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Early Greek Terracotta Applique of a Royal Figure

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 615970
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This rare piece is an early Greek terracotta that dates circa 6th century B.C. This piece is an applique that depicts a male that is seen wearing a conical hat, which was a royal symbol in the Achaemenid (Persian) Period circa 800-330 B.C. This piece is probably from Cyprus which was heavily influenced by the Achaemenid Empire circa 6th century B.C., but the artistic style of this piece is Greek. This piece has a portrait that is very analogous to the Greek marble Kouros from Melos, circa 555-540 B.C., that is now seen in the Athens National Museum. (See Gisela Richter, "A handbook of Greek Art", Da Capo Press, Inc., New York, 1987, p.63-64.) According to Richter: "In this general period appear also a few draped male figures, evidently intended to represent not athletes but important personages. They have come to light in Samos and elsewhere and show marked Ionic (Greek) influence". The artistic style of this terracotta is an extremely fine example of the Ionic Greek style that shows a receding chin, almond eyes, and a slight smile. This period of art was a step towards naturalistic representation, and moved away from a strict geometric representation of the human form. This Greek artistic style is only seen approximately over a sixty year time frame, and is rarely seen in Greek marbles, but is seen more relative to Greek terracottas, as many of these terracottas were votive in nature. This may be the case with this piece, and it is a rare example, not only for the high degree of art that is seen, but also because it also has a regal element relative to the conical hat that may depict a royal personage. The conical hat is also very analogous to the hat seen on the colossal stone bust of Antiochos I of Kommagene, circa 64-38 B.C., that is seen at Nemrud Dagh, Turkey. The mixture of Iranian and Greek elements, in both the blood and names of the rulers of Kommagene, was also reflected in their monumental art. The terracotta seen here is also a mix of an eastern type with Greek artistic style, and as such, is a rare form of ancient Greek art that is seldom seen on the market today. This piece is approximately 3.5 inches high and has traces of white pigment. This piece is also intact and is mounted on a custom stand. Ex: Private German collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: