Parthian Hellenistic Terracotta Figurine of Astarte


A finely modelled Parthian Hellenistic terracotta figurine depicting the jewelled goddess Astarte wearing a long robe which falls to her feet. She is portrayed wearing an iconic Parthian conical cap and is holding her right arm in front her chest. Numerous neatly sculpted rectangular shapes decorate the edge of her head, forming an arched bead border, which may have imitated the jewellery she once wore. Her facial features are clearly portrayed in a classic Parthian style, including deep-grooved eyebrows, two almond-shaped eyes, a pyramidal nose and a slightly arched lip that turns her facial expression into a gentle, sincere smile. Her heavily folded garment is partly painted in a reddish-pink pigment. The reverse of the piece is plain and un-modelled.

Date: circa 2nd-1st AD century
Provenance: From an important London family collection formed 1960-1990s.
Condition: Fine condition, with original pigments remain visible to the surface. The surface of this object is covered by slight earthy encrustations. The figurine is mounted on a custom made stand.


There is a rich corpus of terracotta figures that witness a strong association with the goddess Astoreth, 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. This fine example presents ancient Parthian innovation in adopting a classical style and in embracing Mesopotamian traditions.

Weight 800 g
Dimensions W 13 x H 29 cm
Pottery and Porcelain



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