Egypt, Romano-Egyptian period, ca. 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. A trio of mold-made earthenware votives. The first depicts a horse and rider; the second the head of the child god Harpocrates with his finger to his mouth and his elaborate headdress; the third is a nude female figure, seated, with her legs crossed. Size of largest (woman - but all are close in size): 1.2" W x 2.05" H (3 cm x 5.2 cm); 3.55" H (9 cm) on included custom stand.
Excavations at Naukratis found the remains of terracotta molds for making models just like the ones used to produce these votives; they were made from a dark red-brown Nile silt in vast workshops. These figures were made for locals, but reflected the influence of Greek naturalistic styles in their depictions of the deities. They were bought by individuals and are found overwhelmingly in domestic contexts. The people who owned these votives would have been using something with a symbol or depiction of a god they may have identified with or whose help they may have sought; it may also have reflected civic pride in the gods of Alexandria.
Provenance: private New York collection; ex private Paris, France collection, acquired at public auction in the early 2000s
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