A SYRIAN BRONZE GODDESS
A SYRIAN BRONZE GODDESS

MIDDLE BRONZE AGE IIA, CIRCA 1950-1750 B.C.

Details
A SYRIAN BRONZE GODDESS
MIDDLE BRONZE AGE IIA, CIRCA 1950-1750 B.C.
Flat cast, depicted nude but for a twisted belt low on her wide hips, bejewelled in double bracelets and a collar necklace, standing with straight tapering legs, her feet projecting forward, her genitalia defined by a raised oval, with rounded sloping shoulders and curving arms, her hands resting on her abdomen, her waist thin, her breasts conical, her broad face with raised circular eyes, a conical projection at the top of her head with twisted plaits of hair on either side along the upper edge, her triangular brow descending below and merging with the bridge of her large beaked nose, her mouth horizontal, with perforations on either side for attachment of now-missing earrings
10¾ in. (27.3 cm.) high
Provenance
Art Market, Switzerland, 1991.
Private Collection.
with Fred Schultz, New York, 1994 (Mesopotamia in the First Days, no. 23).
with Phoenix Ancient Art, Geneva and New York, 2006 (Catalogue 1, no. 36).
Private Collection, Belgium, 2006.

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Lot Essay

Schematic, highly-stylized representations of the human form had a long tradition in the ancient Near East. According to Negbi (Canaanite Gods in Metal, pp. 60-61) flat-cast female figures of this style originated in Syria and seem to represent a fertility goddess, perhaps to be identified with Astarte. The figure presented here is unusually large and perhaps the finest of this group. In style it is closest to Negbi's no. 1503, now in the Louvre.
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