Rare Bronze Horse Head from the Biblical Land of Sheba, ca. 2nd century BCE - 1st century CE
MB2101Regular price $3,950 USD
from the biblical land of Sheba, a rare cast bronze South Arabian horse protome or dagger handle. The distinctive head with engraved mane and inlaid eyes beneath heavy ribbed brows, the braided harness with blinders behind the eyes, two holes for attachment at the base of the neck.
Originating on the Arabian Peninsula, the fine Arabian horse is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest, with archaeological depictions dating back 4,200 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bones. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.
Legend has it that the Queen of Sheba presented King Solomon with a mare named Safanad, meaning “the pure”. Safanad is believed to be the founding mother of all Arabian horses, the oldest of all horse breeds. According to myth, Safanad was created from the four winds. The animal was endowed with spirit from the North, strength from the South, speed from the East, and intelligence from the West.
Published: Sotheby's, New York, June 12, 2001, lot 298
Condition: Scattered areas of deep green surface patina on a red-bronze oxide ground. Missing one ear but otherwise in very good condition. Custom mounted. A rare and exciting example for any horse lover.
Dimensions: Height: 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm)
Provenance: Deaccessioned from the Santa Barbara Museum, CA, 2001 thereafter a private Florida collection.