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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.

Cypriot Bichrome Ware Amphora, Iron Age, c. 1100 - 750 B.C.

|Pottery| |Antiquities|, |Cypriot| |Bichrome| |Ware| |Amphora,| |Iron| |Age,| |c.| |1100| |-| |750| |B.C.|NEW
The referenced amphora in the British Museum, dated Early Iron Age, 1100 - 750 B.C., is very similar to this amphora. The most significant difference is only the concentric circle motifs are on the neck, vice shoulder. The geometric patterns on this amphora are also found on earlier Mycenaean pottery.
AP23892. cf. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, BR. MUS. II C., pl. 2, 1, choice, complete and intact, scattered mineral deposits, rim warped, 26cm (approx. 10 1/4 inches) tall, c. 1100/900 - 750/500 B.C.; fired terracotta, flat base, ovoid body, broad neck, everted mouth, a pair of stirrup handles, pale buff slip with decoration in dull brown, ladder pattern on flat rim, encircling bands of varying width on neck and body, 4 concentric circle motifs on shoulder, one wavy band encircling body, base and handles brown; ex prominent NY Collector DK; $2500.00 SALE PRICE $2250.00

Canaanite, Palestine or Syria, Terracotta Figure of Baal on Horse, 1900 - 1600 B.C.

|Terracotta| |Antiquities|, |Canaanite,| |Palestine| |or| |Syria,| |Terracotta| |Figure| |of| |Baal| |on| |Horse,| |1900| |-| |1600| |B.C.|NEW
Muscarella notes of the very similar male figure in Ladders to Heaven, "The sylizations of the facial features and the headdress come closest to those seen on heads of figures found in the Hama Level H. Apparently similar fragmentary seated figures also appear at Hamma Level H, ALalakh Level, V, Elbla and at other sites in Palestine and Syria, sometimes with one or two similar implements held in the hands. Whether these implements have divine or royal significance is unclear, but they are surely indicative of status. The fact that several such figurines exist in clay, suggests to this writer that they emulate a well-known cult image holding the same symbols."

Curiously, in "Iron Age Figurines from Philistia," David Ben-Shlomo writes, terracotta horses and horses with riders are "especially abundant in Judaean sites." These figures are, however, of a very different style, and much later, from Iron Age II and the Persian period 1000 - 330 B.C.
AT23904. cf. Muscarella Ladders to Heaven 201 (very similar male figure on 4-legged stool) and 202 (very similar horse with saddle, no rider), near Choice, complete, right rear leg of horse reattached, museum quality, very rare, extremely rare complete, terracotta male figure (probably Baal - a god) seated facing on horse right, bearded, eyes and ears of pierced pellets, wearing ankle length garment and headdress with vertical incisions ornamenting brim, holding implement (axe?) in right hand, horse with saddle and pierced pellet eyes, from an Israeli dealer; $850.00 SALE PRICE $765.00

Hellenistic Greek, Levant (Jerash, Jordan?), Terracotta Sunburst Lamp, c. 150 - 30 B.C.

|Oil| |Lamps|, |Hellenistic| |Greek,| |Levant| |(Jerash,| |Jordan?),| |Terracotta| |Sunburst| |Lamp,| |c.| |150| |-| |30| |B.C.|NEW
The Hellenistic sunburst design was meant to suggests the lamp is a little sun. Most similar published specimens have a small side lug (handle). This simpler type without a side lug is reputedly found mostly or entirely within areas once ruled by the Hasmonean Kingdom (Maccabees). It was apparently a smaller production and made for local use.

Jerash was ruled by the Hasmonean Kingdom from 99 - 63 B.C. after which it became part of the Roman province of Syria. The historian Josephus mentions the city as being principally inhabited by Syrians, but also having a small Jewish community. Roman era lamps made in Jerash are known for their "signature" red slip carelessly splashed on the upper half. FORVM received this lamp in a group that included several of the Jerash "Daroma" type oil lamps with the red slip. There are traces of that same color slip on the top of this lamp.
AL93900. Kennedy Type 2, cf. Adler 44 (lug on right shoulder), Warschaw 18 (decoration on nozzle), 8.7 cm (3 3/8") long, Choice, complete and intact, surface crack on bottom, slip worn, light encrustations, soot on nozzle, mold-made, orange clay, traces of red slip on top, round biconvex body, sunburst design on the shoulders around the fill hole, no discus, long tapering round tipped nozzle; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00

Roman, Holyland (Syro-Palestinian), Terracotta Disk Lamp, 150 - 300 A.D.

|Oil| |Lamps|, |Roman,| |Holyland| |(Syro-Palestinian),| |Terracotta| |Disk| |Lamp,| |150| |-| |300| |A.D.|NEW
The disk lamp, widely copied and produced in abundance, spread everywhere across the Roman Empire, starting from the second half of the 1st century A.D., throughout the 2nd century, and continuing into the 3rd century A.D. The popular acceptance of Roman lamps by Jews probably presented a problem for conservative Jews who remained suspicious of all things Roman. This likely accounts for the statement in the Mishnah that the Palestinian Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus (active around 80 - 120 A.D.) held that a lamp's filling-hole should be large enough for a small coin to drop through it. Roman lamps usually had a decorated discus and small filling-hole. The plain discus on many of these lamps produced in the Levant may have been an attempt by manufacturers to avoid offending conservative Jewish clients, who broke the discus to make a larger hole.
AL93939. Kennedy Type 5, cf. Warschaw 45 - 47 (incised decoration), Adler Type 3.5/R.2 (decorated); 8.1 cm (3 3/16") long, Choice, complete and intact, encrustation, red clay, buff slip, mold made, round disk body, small short rounded nozzle, no handle, concave discus with small offset filling hole, coarse finishing, undecorated; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00

Die Lampen aus den romischen Topfereien von Frankfurt am Main-Nied

|Antiquities| |Books|, |Die| |Lampen| |aus| |den| |romischen| |Topfereien| |von| |Frankfurt| |am| |Main-Nied|
This work offers a study on the model types of lamps of Roman pottery from the Frankfurt-Nied museum, with dating as well as an evaluation on the signature pieces of this group of artifacts, whose main area of distribution was in the Rhine-Main region. An analysis of the clay proves that the factory lamps as well as the various red-painted lamps in the Wetterauer wares collection originated from a collaborative workshop.
BK21975. Die Lampen aus den romischen Topfereien von Frankfurt am Main-Nied by Ingeborg Huld-Zetsche, 2014, hardcover, new in original packing, international shipping at cost; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50



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 Friday, July 1, 2022.
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