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Decided to soak in vinegar and scrubbed off the caked mud to reveal what looks like a brass brooch of someone milking a goat. Looks like there may have been some kind of gem stone. Anyone know what it is or what kind of stone may have been in it as I may see if I can find something to fill the hole
Looks fairly ancient or a copy. It could be an incense burner.
It has two loops on the back - looks like a split pin would go through. Don't think it's a copy but don't know how old it is
If one thinks it is an incense burner...what exactly are the dimensions? I see something that is quite unique, albeit, a little blurry, and am curious to know more.
Have sent a couple more pictures and clip showing front, back and size
I do not see the additional photos...yet.
Emma, it's a very unusual piece and undoubtedly ancient. The subject matter is, IMHO, too odd to warrant copying it for commercial purposes.
When we don't know what something represents it's easy to draw conclusions based on what we know from experience having read or seen similar items.
I'll venture a completely different take based on my personal experiences and then a theory, also known as a wild guess:
1. The person below the goat is NOT milking it. In my experience with goats [friends have a dairy goat farm] their teats are quite short. No way could this person be milking this goat from its low position. The teats would have to be more than a foot long. Therefore, in my experience, the goat is not being milked.
2. My wild guess based on the position of the person and the scant outline of the object he or she seems to be holding, a bowl or low edge vessel, is that the goat has birthed and the newborn kid is being eased into the vessel by the person.
3. The wide hole in the body of the goat seems to indicate that the kid came from it, perhaps in some sort of forced birth, cut out because a normal birth wasn't possible.
When we have absolutely no idea for what purpose an object like this was made the easiest thing is to guess that it was for a religious/ritual purpose. Perhaps it was. Or perhaps it was an object identifying someone's occupation or particular skills.
Maybe a shaman of a tribe wore it on his body to show that he was capable of birthing a goat kid that could survive even if the mother was ailing and did not.
If I was to further guess I believe the object is of South American origin but it could be from anywhere in the world where goats were/are common. The goat is very big compared with the human form so perhaps it was a breed of goat common to that particular country.
Only similar objects already identified can lead to more information as to its origin and purpose.
Good luck researching!
All I can add to this theory is that Bighorn sheep are native to North America. (?) But, it does get you thinking!