The Musk Ox

Danish Modern Ceramic Sculpture of a Baby Musk Ox by Jeanne Grut (LEO Design)

Musk oxen are an Arctic mammal, found in Greenland, Siberia, Alaska, Northern Canada and parts of Northern Scandinavia.  They travel in small packs of 8 – 12 animals which, during the June and July breeding season, consist of a dominant male (“bull”) and several females (“cows”)—plus their offspring.  They have extremely thick coats—which protect them in bitterly cold climates—and get their name for the pungent, musky smell given-off by the males during the breeding season.  Such a pheromone-laced odor attracts female mates and the bulls fight fiercely to maintain their harems.

The stoneware sculpture, shown above, was made by Danish sculptress Jeanne Grut (born 1927) for Royal Copenhagen “Aluminia” in the 1950’s or 1960’s.  It captures the bright eyed Musk Ox calf in a gentle, reflective mood.  Please click on the photo to learn more about it.


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