A Greek terracotta Dove, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd - 1st century BC

made of pale fabric the head turned towards the left side, the wings folded alongside the body and across the tail feathers.

The dove is significant to Ancient Greek culture in many respects.  According to one legend, Zeus was raised by doves.  They were the sacred aniimals of the love goddess Aphrodite, to whom these pieces may have been dedicated.  Even the modern tradition of releasing doves at weddings ceremonies can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks whose brides would often give doves to their grooms as gifts.

Condition: loss to the head, small chip to base of feathers otherwise intact and in very good condition.  A charming example.  

Dimensions:  length 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters)

Provenance:  Private Maryland collection, acquired in the late 1950's.


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