Cypriot Terracotta Horse: Archaic I (750-600 BC)
An unusual large, heavy, terracotta, early-Archaic horse with harness and trappings, long mane and long tail. The body is hollow with an opening at the front, reminding me of the so-called hole-mouth bulls of the Middle Bronze Age, which had a similar hole below in the upper chest. What the hole was used for is unclear, but the object may have been a votive offering. Whether something in the way of an offering or dedication was intended to be placed in the hole is possible, but given the low placing of the hole it seems unlikely to be for pouring liquids. There are faded black-stripe decorations. For a similar, slightly later example cf. V Karageorghis, "Cypriot Antiquities in the Pierides Collection, Athens, 1973, p145, no.91.
Size: 19.5cm high x 17.5cm
(Ex Anonymous sale; Christies auction, London, 11 December 1974, lot 175. Subsequently Desmond Morris collection, Oxford, acquired at the above sale.)
(Aquired Bonhams auction, London, 3rd July 2019, lot 15)