Cretan Daedalic pottery goddess plaque




A rare Middle Daedalic Cretan moulded pottery plaque depicting a standing woman wearing a polos, the surface retains white slip decoration. The female representation on these enigmatic plaques remains unidentified though it is thought to have been a deity of Eastern origin, possibly Astarte. In this example she is shown with very prominent/suggestive thighs and in other examples she is quite clearly naked, in contravention to the canons of Greek kore depictions of the Archaic period.

Greek, Crete, mid 7th Century BC

18.8 x 5.3 cms

Surface wear and chipping as seen in the photographs

Ex. collection: Frederick Allan Downes, UK (1898-1974) thence by descent to Peter Allan Downes (1921-1984). Frederick Allan Downes was an airship officer in the First World War, who went on to work in India on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railways. During the Second World War he served as Squadron Leader Technical Branch, RAF.

For comparable figure fragments in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, please see:
Further examples may be found in the British Museum though are not available to view on their website database. See: Catalogue of Terracottas in the British Museum, R. A. Higgins, 1969, volume 1, nos. 585, 586 and 587.