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The animals came in two-by-two for Bonhams Antiquities Sale
An Egyptian painted wood model of a bull Middle Kingdom, circa 2025-1700 B.C. Estimate: £10,000-15,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Bonhams Antiquities Sale on Wednesday 28 November at 101 New Bond Street features a magnificent selection of works depicting both exotic and domestic animals from the ancient world.

Leading the menagerie is a charming Egyptian painted wood model of a bull, Middle Kingdom, circa 2025-1700 B.C. Estimate £10,000-15,000. Cattle were integral to the Egyptian economy and their ownership was considered a sign of high social standing among Egyptian farmers.

Other notable animal works in the sale include:

• An exceedingly rare Anatolian Bronze Wagon Model with Oxen, Circa Late 3rd-Early 2nd millennium B.C. Estimate £30,000- 50,000.

• A Hittite red slipware bull's head rhyton fragment, circa mid-2nd millennium B.C. Estimate £7,000-10,000. This example is highly decorated; with cream slip details, a large rimmed eye and a nose ring arched between the pierced nostrils.

• A Roman bronze duck head handle, C. 1st Century A.D. with a curved head, featuring finely incised feather details, estimate £3,000-5,000.

• A Roman Bronze Elephant Head Protome, Circa 1st-2nd Century A.D. Elephant designs were heavily used in the visual arts during the Roman period, and this protome was likely used to adorn a piece of furniture. Estimate £4,000- 6,000.

• A Cypriot terracotta chariot group from the Iron Age, Cypro-Archaic, circa 600 B.C. Terracotta horse-drawn chariots were a common form of votive offering at sanctuaries during the Cypro-Archaic period and are thought to be associated with warfare. This example of a four-horse double chariot is reflective of those found at the sanctuary of Avia Irini in north-west Cyprus. Estimate £3,000-5,000.

• A Greek red-figure oinochoe Apulia, attributed to the Baltimore Painter, circa late 4th Century B.C. Depicting a rearing horse set amongst a battle scene between an Amazonian woman and a Greek warrior Estimate £3,000-5,000.

• A Greek Bronze Goat Archaic period, circa late 6th Century B.C. Estimate £4,000- 6,000.

• A Sumerian Black Stone Figure of a Sheep, Circa 3rd Millennium B.C. Estimate £10,000- 15,000.

• Two pairs of Parthian silver earrings, circa 1st Century B.C, estimate £1,000-1,500.

Bonhams Head of Antiquities Francesca Hickin said, ‘The ancient world was teeming with animals. They were sources of food and labour, feared as predators, beloved as domestic pets, and, of course, worshipped as gods by the ancient Egyptians. The wide selection of animals in our sale has a huge temporal and geographical span, from the Hittite Kingdom of the 2nd Millennium B.C. to the Roman Empire of the 2nd Century A.D. Then, as now, these artworks delight and amuse anyone with a reverence for the animal kingdom.’

The sale also has a very strong Egyptian section, led by an Egyptian basalt bust of an official, late Period, late 26th Dynasty-30th Dynasty, circa 550-334 B.C. Estimate £40,000-60,000.

Additionally, an important series of Egyptian reliefs includes:

• An Egyptian limestone relief panel with a duck amongst papyrus, Old Kingdom, circa 2686-2181 B.C. Estimate £7,000-10,000,

• An Egyptian limestone relief fragment, Old Kingdom, 5th Dynasty, circa 2450-2300 B.C. Estimate £5,000-7,000.

• An Egyptian limestone relief fragment with lion hieroglyph, New Kingdom, second half of 18th Dynasty, circa 1401-1292 B.C. Estimate £5,000-7,000.

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