Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Worship of individual bulls as gods was known from earliest times in Egypt. Bull mummies were buried with early kings. The king was associated with the bull because of its strength and fertility.
Specific bulls, chosen as sacred incarnations of gods, had particular markings. This dark bull with a white mark on its forehead is the Apis bull, an intermediary with the god Ptah.
Wood, glass, bone (bovine?)
Dynasty 26 to Dynasty 30
11 3/4 x 15 x 14 in. (29.8 x 38.1 x 35.6 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
The object is a carved, wooden bull head with separately carved ears and horns that insert into the head with mortise/tenon joins. There are three disk-like ivory elements secured to the head: one on the forehead and one on either cheek. There are tenons present on the backside of the head suggesting that it was attached to something else at one time.
Condition: The object is in fair and moderately stable condition.
This item is not on view
Bull's Head, 664-332 B.C.E. Wood, glass, bone (bovine?), 11 3/4 x 15 x 14 in. (29.8 x 38.1 x 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1532E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1532E_NegA_SL4.jpg)
unedited master file, 37.1532E_NegA_SL4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Where is the glass?
As to the glass on the bull's head, there are residual amounts of glass in the eyes, which would have originally been glass inlays.
Interesting. I didn’t know they made glass that far back.
Yes! The earliest glass was made in the Near East. The Egyptians began producing glass (using techniques learned from their neighbors) in the New Kingdom period.