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.
Lot 145. An Egyptian painted wood model of a bull Middle Kingdom, circa 2025-1700 B.C.; 30cm long. Estimate: £10,000.00 - £15,000.00. © Bonhams.
Painted white with black markings, the small pointed ears and slender horns separately carved, the large eyes with black pupils, the neck carved with pronounced dewlap, with elongated body and long tail, the legs shown in motion striding forwards.
Other notable animal works in the sale include:
Lot 110. An exceedingly rare Anatolian Bronze Wagon Model with Oxen, Circa Late 3rd-Early 2nd millennium B.C.; approx. 49cm long. Estimate £30,000- 50,000. © Bonhams.
The chariot with four large flat disc wheels, the rectangular cart with wire balustrades and a long shaft connected to the yokes of the two oxen, the animals with elongated bodies, long curving horns, wide muzzles and incised eyes.
Lot 109. A Hittite red slipware bull's head rhyton fragment, circa mid-2nd millennium B.C.; 15.3cm long. Estimate £7,000-10,000. © Bonhams.
With cream slip details, the large rimmed eye with incised eyelashes and recessed oval pupil, part of a nose ring arched between the pierced nostrils linked to an incised cream-coloured halter, the forehead with bands of hatched and stippled decoration.
This example is highly decorated; with cream slip details, a large rimmed eye and a nose ring arched between the pierced nostrils.
Lot 69. A Roman bronze duck head handle, C. 1st Century A.D.; 8.3cm long. Estimate £3,000-5,000. © Bonhams.
The curved head with finely incised feather details, the eyes recessed for inlay, the slender beak with ovoid nostrils.
Lot 68. A Roman Bronze Elephant Head Protome, Circa 1st-2nd Century A.D.;5cm long. Estimate £4,000- 6,000. © Bonhams.
The elephant depicted with small creased ears, heavy-lidded eyes and curved tusks, the naturalistic curled trunk with incised wrinkled details.
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.
Lot 10. A Greek red-figure oinochoe Apulia, attributed to the Baltimore Painter, circa late 4th Century B.C.;32cm high. Estimate £3,000-5,000. © Bonhams.
Depicting a fight between a Greek warrior and an Amazon, the warrior wearing helmet and cuirass, a cloak floating behind, holding shield and spear, the Amazon holding spear and pelta, a horse behind her, a band of meander below, large palmette on the back, rosettes on the shoulder, rays and a band of tongues on the neck, two moulded Silenus masks on the handle where it attaches to the body, with details in added yellow and white.
Lot 19. A Greek Bronze Goat Archaic period, circa late 6th Century B.C.; 5.2cm high. Estimate £4,000- 6,000. © Bonhams.
Standing with a short pointed tail, the genitals defined, the head with large almond-shaped eyes, long beard, and twisted backward-curving horns.
Lot 106. A Sumerian Black Stone Figure of a Sheep, Circa 3rd Millennium B.C.; 23.5cm long. Estimate £10,000- 15,000. © Bonhams.
Flat-backed, with two intersecting holes drilled on the reverse for attachment, depicted striding, with large lidded eyes and short, pricked ears, defined udders.
Lot 93. Two pairs of Parthian silver earrings, circa 1st Century B.C; 3.2cm and 2.7cm high respectively. Estimate £1,000-1,500. © Bonhams.
Comprising a pair with a winged Eros wearing a crossband, the figure curved at the waist, his feet resting on a square plinth, the hoop soldered at the back; and another with a protome of a horse attached to a twisted hoop.
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.
Lot 190. An Egyptian basalt bust of an official Late Period, late 26th Dynasty-30th Dynasty, circa 550-334 B.C.; 33cm high. Estimate: £40,000.00 - £60,000.00. © Bonhams.
Wearing a bag wig falling behind large ears, the oval face with large almond-shaped eyes and full mouth, the outer corners dimpled, the underside of the jowls and neck fleshy, the rectangular back pillar extending to the middle of the wig, the inscription of which has been removed, probably in antiquity.
Additionally, an important series of Egyptian reliefs includes:
Lot 140. An Egyptian limestone relief panel with a duck amongst papyrus, Old Kingdom, circa 2686-2181 B.C.; 50.8cm x 26cm Estimate £7,000-10,000. © Bonhams.
Carved in low reliefwith tall stemmed papyrus plants, with three tiers of umbels, a duck depicted flying with outstretched wings, diving towards its nest, the corner visible on the left.
Lot 143. An Egyptian limestone relief fragment, Old Kingdom, 5th Dynasty, circa 2450-2300 B.C.; 16cm x 9.4cm. Estimate £5,000-7,000. © Bonhams.
Depicting two golden orioles in flight, showing the upward and downward beat of their wings, some incised foliage visible in the top right corner.
Lot 153. An Egyptian limestone relief fragment with lion hieroglyph, New Kingdom, second half of 18th Dynasty, circa 1401-1292 B.C.; 7.5cm high. Estimate £5,000-7,000. © Bonhams.
Finely carved in reliefwith a column of three hieroglyphs: a bolt, 's', a recumbent lion below, 'r', and the upper part of a sedge plant, 'šm'