Daughter of the winged horse Pegasus and Ochyrhoe the centauress, the ancient Greek name Melanippe means Black Mare. Scythian female warriors, horsewomen and archers, were the legendary Amazons depicted on Greek pottery. They took Greek names, many of which were associated with horses.
The ancient Scythians dominated the lands from present day Siberia to the Black Sea between 800 and 300 BCE. The horse was their most important possession, enabling these Eurasian steppe nomads to travel great distances for trade and conquest. They dressed their horses in elaborate costuming and some remains have been found in burial kurgans beside their human partners,, ready to journey to the afterlife together. The custom of dressing horses for battle, pageantry, ritual or belief has been found in many places and practiced by many cultures and we have done the same.
Melanippe is hand made of bisque fired clay and hand colored with artisan waxes. The sculpture has been mounted with a salvaged metal rod from an equestrian estate to a hand finished block of antique French oak beam.
Melanippe wears a neckpiece from the ancient world, an excavated clay pendant, origins unknown but discovered with Roman bronze fragments and coins. The companion stones are excavated ancient rock crystal beads from Mali, ancient Djenne glass beads, both at least 1000 years old. Joining them are matte black agate and assorted antique and vintage seed beads.
The clay pendant has not been cleaned. It easily slips over the head of the horse to be removed. The design differs on the obverse and reverse and is as discovered. The ancient beads are as excavated.
Horse 6 1/2” long X 3 3/4” tall, mounted 6” tall.
French oak block 6 1/2”: long X 3 3/4” wide by 1 3/4” high.
One of a Kind.
With Stone Lore Cards.