**First Time At Auction**
Europe, Balkan area, Vinca culture, ca. 5th millennium BCE. A rare hand-built terracotta idol of beige and brown hues with finely incised markings including eyes, facial marks, and stylized hair. With a prominent nose and thick neck, similar figures would have been meant as votive offerings or personal guardians for the household. Traces of original russet-hued pigment are still visible on back of neck, suggesting these figures would have been full of color. Size: 1" L x 1.75" W x 1.625" H (2.5 cm x 4.4 cm x 4.1 cm); 2.875" H (7.3 cm) on included custom stand.
The Vinca (also called Turdas or Turdas-Vinca) culture included Neolithic peoples of Southeastern and Central Europe who existed 5500 to 4500 BCE. This culture's name derives from its site, known as Vinca-Belo Brdo, which was a very large tell settlement that Serbian archaeologist Miloje Vasic discovered in 1908. Due to its prowess in agricultural technology, their population grew significantly and produced some of the largest settlements of prehistoric Europe. Although these settlements were distinguished by unusually strong cultural uniformity due to a long-distance exchange of ritual articles, scholars do not believe that they were politically unified. One signature of the Vinca culture is the wide variety of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, including this example, created by its talented artisans.
Provenance: private Boulder, Colorado, USA collection
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