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Greek Erotic Statuette with Erect Phallus

Antiquities - Greek

LOT 0091

GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 9,130 - 11,410
USD ($) 11,030 - 13,790

Opening Bid: £7,200 (EUR 8,218; USD 9,930)
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4th-2nd century BC

A ceramic Boeotian statuette of a comic actor wearing the mask of an elderly man and a cap in the shape of a phallus with phallic-shaped lappets to the side; wearing a cloak open to the front to expose a large belly and large erect phallus, woollen armbands to the elbows, hands extended forward; seated on a square chair with plinth to the front, small shoe to the right edge of plinth; traces of pigment to the surface. 595 grams, 21cm (8 1/4").

Fine condition, some restoration. Extremely rare.

Property of a Mayfair, London, UK, ancient art collector; formerly with Christie's New York, 8 June 2004, lot 128; previously in the collection of Nancy Mallen, London, UK, since 1972.

Comic plays became increasingly popular during the Hellenistic period, developing into a genre characterised by stock characters such as the angry old man, the boastful soldier and the cunning slave. Inspired by these themes and characters, a popular class of terracottas developed, depicting the grotesque, farcical bodies of comic actors, often distorted by padded stomachs and masks. It is likely these statuettes played an apotropaic role as well as a humorous one, used to avert the 'evil eye' and to protect the owner from harm. These statue types have been found across the Hellenic world, from Spain to Boeotia.

Tuesday 22nd May 2018 to Sunday 27 May 2018: Ancient Art, Antiquities & Coins

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Lot No. 0091

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Auction Catalogue

Auction Venue:
Crystal Room,
May Fair Hotel,
Stratton Street,
London, W1J 8LT

Viewing from noon Monday 21st May 2018
Champagne Reception: 6pm - 9pm

Tuesday 22nd May 2018 (Day 1)
10am : Lots 1 - 520

Auction Venue:
The Court House
363 Main Road
Harwich, CO12 4DN

Auctions start 10am BST (Lunch 1.30 - 2pm)
Wednesday 23rd May 2018 (Day 2)
Lots 550 - 1190
Thursday 24th May 2018 (Day 3)
Lots 1191 - 1831
Friday 25th May 2018 (Day 4)
Lots 1832 - 2472
Saturday 26th May 2018 (Day 5)
Lots 2473 - 3109
Sunday 27th May 2018 (Day 6)
Lots 3110 - 3217
Lots 3300 - 3903

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