TIBETAN ANTELOPE - 6.5x6.5 inches $180.00 (SOLD)
Highlighted Species: Pantholops hodgsonii
Status: Near Threatened - In 1980s they were endangered, but due to protective laws against poaching, they have recovered in the past decades. Even so they are still poached to make scarves from soft warm underfur. 3-5 of them must be killed to make one scarf.
Greek mythology: Theophane was a beauty, nymph and grand-daughter of Helios the sun god. Poseidon, god of the sea, was struck by her loveliness. To have her for himself, he spirited her away to an island surrounded and protected by the cerulean swells of the ocean. Even there, her legendary beauty tempted suitors to come and seek her out. To keep the men at bay, Poseidon transformed Theophane into a sheep, one of many among the flocks, and took on the form of a ram for himself.
The offspring of Poseidon and Theophane in these forms was a winged ram with fleece of gold.
The golden ram was later sacrificed to Poseidon, and its Golden Fleece became an icon of power and kingship.
The ancient Greeks wove this tale around a creature of divine and distant origins, and it is possible that Tibetan takin was the inspiration for the golden creature, or Tibetan antelopes, who are even to this day sought out by poachers and killed for the golden fibers and woven into luxury shawls.
Size: 6 x 6 inches