Lot 25: Rare / Early Near-Eastern Gypsum Head of Deity
27 October 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Ancient Near East, ca. 2nd millennium BCE. This is a haunting face carved in soft white gypsum, with a delicate nose and mouth that appear secondary to the large, haunting eyes and their prominent brow line. These eyes would have been filled in with something - probably shell - to give them pupils and irises. Someone sculpted this figure for religious reasons; the figures with large eyes would have been placed in temples atop ziggurats. The striking huge eyes are a dominant feature of this kind of sculpture, and we believe that they represent some kind of ecstatic prayer state - the figure is attentive before a god and would have contributed to the sanctity of the temple. Size: 1.6" W x 2.2" H (4.1 cm x 5.6 cm)
Provenance: Ex - Private NYC collection
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Condition Report: Expected wear, with encrustations, but facial features are remarkably well preserved.