,Christie’s Antiquities sale, 25 Oct 2007, Lot 222