In fact, there is no definitive source of the symbolism of the two animals, the bull and the bear, in the financial markets, and one of the more popular claims stems from the fact that the two  have different combat behaviors(which took place near the London Stock Exchange in the 17th century), with the bull trying to top opponents with its horns, while the bear usually pat its opponents with claws. Those upward and downward pressure action behaviors are then cited in financial markets to describe the rise and fall of the market. Another way of saying this is that the middlemen who sell bearskins will short-sell before receiving the spot, hoping that the price of bearskin will fall in order to obtain a lucrative profit, so the market price decline is called a bear market. And In the past, there are cattle and bear fighting activities, as the bear’s opponent, cattle are naturally seen as a symbol of the market rise. Although the narrative is different, there is a consensus in the market for the description of the bull market and bear market, and many exchanges have placed bull statue and bear statue in front of the door to symbolize the market’s rise and fall.

Battle between cows and bears

The Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Germany, also known as the Deutsche Stock Exchange, is the first to set up the bull statue and bear statue. In 1985, to mark the 400th anniversary of the exchange, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange invited German sculptor Reinhard Dachlauer to design sculptures of bull and bear. The sculpture was built in 1988. The bull statue up the horns represents a rise in the stock market and an expression of hope for wealth; the bear statue with the bear’s palm down indicates the fall of the market. The two statues also represent changes in the stock markets that are often not swayed by the will of the people. This is the first time in history that cows and bear sculptures have been used to reflect the rivalry between bull markets and bear markets in financial markets. As can be seen from the picture, although the two animals are not in a fierce fight, but in the tense confrontation.

bear statue and cattle statue in Germany

By contrast, the famous bronze bull (charging bull) of the New York Stock Exchange is more legendary. On December 15th, 1989, the Italian artist Santuri Di Modica of Sicily, without permission, placed a statue of a copper bull as a Christmas present under a Christmas tree in front of the New York Stock Exchange. This expresses a hopeful call to the US stock market after the 1987 stock market crash. Early the next morning, Modica’s bull statue was surrounded by journalists and police. Although the copper bull was courted and loved by the public, it failed to obtain the approval of the NYSE staff. According to Modica, the head of the NYSE suggested at the time that if he agreed to do an accompanying bear statue, his bull could still come back. In the end, Modica did not agree, because from an investor’s point of view, what he wanted was for the future US stock market to be able to get out of the doldrums, stronger than the bull-bear checks and balances. After a number of arguments, the Copper Bull was eventually relocated to Bowling Green Park near the NYSE, becoming a popular place for visitors to photograph.

bronze Cattle statue in New York

In fact, the copper cattle designed by Modica also have many “twin brothers”. For example, the “Bund Bull” born in Shanghai on the Bund in May 2010, the difference is that the tail of the bull statue is up, symbolizing the rise of the economy in China and a broader development prospect; there is also a bull statue in the front of the Amsterdam Exchange in the Netherlands, which was said to have been brought to the city with the support of a Dutch family when the European economy experienced the economic crisis that year. Modica donates this bronze bull to encourage the European market.

Life-size Cattle Statue