Greece, Hellenistic period, ca. 3rd century BCE. A charming, mold-made terracotta figure of a young man, nude aside from a rounded cap and a himation over one shoulder, seated and holding a large rooster under one arm. There are traces of white pigment on the man's face, and red pigment on the rooster's crest; a pink or orange pigment is in the lower profile areas of the himation. Size: 4" W x 6.1" H (10.2 cm x 15.5 cm)
The rooster may represent a beloved pet or a potential sacrifice. Roosters were a popular pet for young boys in Greece, as exemplified by the sculpture held by the Met linked to below. Animal gifts - especially roosters - also seem to have been common gifts from older men to younger ones. However, in the Hellenistic period, Greeks also had extensive cultural contact with the Egyptians, and in Egyptian cults roosters were a common sacrifice in rituals relating to the underworld and afterlife. Burnt chicken bones have been found at several Greek sanctuaries dedicated to the goddess Isis.
See a similar example at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/247505
Provenance: private Secaucus, New Jersey, USA collection; ex-William Froelich collection, New York, New York, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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