Ancient Near Eastern Sumerian Uruk White Limestone Votive Statuette of a Reclining Young Bull Inlaid with Lapis Lazuli

An Ancient Near Eastern Sumerian Uruk White Limestone Votive Statuette of a Reclining Young Bull Inlaid with Lapis Lazuli his Legs Folded under his Body Showing his genitalia
Some inlays now lost
Smooth silky patina
Circa 3000 BC

Size: 3cm high, 2.5cm wide, 5.5cm deep - 1¼ ins high, 1 ins wide, 5¼ ins deep
An Ancient Near Eastern Sumerian Uruk White Limestone Votive Statuette of a Reclining Young Bull Inlaid with Lapis Lazuli his Legs Folded under his Body Showing his genitalia
Some inlays now lost
Smooth silky patina
Circa 3000 BC

Size: 3cm high, 2.5cm wide, 5.5cm deep - 1¼ ins high, 1 ins wide, 5¼ ins deep
Often found in tombs where they accompanied their owners, the inlays of lapis lazuli were intended to replicate the spots on the bull’s hide. The holes are either circular or crescent-shaped and the inlays deeply inserted into the limestone. Cattle, especially bulls, were highly valued and given as gifts during ceremonial events and religious rites. The Royal Palaces and temples had the best herds with several temples, especially at Enna in Uruk having great shrines dedicated to the goddess Inanna, the Queen of Heaven around which the Bulls congregated. Archaeologists believe that statuettes such as this were substitutes for  sacrificial animals. They were symbolic, perpetual votive offerings which celebrated the divinity, prompted answers to the worshippers prayers and ensured the continuing goodwill of the goddess.
 
Ex Private collection Elie Boustrous Beirut, Lebanon, acquired 1920s
Ex Private London collection

cf: A similar example in the Berlin Staatlich Vorderasiatishes Museum: VA14536

Ancient Near Eastern Sumerian Uruk White Limestone Votive Statuette of a Reclining Young Bull Inlaid with Lapis Lazuli

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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk