This beautiful winged bronze bull is in excellent condition, complete with traces of the rivets that once attached it to a large bronze cauldron. This piece was cast in bronze, with the fine engraving on the face, body and wings, done after the initial firing. The bull has a broad head, bent down, his chin tucked to his chest. Incision indicates the facial features (eyes, snout), the feathers on the wings, and ornament on the beast’s large chest. The animal’s back has a large loop, through which an even larger ring was attached to the body.
This work of art would have been one of four identical handle mounts attached by the “wings” to a large bronze cauldron. Handle mounts of this kind are well known in Urartian art. They are often in the form of bulls (like our example), birds, and women. These mounts are distinguished by their spreading wing-like bases, which on some examples (ours included) have incised decoration to make them appear like the wings of birds. The large rings attached to the backs of these mounts would have been used to carry or suspend the large vessels to which the mounts were attached.
For a similar handle from the Norbert Schimmel collection, See Sotheby's NY- Important Antiquities Sale, Dec. 16, 1992, Lot 16, Sold for $44,000.
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