Horse of Lourdes (or Horse of the Espélugues Caves)

RF004004

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This statuette of horse was discovered at the end of the XIXth century in the cave of Espélugues in Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrénées.

It is attributed to the Magdalenian period (around 15,000 years). Shaped in mammoth ivory, a rare material in Western Europe, this figurine shows great mastery of sculpture and engraving.
The horse is rendered in a very realistic way, both in anatomy and attitude, with many details. It must be said that prehistoric men knew the wild horses they hunted every day well.

The horse of Lourdes, an unfinished work with striking realism, is one of the most remarkable works of all Palaeolithic sculpture.
This small horse, fashioned in the defence of a mammoth, was discovered in 1886 in a fractuosity of the Espélugues cave, in the region of Lourdes (Hautes Pyrénées).

The details of the head are depicted with the ears on the neck, eyes, nostrils, mouth with lips and the well-modelled ganache. The rectilinear mane is formed by a slightly raised, shaded band on both sides.
The coat, especially on the head, is represented by a series of scalloped lines formed by incisions separated from each other, and by numerous more or less elongated punctuations.


Reproduction in patinated resin of the little horse of the Espélugues sold with its removable wooden base.
Version protected INPI by copyright "©The-Paleoscope", year 2020".


Dimensions with base:
Height: 7.3 cm (2,87").
Width: 6 cm (2,36").
Depth: 3.5 cm (1,37").
Origin: Grottes des Espélugues in Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées). Excavations Léon Nelli, 1886-1889.
Museum: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, National Archaeological Museum.
Material: Resin patinated.


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The Espélugues caves was frequented very early on by prehistoric man. This little horse was discovered in 1886 in a crevice. Many other tools and decorated objects were also found in this cave-dwelling.

This small statuette was excavated longitudinally in the tusk of a mammoth. The mammoths measured between 2.80m and 3.50m. Their upper incisors, developed into tusks, could be up to 3m long. Prehistoric men from Eastern Europe, to compensate for the lack of wood, used its bones as a framework for their tents. They disappeared from Europe around 8500 BC.

This animal has a straight back and an outstretched head. The four legs are well insulated from each other, but their lower part has been broken off. The artist did not finish the tail, which is only partly roughened with ivory.

The detail of the pelage is much less elaborate on this side. The front paw has two strong notches. Oblique dashes underline the neck below the mane.

The artist has taken particularly good care of the pelage on this side of the statuette. It is represented by a series of scalloped lines formed by incisions separated from each other by numerous more or less elongated punctuations forming an "M". This pelage is characteristic of wild horses. The front leg has small oblique dashes.

The head is very narrow. The ears are flattened on the neck. The eyes, the nostrils and the mouth with its lips are well figured. The outline of the pelage on the head shows well the musculature of the horse. The mane is rendered by a lightly hatched relief on both sides.

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Horse of Lourdes (or Horse of the Espélugues Caves)

This statuette of horse was discovered at the end of the XIXth century in the cave of Espélugues in Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrénées.

It is attributed to the Magdalenian period (around 15,000 years). Shaped in mammoth ivory, a rare material in Western Europe, this figurine shows great mastery of sculpture and engraving.
The horse is rendered in a very realistic way, both in anatomy and attitude, with many details. It must be said that prehistoric men knew the wild horses they hunted every day well.

The horse of Lourdes, an unfinished work with striking realism, is one of the most remarkable works of all Palaeolithic sculpture.
This small horse, fashioned in the defence of a mammoth, was discovered in 1886 in a fractuosity of the Espélugues cave, in the region of Lourdes (Hautes Pyrénées).

The details of the head are depicted with the ears on the neck, eyes, nostrils, mouth with lips and the well-modelled ganache. The rectilinear mane is formed by a slightly raised, shaded band on both sides.
The coat, especially on the head, is represented by a series of scalloped lines formed by incisions separated from each other, and by numerous more or less elongated punctuations.


Reproduction in patinated resin of the little horse of the Espélugues sold with its removable wooden base.
Version protected INPI by copyright "©The-Paleoscope", year 2020".


Dimensions with base:
Height: 7.3 cm (2,87").
Width: 6 cm (2,36").
Depth: 3.5 cm (1,37").
Origin: Grottes des Espélugues in Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées). Excavations Léon Nelli, 1886-1889.
Museum: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, National Archaeological Museum.
Material: Resin patinated.


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