Ancient Greece, Boeotian, mid 6th century BCE. A wonderful hand-built Boeotian terracotta horse of a characteristically abstract style decorated with fineline dark brown markings. The characteristic simplicity is notable - the equine stands squarely upon all fours with a high arched neck and a long nose. The large eyes and wavy mane are delineated in chocolate brown glaze, and the tail and body are adorned by brown striations. The artist succeeded in truly capturing the spirit of this horse through very fundamental shapes and patterns, rather than a naturalistic representation. Size: 4.5" L x 4.25" H (11.4 cm x 10.8 cm)
Boeotian horses were associated with the cult of Poseidon. Boeotians worshipped Boiotos, the son of Melanippe and the horse-like Poseidon, as their ancestor. Terracotta figurines were produced throughout Greece; however, they were particularly popular in certain areas like Boeotia. Horses, whether with or without riders, were endearing subjects for Boeotian artisans, and such figurines were oftentimes left as votive burial offerings in graves. Horses were popular because they indicated wealth for the Greeks of this period. Hence, such terracotta horses were most likely left to reinforce the elite status of the deceased.
Cf. Christie's Sale 5399, Lot 135; Christie's Sale 5951, Lot 236; Bonham's Auction 15941, Lot 262.
Provenance: private Dere collection, New Jersey, USA, acquired from Ostracon Gallery, Switzerland (accompanied by signed COA from Dr. Bernhard I. Muller, Ostracon Gallery); ex-Bill Freeman collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, acquired prior to 1970. Walt Knox from Freeman's estate 2012. Thence Artemis Gallery, October 2013.
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
Head, tail, and three legs reattached. Otherwise in fine condition with well-preserved black fired motifs.