Old Babylonian Terracotta Fertility Goddess Plaque

£ 700.00

A finely modelled Old Babylonian terracotta plaque, depicting a naked fertility goddess nursing a child. She is portrayed in an iconic Old Babylonian style, featuring realistic facial features and a plump body that accentuates a sensual appeal. She appears gently gazing forward, holding an infant in her arms and wearing a mantle that falls onto her shoulder. The reverse side is unmodelled. This plaque is supplied with a custom-made stand for display.


Date: Circa 626-539 BC
Provenance: Ex S.M. Collection, London, Mayfair, acquired 1970s-90s.
Condition: Fine condition, cracks along the edge of the plaque, sign of ageing and slight earthy encrustation remain visible to the surface


There is a rich corpus of terracotta figures with a strong association with the goddess Astarte, whose name was altered to Ishtar within Assyro-Babylonian religions. The goddess Ishtar, who was derived from the Sumerian goddess Inaana, was worshipped as a significant female deity who represented fertility. She was the most important female deity in Mesopotamia throughout the second millennium BC. She was identified with the planet Venus and with the sunrise, and was recognised as the goddess of both sexual love and warfare. The Greeks identified her with the goddess of love, Aphrodite. This fine example presents ancient Parthian innovation in adopting a classical style and in embracing Mesopotamian traditions.


Weight 395.7 g
Dimensions W 6.2 x H 16.3 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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