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Lot 0088B
Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, Anatolia, Early Bronze Age II - III, ca. 2700 to 2000 BCE. A beautiful and abstract marble figure known as a "violin" idol for its resemblance to the orchestral stringed instrument. This example is of the Kusura-Beycesultan variety, quite similar to contemporary Cycladic idols, its form comprised of a curvaceous body, a pair of abstract "arms," a slender neck, and a rounded head devoid of any recognizable facial features. The meaning and function of such idols remains an enigma without any written records from this era. Archaeologists have theorized that, since fertility was prized by these peoples, the violin idol probably took inspiration from the female anatomy, albeit in a highly-abstruse manner. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 6.875" H (17.5 cm); 7.625" H (19.4 cm) on included custom stand.

Kusura idols come from the village of Kusura in southeastern modern-day Turkey. 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.

A similar figure hammered at GBP 4,465 ($6,325 USD) at Christie's My 13, 2003 Antiquities auction (London, South Kensington - Lot 10): https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/an-anatolian-marble-idol-early-bronze-age-4088103-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=4088103&sid=6eb679da-971f-4be6-a5c5-449d6d7c3418

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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Surface wear commensurate with age, some small nicks and roughness to areas of periphery, and very minor discoloration, otherwise intact and near-choice. Nice light earthen deposits throughout.

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Anatolian Marble Violin Idol - Kusura-Beycesultan Type

Estimate $3,500 - $5,000May 10, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA