Ancient Near Eastern artistic production is characterised by finely potted, high fired terracotta vessels, usually enriched with dark pigmented or in relief, geometric or zoomorphic decorations. Such vessels would have been produced to store food, but also as burial goods to be placed with the deceased in the tomb. Although the first examples of Near Eastern pottery production display simple shapes and stylised decorative motives. Terracotta wares evolved, embracing aesthetics driven by all cultures and locations within the Near East region. The production also progressed from simply using their hands on the clay to potters wheels and then kilns.
Near Eastern Terracotta Plaque Fragment with Portraits
A Near Eastern terracotta plaque fragment, possibly from a vase. The curved plaque features two horizontal friezes, decorated with stylised portraits facing forward in relief. Each face displays large almond shaped eyes, large noses and plumped checks. A band of short vertical grooves embellish the top of the piece. The reverse is unadorned with concave sections reflecting where the faces are presented.
Provenance: Ex major S.M collection, London, 1970-2010
Condition: Fine condition, vertical repair down the centre and some wear to the piece due to age.