A terracotta idol with columnar-form body. He wears decorated headdress, the head with prominent discoid eyes (it is thought that the design of the eyes relates to the common motif throughout the ancient Near East that eyes must be wide and attentive to show religious devotion). The figure holds an object or decoration to his chest with both hands. Reverse is plain.
Circa 1600-1200 BC.
Fine condition; Repaired from several pieces, with some infill.
Height 17.3 cms (6.8 ins).
Provenance: From the 1970's-80's Shlomo Moussaieff collection.
Ancient idols like this statuette which reduce the human figure to a simple collection of shapes and lines, are considered some of our oldest abstract art. It is not easy to guess their purpose and we can only guess at the meaning - are they fertility charms? Representations of old gods? Were they made to be carried as apotropaic charms, or simply to be placed in tombs?
Ancient Near East Syro-Hittite terracotta idol
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