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Home > Auctions > 21st November 2017 > Western Asiatic Sumerian Statuette of a Worshipper

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LOT 0631

GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 9,470 - 11,840
USD ($) 10,210 - 12,770

5" (252 grams, 13cm).

A bronze figure of a standing male worshipper, small cap of hair to the top of the head, youthful features to the face; wearing a long robe with right shoulder bare; hands clasped in prayer; bare feet on a small base.

From a London family collection since the 1970s; previously with Boisgirard Arts D'Orient, Paris, France, 22 May 2008, lot 41; accompanied by a copy of the catalogue pages and a French archaeological export licence number 102179, dated 4 August 2008.

Life in the cities of Mesopotamia was focused on the gods, who were believed to dwell in specially constructed temples. Access to the small central shrines was probably limited, most likely to the priests who served the god’s needs. It was perhaps due to this lack of access that the elite commissioned images of themselves to be carried into the god’s presence. These statues embodied the very essence of the worshipper so that the spirit would be present when the physical body was not.

The statues are usually depicted with the hands clasped, right over left, at the chest or waist in a gesture of attentiveness. Some figures hold cups or branches of vegetation. Standing figures often step forward with the left foot. Male heads are frequently shown bald but sometimes wear beards, while female figures can have a variety of hairstyles or headdresses.