Highly stylized female figure carved from a piece of bone. The prominent head with two deep vertical incisions that delimit the sides of the nose and of the pursed lips. Swiftly incised horizontal lines to delineate the brow and the chin. The eyes and other details may have been painted.
Deep incisions across the chest, marked lines around the waist. Drilled holes to the sides of the breasts, to thread through a piece of string to attach separate arms. Drilled hole at the left ear level.
Commonly referred as ‘Coptic dolls’, these figurines seem to appear suddenly in Egypt and Palestine, coinciding with the Arab conquest. They may have served as inexpensive toys, and were placed in graves and may have also served as votive gifts in the cult of local female deities.
For a related semi-naturalistic example, cf. UC59359 in the Petrie Museum database.
Mounted on an acrylic stand with a description underneath mentioning the Kunst- und Antiquitätenmesse Basel, active from 1964-2008.
Coptic Egypt, early Islamic Period, 7th to 9th century AD
H. 8.3 cm (3.3 in)
H. with stand 10.3 cm (4.1 in)
Lower part missing, otherwise nice example with yellow staining.
Sold at the Kunst- und Antiquitätenmesse Basel to Swiss private collection P.S.
The authenticity of the object is unconditionally guaranteed.