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Miniature Etruscan Bronze Horse Figure

Classical World, Etruria, ca. 6th to 4th century BCE. A petite horse figurine presenting the characteristic abstracts stylings of the Etruscan period. The equine form stands with an elongated body upon a pair of slender legs, with a sinuous tail and an angular posterior comprising the back end. The minimalist head exhibits a stylized mane, a drawn-out face, and singular perky ear on top, with a smooth layer of sage-hued patina covering the entire animal. Zoomorphic representations of this period are generally small in scale, and the figures have simplified schematic shapes as we see in this example. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 1.625" L x 0.875" H (4.1 cm x 2.2 cm); 1" H (2.5 cm) on included custom stand.

Etruria - modern-day Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria - was rich in metals, including copper, and the Etruscans drew upon their native resources to become master bronze smiths. The Etruscans were renowned in early antiquity for their bronzes, and votive figures like this one were traded far and wide according to Pliny the Elder. Titus Livius records that when the consul Marcus Fluvius Flaccus conquered the Etruscan city of Volsinii, he took a train of wagons, including two thousand bronze statues, to Rome, where they were melted down to make coinage to finance the war against Carthage.

Condition: Age-commensurate surface wear and abrasions, slight bending to legs and overall form, with small losses to tail and back legs, otherwise excellent. Great green patina throughout.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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