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Home > Auctions > 24th May 2022 > Greek Terracotta Aphrodite Statue

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LOT 0082

Estimate
GBP (£) 300 - 400
EUR (€) 350 - 470
USD ($) 370 - 500

Sold for (Inc. bp): £845

20

GREEK TERRACOTTA APHRODITE STATUE
4TH-3RD CENTURY B.C.

A terracotta figure of Aphrodite standing, weight on her left leg, wearing a peplos and a himation draped over her left shoulder and waist, closed by a girdle, the right arm bent to grasp a part of the himation revealing her naked right breast; the hair arranged under a low fluted polos with strands falling in ringlets to each side of the head; orange clay with white coating, traces of blue on the peplos and brown on her feet. 8 1/2 in. (252 grams, 21.7 cm high). Fine condition, repaired. [No Reserve]

PROVENANCE:
Acquired 1960s-1990s.
From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister.

LITERATURE:
See Burn, L., Higgings, R., Catalogue of Terracottas in the British Museum, London, 1903-2001, similar style in no.2091.

FOOTNOTES:
This figure belongs to the extensive typology of female figures commonly used for generic portrayals of Aphrodite, maenads, or partially draped reclining female figures. These figures often represent holy prostitutes, selling their graces (note the gesture to show the breast and the exposed shoulder) in front of the temple of the divinity to which they dedicated their body. In South Italy, in particular, two types of female statuettes were widespread, the first type dressed in a high-belted chiton with crowned head, the second consisting of partially draped or nude female figures identified with Aphrodite. These would continue to be produced until the end of the 1st century BC.