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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Antiquities by Material| ▸ |Terracotta Antiquities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Terracotta Antiquities

Terracotta is a type of hard-baked clay, produced by means of a single firing. Terracotta is usually un-glazed so-called "buff" clay. Archaeologists, art historians, and Forum's staff refer to clay objects such as sculptures or tiles, made without a potter's wheel as terracotta. We refer to vessels, lamps and objects made on the potter's wheel as pottery (even if it is buff clay). Terracottas were initially hand molded. Later came the development of the clay mold, with which the artisan could push the soft clay into the mold, and produce a fine terracotta on the spot. This was certainly one of the first examples of mass production. This mold could provide a limited number of copies before it lost definition. The results were beautiful. The Greek terracotta craftsman was called coroplast, which is Greek for "doll maker." These terracottas were mass produced, and almost anyone in the society could afford them. Terracotta figures were used either for religious purposes, as tools for the veneration of the gods and goddesses, or for secular purposes, as toys for the living and gifts from friends for the departed.

Unmounted pieces can be mounted by Forum for prices starting at $25 per piece. Request mounting in the checkout comments and we will respond by email with the price and a description of the mount, stand or base.

Greek, Tegea, Archaic Terracotta Bust of Kore, 6th Century B.C.

|Malloy| |Terracotta|, |Greek,| |Tegea,| |Archaic| |Terracotta| |Bust| |of| |Kore,| |6th| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT34451. Bust of Kore, 8 cm (3") high, cream terracotta; Kore wearing polos, hair braided down sides, necklace with amulets attached, archaic eyes, Choice - Superb, beautiful style, unmounted; SOLD


Mesopotamia, Clay Cuneiform Tablet, c. 2400 - 700 B.C.

|Ancient| |Writing|, |Mesopotamia,| |Clay| |Cuneiform| |Tablet,| |c.| |2400| |-| |700| |B.C.|,
Ancient Mesopotamia and Sumerian culture are the "cradle of civilization." Man's recording of history, science, mathematics, and literature began with clay and a reed stylus. Only a small percentage of tablets have been translated. Reading cuneiform is extremely difficult and a word for word translation is often impossible. Often it is only possible to get the gist of a tablet. Most are receipts for payments in kind, the number of lambs, goats, or oxen donated to a temple, for example. This tablet is untranslated but it is perhaps this type of receipt.
AS87307. Buff clay, 5.27 x 4.36 cm; complete and intact, from an American Collection, ex Edgar L. Owen Ltd. (2012), ex collection of a New York City professional entertainer (acquired in 1980's); SOLD


Greek, Archaic Terracotta Bust, 5th - 4th Century B.C.

|Malloy| |Terracotta|, |Greek,| |Archaic| |Terracotta| |Bust,| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT34431. 8 cm (3") high, Choice to Superb, cream terracotta; hair rolled and touching shoulders, hands at breast, archaic eyes; unmounted; very rare; SOLD


Egyptian, Terracotta Concubine Bust, Early Dynastic, 3100 - 2700 B.C.

|Malloy| |Egyptian|, |Egyptian,| |Terracotta| |Concubine| |Bust,| |Early| |Dynastic,| |3100| |-| |2700| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT33400. Terracotta concubine head; 2 " high, buff terracotta with white slip, bust features incised with traces of black, Choice, SOLD


Greek, Archaic Rhodian, Female Protome Head, Early 5th Century B.C.

|Malloy| |Terracotta|, |Greek,| |Archaic| |Rhodian,| |Female| |Protome| |Head,| |Early| |5th| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT34406. 7 cm (2 3/4") high; red-cream terracotta; protome head; archaic eyes, wearing stephone, Choice, with stand as shown in zoom photo; SOLD


Greek, Rhodian, Archaic Terracotta Seated Female Figure, Late 5th Century B.C.

|Malloy| |Terracotta|, |Greek,| |Rhodian,| |Archaic| |Terracotta| |Seated| |Female| |Figure,| |Late| |5th| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT34363. Archaic terracotta seated female figure; cf. BMC 33; 9.5 cm (3 3/4") high, beige-orange terracotta, Choice, with base shown; SOLD


Christian, Late Roman - Early Byzantine, Antioch, Syria, Pottery Oil Lamp, Second Half of 4th - 5th Century A.D.

|Oil| |Lamps|, |Christian,| |Late| |Roman| |-| |Early| |Byzantine,| |Antioch,| |Syria,| |Pottery| |Oil| |Lamp,| |Second| |Half| |of| |4th| |-| |5th| |Century| |A.D.|,
V. Tzaferis has shown that depiction of the cross, in any form, began in the middle of the 4th century. This lamp is among the earliest examples of the cross used as a Christian symbol.

Lamps with similar ornamentation, but quite different in overall and obviously from a different workshop (Palestinian), were found in a tomb at Ein Yabrud (central West Bank, 7 km northeast of Ramallah) with a gold coin of Constantine.

AL34544. Christian oil lamp; 7.9 cm (3") long; cf. Adler 907 and Schloessinger 453 ff. (Ein Yabrud, different shape, etc. but certainly same period), Choice, buff terracotta, piriform shape, cross on nozzle with single raised band above, tongue handle, double molding around fill hole, radial design on shoulder, sharp carination with slight rim, raised base ring; rare; SOLD


Greek, South Italian, Female Head Pendant Earring with Gold Leaf, 4th - 3rd Century B.C.

|Magna| |Graecia|, |Greek,| |South| |Italian,| |Female| |Head| |Pendant| |Earring| |with| |Gold| |Leaf,| |4th| |-| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AS35493. Female head pendant (from earring); cf. Marshall, British Museum Catalogue, 2169. Ex. Malloy, Ancient Art and Antiquities, spring 1993, 63, Choice, 1 inches high; terracotta head of female, hair turned back with high tiara palmate, originally covered in gold leaf to give the appearance of a solid gold earring - some gold leaf remaining; back of head and headdress reattached, hook missing; very rare; SOLD


Greek, Taras, Archaic Terracotta Female, 5th Century B.C.

|Malloy| |Terracotta|, |Greek,| |Taras,| |Archaic| |Terracotta| |Female,| |5th| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT34429. 6.5 cm (2 1/2") high; cf. BMC 1253, Choice, cream terracotta; wearing polos and peplos; unmounted; SOLD


Greek, Rhodian, Archaic Terracotta Ram, 7th Century B.C.

|Terracotta| |Antiquities|, |Greek,| |Rhodian,| |Archaic| |Terracotta| |Ram,| |7th| |Century| |B.C.|,
From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
AT34365. Archaic terracotta ram; cf. Malloy Artifacts of Ancient Civilizations 1370; complete, intact, and rare, Choice, 6.5 cm (2 1/2") high, 9 cm (3 1/2") long; reddish cream terracotta; ram with crude tail, large eye, slight modeling of mane and chin appendage, unmounted; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Badre, L. Les Figurines Anthropomorphes en Terre Cuite a L'age du Bronze en Syria. (Paris, 1980).
Bailey, D. Catalogue of the Greek Terracottas in the British Museum, Vol. IV: Ptolemaic and Roman Terracottas from Egypt. (London, 2008).
Besques, S. Catalogue Raisonn des Figurines et Reliefs en Terre-Cuite Grecs trusques et Romains. (Paris, 1954-1992).
Besque, S. Figurines et reliefs grecs en terre cuite. (Paris, 1994).
Besques, S. Tanagra Collection des Maitres. (Paris, 1950).
Burn, L. & R. Higgins. Catalogue of the Greek Terracottas in the British Museum Vol. III. (London, 2001).
Chesterman, J. Classical Terracotta Figures. (London, 1974).
Higgins, R. Catalogue of the Greek Terracottas in the British Museum, Vol. I: 730 - 330 B.C. (London, 1954).
Muscarell, O., ed. Ladders to Heaven: Art Treasures from Lands of the Bible. (Toronto, 1981).
Stevenson, W. The Grotesque Pathological Representations in Greek and Roman Art. (Ann Arbor, 1975).
Torok, L. Hellenistic and Roman Terracottas from Egypt. (Rome, 1995).
Uhlenbrock, J. The Terracotta protomai from Gela: A Discussion of local Style in archaic Sicily. (Rome, 1989).

Catalog current as of Monday, July 6, 2020.
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