Monumental Sabaean Limestone Head of a Bull

Culture: Sabaean
Period: around 500 B.C.
Material: Limestone
Dimensions: 37 cm high
Price: 18 000 Euro
Ref: 6465
Provenance: From the private collection of the Greek consul in Zürich Athanasios Ghertsos, acquired 1977/1978 from the gallery Heidi Vollmoeller in Zürich. With a written confirmation by the heiress.
Condition: Unrestored
Description: Monumental Sabaean limestone head of a bull, which possibly once decorated a column base or an altar. The massive head with short horns, which are decorated with rings, curved forelocks in a triangular area and large eyes, which are framed above with finely ribbed brows, and below with a large fold. The snout is rounded with pierced nostrils. The triangular ears, folded in the centre, are protruding sideways. In Saba the bull was the symbolic animal of Almaqah, the sun god and god of the empire. Heads in this size and quality are exceptionally rare. Its strong expression possibly served to repel evil from an important location. See for the style “Jemen – Kunst und Archäologie im Land der Königin von Saba“, Wilfried Seipel (Hrsg.), No. 236, page 322.