Featured How old are these bronze bulls?

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by hunt2, Feb 26, 2024.

  1. hunt2

    hunt2 Active Member

    Hello everyone, i have bought two huge solid bronze bulls in different possitions. They are both from the same maker and this is one of them. But i wondered how old they are 19th century or older judging the file marks underneath the feet. Screenshot 2024-02-26 at 21-38-27 Figure - Paar Stieren - 25_31 cm - 6 1 kg - Bronze.png Screenshot 2024-02-26 at 21-37-35 Figure - Paar Stieren - 25_31 cm - 6 1 kg - Bronze.png
  2. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    They look nothing like 19th century art. They've much more likely to be post-World War II. You say they're both by the same maker? I assume that means they carry the same mark. Would you be kind enough to post photographs?

    kyratango likes this.
  3. hunt2

    hunt2 Active Member

    they are unmarked, but in the same style
  4. Matahari

    Matahari Well-Known Member

    Figtree3 likes this.
  5. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    those feet look like brass....
    Chinoiserie and Any Jewelry like this.
  6. hunt2

    hunt2 Active Member

  7. hunt2

    hunt2 Active Member

    here some detail photo's IMG_20240227_144208137.jpg IMG_20240227_144115918_HDR.jpg IMG_20240227_144131016_HDR.jpg
    Any Jewelry likes this.
  8. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    They are very nice, but I'm with Debora, post-war.
    The style has a hint of Brutalism, which is also very much second half of the 20th century.
    I agree, too yellow for bronze. Cast and patinated brass.
    Looks like the one with the holes in the hooves used to be on a plinth. A previous owner probably removed the plinth to match the two.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2024
    komokwa and Figtree3 like this.
  9. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Bronze can look a lot like brass if not patinated, so it may not be possible to determine the exact alloy from a photo. The feet of the bulls may have been filed down after casting and patination to make them fit a base, exposing the color of the bare metal.
    upload_2024-2-27_9-25-12.png https://www.pallasweb.com/blog/bob-atchisons-guide-to-bronze-patinas.html

    @hunt2 - if you could please post more views of both bulls we might be able to be more helpful.
  10. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

  11. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Hmm. The previous seller provided an estimated date of 1980-1990, and an origin in Spain. Why do you not believe him?
    Figtree3 likes this.
  12. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Bulls = Spain in my experience.

    2manybooks likes this.
  13. hunt2

    hunt2 Active Member

    scottish_highland_-_bull.jpg Oke, first, these are scotisch highlanders and not spanish bulls. Second, brass or bronze will always be a endless discussion and if you look at 17th century bronze cauldrons they also look like brass as do the bronze mortars.

    3th, on catawiki it is common that they post most of the items as 20th century so not to get angry customers if you mis dated an item I have owned these bulls before i sold them to the person from catawiki and regognized the dark brown /black patination as 17th/18th century with the distinctive texture.

    only visible with a 10x loop..And a 17th century bronze horse has the same file marks which are done by a hand file not machine and also the screw thread is hand done wich is indicative of an early age. But that is just my opinion . but i apreciate the feetback.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2024
  14. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    OK. 17th-18th century bronze Scottish bulls. Got it.

  15. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Well, since that is all sorted I'm out of here.
  16. hunt2

    hunt2 Active Member

    sorry for my abrupt answer. maybe the are modern who knows. but i apreciate the feedback you gave.
    2manybooks likes this.
  17. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    Looking into the hole it seems it's metal over a filler material.

    Agreed on second-half 20th century in style.

    Art objects are still made or finished by hand today.
  18. Boland

    Boland Well-Known Member

    They do look to be handmade or at least hand finished. But they just don’t really seem that old but they are impressive and cool.
    mirana likes this.
  19. hunt2

    hunt2 Active Member

    ok i understand
  20. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    It might have been helpful if you had explained all of this in your initial post, so that we could have responded more effectively. So, you bought these back from the catawiki guy because you think you initially misidentified them?

    In terms of file marks, hand files continue to be used today, often for minor adjustments such as fitting a casting to a plinth. I cannot comment on the screw threads, as I cannot see them.

    Your figures are very stylized, but you have focused on the shape of the horns. Granted, they are not the typical way that Spanish bulls' horns are depicted. You found a photo of a Scottish highlander with similarly shaped horns, but they seem to come in a variety of shapes -


    If your criteria is scientific accuracy, there is no indication of the hairy coats of highland cattle. They also are not known for particularly aggressive postures.

    A great variety of patination methods have been used for centuries. Even if your observation of similarities between the bulls and some 17th-18th century bronze objects is accurate, there is no reason that the same type of surface cannot be created today.

    It is clear that you want the bulls to be older, but you need to consider style as well as the details. This type of abstracted, blocky, "brutalist" form does not appear in art until the 20th century.
    verybrad, mirana and hunt2 like this.
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