Asia Minor, northern Anatolia (Turkey) or Transcaucasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), ca. mid- to late 3rd millennium BCE. A unique cast bronze anthropomorphic idol with the body composed of bulbous, bead-like segments. The figure is seated, with legs straight out in front of it and arms out to its sides. Its face is composed of round, open segments similar to the body but smaller, giving it rudimentary wide eyes, open mouth, and ears. Comes with custom stand. Size: 0.8" L x 1.75" W x 1.9" H (2 cm x 4.4 cm x 4.8 cm); height on stand: 2.55" (6.5 cm)
Bronze votive idols like this one are known in a variety of fascinating forms throughout the pre-literate ancient world. From the truly abstract Kilia-type figures that are barely recognizable as human to the exaggerated feminine shapes of so-called "Venus" figures, people in the past, as today, had a clear desire to portray human forms and did not feel constrained by naturalism. There are some repeated motifs: outstretched arms, as on this figure, which researchers have interpreted to mean an act of supplication; similarly, the wide eyes on this figure are an often-repeated characteristic that researchers believe emphasizes that the figure is attentive to the gods. Miniature figures like these seem to be portraying worshippers rather than gods, and we believe that they were small enough that, even though they were made of bronze, ordinary people could have owned them and kept them on home altars. Many people from ancient Anatolia are found buried with items like this one.
Provenance: ex-private East Coast, USA Collection
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