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Dramatic Votive Greek Terracotta Theatrical Mask

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Directory: Hidden: Viewable: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1018188
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290 Fillmore St. #D
Denver, CO. 80206
303-321-7351 gallery

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This rare piece is made from a red/brown terracotta and has spotty light brown earthern deposits. This piece is a terracotta model of a theatrical mask and dates circa mid 4th century B.C. This superb example is approximately 5.3 inches high by 4.5 inches wide, and this is the normal size for a votive mask of this type. This piece is intact, and is 100% original. There are some spotty dark brown mineral deposits, and some minute stress cracks and pitting which is normally seen on a piece of this type as it is mold made. This superb piece has a very dramatic face which depicts a youth with a slightly open mouth with wide open eyes. This mask was likely votive, and this piece may also have been buried with an individual who was active in the theatrical arts. (For additional examples see "The Greek World, Art and Civilization in Magna Graecia and Sicily", edited by Giovanni Pugliese Carratelli, Rizzoli Pub., New York, 1996, pp.713-717.) The top forehead is not extended back, as real hair and/or a wreath was added to this piece for added effect. This type of design would also serve an individual well in life, as well as the afterlife, and this mask may have been intended to depict a character such as Hecuba and/or Taltibio, from the Greek tragedy "Le Troiane" by Euripides. This mask, as a votive burial object, may have been intended to represent Hecuba's expression of profound pain and/or Taltibio's contrasting sentiment, which in both cases allude to the moment when the small Trojan baby Astyanax was barbarously killed. The horror of this moment was magnified, as the small Astyanax was thrown down from the walls of Troy by Menelaus, while his mother Andromache is taken away as a slave as the flames rise over Troy. These votive masks were intended to represent characters in ancient Greek tragedies, as noted above, as well as comedies. In any case, very few examples come to the market and are rare. This piece is mounted on a museum quality custom stand and has great eye appeal. Ex: Private German collection. Ex: Private New York collection. (Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: