The rider is a nude young man depicted in profile, his head carved in the round with slightly archaised features. He is seated astride the horse in the foreground, clasping the reins in his hands, leading another horse in the background, its head and body slightly visible behind.
Beaven Collection, Cotswolds, UK, 1960s
Fortnum and Mason, Equus. Three Millennia of the Horse, London, 14 April - 29 June 2003
With Charles Ede Limited, London
With Cahn AG, Basel, 2010
Swiss private collection, Zurich
Such an appliqué would once
have been riveted to a large-scale bronze vessel such as a krater. This is an
unusual type with one rider but two horses.
The combination of the
naturalistic representation of the horses' bodies with the more stylised
facial features on the young man, indicates that this bronze may be dated to
the transitional period from Archaic to Classical Greece; between the first
and second Persian Wars circa 490 – 480 BC, this was a time of great
artistic, cultural and political change in Greece.
For a bronze figure with
similar archaic rendering of the rider's face and eyes, cf. M. Comstock &
C. Vermeule, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Bronzes in the Museum of Fine Arts,
Boston, Boston, 1971, p. 42, no. 42. For other slightly earlier Greek
statuettes of riders, cf. Comstock & Vermeule op. cit., pp. 34-5,
nos. 32-33 and cf. A.S. Walker, Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo
Mildenberg Collection, Mainz, 1996, no. 124, 188; a Laconian example is now in the Getty: C.C. Mattusch, Enduring
Bronze: Ancient Art, Modern Views, Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum,
2014, p. 76, fig. 55.