Hixenbaugh Ancient Art Presents Neolithic Vinca Terracotta Bison

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Hixenbaugh Ancient Art presents a recently acquired Neolithic Vinca terracotta head of a bison. This 6,000 year old artifact is especially rare due its large size and bovine representation.

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Neolithic Vinca large terracotta pottery lid in the form of the head of a reclining horned animal.

“this is an extremely rare work dating to the time when our earliest European ancestors were just beginning to represent their world view in artistic form.”

Hixenbaugh Ancient Art Ltd presents an extremely rare Neolithic Vinca terracotta head of a bison. It was probably once the lid of a large storage vessel and is especially rare due to its large size and bovine representation.

Vinca Culture derives its name from the modern village of Vinca (pronounced vin-cha), located on the banks of Danube, near Belgrade, where one of the largest and most significant prehistoric Neolithic settlements in Europe was discovered in 1908. The little-known Vinca culture was among the most advanced in Neolithic Europe.

The vast majority of Vinca figures that have survived represent women and animals. Vinca molded zoomorphic vessel lids were almost always in the form of birds, usually owls. This terracotta lid was fashioned in the form of the head of a horned animal with bovine ears but with a distinctly human nose. The bovine features are unusual, as cattle were not yet domesticated in Europe at this early date. The surface was incised to indicate large eyes and a thick mane. At a width of 8 ¼ inches, it is also significantly larger than the majority of known Vinca figures. This intact, rare terracotta has been dated by a thermoluminescence test to around 4000 BC.

The most prevalent imagery from the ancient Vinca culture is that of the feminine goddess. The image of the bull may represent a link between goddess and regeneration. Renowned Neolithic scholar, Marija Gimbutas advanced the theory that the Vinca culture was a female-centered, peaceful, egalitarian society. Gimbutas asserted that unlike later male dominated societies where the bull represented a symbol of strength, in Vinca culture the bull was more closely linked with regeneration. The horns of a large bison bare a remarkable likeness to the female uterus and fallopian tubes. As such, out of the body of a sacrificed bison emerges new life.

In the opinion of gallery director, Randall Hixenbaugh, “this is an extremely rare work dating to the time when our earliest European ancestors were just beginning to represent their world view in artistic form.” This recent acquisition as well as many important antiquities are on view and available at our New York gallery (Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm) and can be viewed on our web site (http://www.hixenbaugh.net).

Hixenbaugh Ancient Art Ltd, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is dedicated to handling fine authentic antiquities (Roman, Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek and Neolithic Art). All of the pieces we handle are legally acquired, in complete accordance with US and international regulations and laws concerning the import and sale of ancient objects. All objects are guaranteed genuine and as described. Hixenbaugh Ancient Art is a member of the Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA), the Confederation Internationale des Negociants en Oeuvres d'Art (CINOA), the Appraisers Association of America (AAA), and the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA).

At Hixenbaugh Ancient Art, we believe that responsible collecting of antiquities is not only a pleasurable pursuit and wise investment, but an important responsibility. Today's collectors are custodians of the past, links in a chain, preserving the past for future generations by passing their collections on to their heirs, reselling them to eager collectors, or donating them to museums. In doing so, the collector of ancient art reaps the many benefits of acquiring truly unique and thought provoking objects that have come down to us from the ancients, whose influences pervade every aspect of the modern world.

If you would like more information about this topic contact Robert O’Donnell or Randall Hixenbaugh at (212) 861-9743 or info(at)hixenbaugh(dot)net.

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