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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2020 > Bronze Age Female Terracotta Idol

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LOT 0551

Estimate
GBP (£) 800 - 1,000
EUR (€) 960 - 1,200
USD ($) 1,040 - 1,300

Sold for: £13,750
(Inc. bp*)

Bronze Age Female Terracotta Idol

3rd-2nd millennium BC

A Cypriot-type flat plank-shaped female terracotta idol with incised 'belt' and 'necklace' decoration in the lower part, breasts formed with round recessed domes; the upper part with facial details, incised horizontal and triangular lines, eyes formed as two concentric circles, raised nose, on the top a small rectangular 'crown' decoration with incised concentric triangles; above the eyes four pierced holes for attachment. 197 grams, 21.5cm (8 1/2"). Fine condition. [No Reserve]

Provenance
Property of a Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK collector; previously in the Savva collection; acquired 1980-1990s.
Literature
Cf. Morris, D. The Art of Ancient Cyprus, 1985, pl.176g-h, 178-9.
Footnotes
So-called 'plank idols' originated in the Early Iron Age on Cyprus in the form of one large rectangle representing the torso, with one smaller rectangle on top of this, representing the head and neck. The patterns on the body most likely indicate a woven garment, overlaid with jewellery. The symbolism of 'plank idols' has been much debated with the familiar interpretation of female fertility goddess still being the most preferred theory. However, there is still ongoing discussion about their gender, and whether they are all supposed to represent a female. In any case, such figurines may recall cult statues of stone or wood that were placed in sanctuaries or ritually sacrificed in funerary rituals and placed in tombs and graves.