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X-Rare Greek Bronze Votive Mycenaean/Minoan Goddess Figurine

X-Rare Greek Bronze Votive Mycenaean/Minoan Goddess Figurine


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1365793
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 $6,875.00 
$6,875.00

This extremely rare piece is a Mycenaean/Minoan bronze goddess figurine that dates to the LH III Period, circa 1400-1100 B.C. This piece is approximately 4.4 inches high, by 1.25 inches wide at the fluted base, and is one of the largest recorded examples. This attractive figurine has a tubular shape, and was cast as one piece. The esoteric raised arms are also tapered and arc slightly, and in addition, they are curled at the end which forms the stylized hands. The body is also hollow, and there is an opening seen at the top of the body where the neck/head was attached. This neck/head likely was made from wood, or some other perishable material, and was attached into the main body with a dowel. There is also some incised lines seen just below the raised arms at the shoulder area, and this decorative "linear line design" is also seen on many examples of early Greek art from the Late Bronze Age, circa 1300 B.C., down to the Geometric Period, circa 750 B.C. These extremely rare figures may have been a grave offering, and/or could have been an offering that depicted significant rituals that were associated with rites of passage that involved the dead. The figurine offered here could also been part of a group of several figurines of this type, that together, composed a group scene that depicted a ritual as noted above. This theory was developed by Daniela Lefevre-Novaro, and her theory was supported by the figural terracotta models that were found in the Minoan Kamilari burial complex in Kamilari, Crete. These figural models can now be seen in the Herakleion Archaeological Museum, and date circa LM 1A, 1600-1500 B.C. (See "Coming of Age in Ancient Greece", by Jenifer Neils and John Oakley, Yale University Press, 2003, pp. 40-43.) The arms of the figurine offered here are also seen extended into the air, and this is an ancient Greek sign of "blessing" and "mourning" death, especially for children, and this posture is also depicted on art from the Greek Late Bronze Age, circa 13th century B.C. (For two examples that depict images of individuals with raised arms in mourning, see the two "larnakes" from Tanagra, Greece, which are in the Thebes Archaeological Museum, and date circa LH IIIB, 1300-1200 B.C. See two attached photos of these "larnakes" which are terracotta chests that were used as coffins.) The raised arms may also depict and/or represent bull's horns, which was connected to the Minoan culture, and this figurine may have served in this capacity as well, but the exact symbolic representation of these early Mycenaean/Minoan figurines is unknown. What is known, is that the majority of these votive pieces were made from terracotta, rather than bronze, and this is another reason why these exceptional bronze figurines are extremely rare. There have also been numerous terracotta figurines with uplifted arms found in Cyprus dated from the 11th century B.C., down to the 5th century B.C. This type of goddess figurine is also thought to have originated in Crete, and has been identified as being a "mother goddess" connected to fertility. (See "Ancient Cyprus" by Vassos Karageorghis, 1981, p. 125.) In summary, the piece offered here is likely a goddess figurine that represented several of the aspects noted above, and was either a votive grave offering, or an offering in a shrine. This esoteric bronze goddess figurine is intact, has no repair/restoration, and easily stands upright by itself. This piece also has a beautiful light to dark green patina with dark blue highlights, some minute root marking, and some spotty dark brown mineral deposits. This piece also sits on a custom stand and can easily be lifted off. Ex: Private Austrian collection, circa 1980's. (Note additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: