Ceramic Figures : An ancient Sub-Saharan terracotta figure of a woman with an infant at her breast
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An ancient Sub-Saharan terracotta figure of a woman with an infant at her breast

Stock Number: x1703
An ancient Sub-Saharan terracotta figure of a woman with an infant at her breast.
Price
Sales price $7500.00

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Description

An ancient Sub-Saharan terracotta figure of a woman with an infant at her breast.
The crudely formed figure is portrayed lying on her back with neck raised, holding the infant to her breast. The head of the main figure is oval and flattened. The facial features are incised, as are her fingers and toes. The infant is portrayed in a highly stylised manner, with truncated arms and without any delineation of legs or other features.
The underside of the base is incised with four arcane symbols that appear not to belong to any known script, but which almost certainly would have carried magical significance.
This piece is accompanied by a positive thermoluminescence test report from the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, giving an age of 540 years BP.

Stylistically the figure closely resembles the Sao culture terracotta figurines from the Lake Chad area, known to have been produced predominantly in the 12th-13th century. However, the fact that magical symbols are not attested on Sao terracottas suggests a different cultural source, probably further to the east.

 

Origin:

Pre 16th century A.D. Originally acquired in Sudan; ex private collection, U.K.

Dimensions:

Length: 28.7 cm

Condition:

Intact, with some fractures (stable) and minor loss in the section between mother and infant.