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Terracotta toy cart
West Bengal, Shunga period, circa 200 - 100 BC

Terracotta toy cart

A terracotta toy in the form of bull’s head, cast from a mould. The transverse hole at the bottom indicates that it would have held an axle with pottery wheels. The bridle is richly decorated with ornate chains and a rosette medallion on the forehead. The garland around the bull’s neck is decorated in great detail with alternating layers of chain and beads. At the back is a central aperture, presumably to hold a long stick to push the cart with.

• The distinction between votive animal figures in these early terracottas is not often clear. Animals such as the bull, horse and elephant were very popular representations and continue to be so in India today. Examples of toy carts with a representation of a bull are
in the Chandigarh Government Museum, Chandigarh1, and the Kolkata museum in West Bengal.2

1 Pal, P. et al: Indian Terracotta Sculpture, the early period, Mumbai 2002, page 54, no. 10
2 Pal, P. et al op. cit. page 62, no. 3

Height: 5 1/ 4 inches, 13.5 cm


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