Late Minoan or Cypriot pottery female plaque figure




A rare pottery female idol with a flat body and large schematic head wearing a flat polos head-dress. The body is undecorated except for two breast protrusions and humps to define the arms. The head is carefully modelled with prominent symmetrical arched eye-brows, amygdaloid eyes and pinched ears. Both ears are partially pierced just above the lobe and the mouth is also denoted by a small horizontal shallow slit. The surface retains traces of white pigment or stucco which presumably would have been painted.

It is known that Cypriot idols with raised arms and flat polos head-dress were introduced from Crete during the Late Bronze Age and that there were substantial cultural as well as mercantile links at the time. This idol is similar in form to a Late Minoan plaque idol in the Heraklion Museum (see links below) but the facial features are also similar to Cypriot figures of the same period and therefore an attribution to one island or the other is uncertain without a closer parallel.

Crete or Cyprus, Late Minoan IIIC / end of Late Bronze Age, 11th Century BC

15.7 x 8.1 cms

Intact as shown, a chip on the top of the polos and some minor chipping around the base

Ex. private collection, Paris, France; acquired mid 20th Century.

For the Late Minoan plaque figure mentioned above, please see:×768.jpg

For a slightly later Cretan-influenced Cypriot figure with similar facial features, partially pierced ears and slit mouth please see: