By the middle of the first millennium B.C., several powerful kingdoms had emerged in southern Arabia based on a monopoly of the aromatic resins, frankincense and myrrh-two of the most prized materials of ancient times-which are native to the region. Bronze castings of large sculptures, as well as smaller objects, were made in these kingdoms through most of the first millennium B.C. and the early centuries A.D. Among the types of animal iconography, bulls, symbols of strength and potency, are among the most common and can be found on funerary pillars, seals, and sculptures of the period. One of the highlights of the Metropolitan Museum's Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art is a small bronze sculpture of a bull from the kingdom of Saba'. The head is strongly sculpted with moderately-sized horns that curve slightly up and inward. The ears, also upright, are carved with creased lines. Six wavy lines depict the neck and chest and are joined in a raised ridge possibly to depict the hairline. The body is otherwise plain but the upward curving tail creates a sense of alertness in the animal. The Museum's Figure of a Bull reproduction reflects the mottled appearance of the partially oxidized bronze original.
Made of bonded bronze (cold cast). "Cold-Cast" bronze (also referred to as "bonded bronze") is a product made from resin mixed/blended with 100% pure bronze powder to give it the appearance of the true bronze. It looks just as a "lost wax" bronze object does - both are bronzes. The cost for making a "lost wax" bronze statue is much greater than that of a "cold-cast" bronze statue. A sculpture made of "lost wax" bronze would be several times more expensive then made in cold cast bronze. Yet in either of the above materials, the casts (the final product made out of the mold) are made using the same rubber mold; which is taken from the original sculpture. Thus, the final result is exactly the same bronze sculpture, only made in a different bronze material. With the cold cast we still achieve the same bronze effect at much lower cost and thus is more affordable.
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