Roman Bronze Sculpture of a Horse - X.0023
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 2 nd Century AD to 3 rd Century AD
Dimensions: 4.875" (12.4cm) high x 5.125" (13.0cm) wide
Collection: Classical
Style: Roman
Medium: Bronze

This horse is no wild stallion, but instead, its closely cropped mane and ornamental trappings alert us that this domesticated steed was the prized possession of a Roman nobleman. Perhaps it was the beloved horse belonging to the general of the Roman cavalry. Perhaps it was a racing horse that once ran laps around the competition in the Roman Hippodrome. The horse is gorgeously rendered with loving details including the long arched tail. The breast strap is decorated with incised lines and has four knobs and a crescent pendant. The halter also has decorative knobs. The animal turns its head slightly to its right and has both forelegs raised slightly off the ground in an expert rendition of equine naturalism. The horse's top tuft of hair and its ears are erect, and the tail is held to the right and attached to the hock of the right leg. This charming little sculpture reveals that mankind’s relationship to this invaluable creature is older than we might first suspect. In fact, there is little about the horse that would be out of place on a contemporary rendition. Horses provided human civilization speed and strength, whether delivering messages to far off lands or defending the borders from invaders. Much of the security that allowed the ancient world to prosper was born on the back of mighty steeds such as this one. - (X.0023)