A Greek Terracotta Figure of a Boar, ca. 5th - 4th Century BCE
Object No: GT1802
A charmingly round figure with short legs, a pointed snout, molded ears, and a raised ridge along the back for hair.
Pigs have a long history of involvement in Greek mythology and ritual. Associated with Demeter due to "the fast-growing body of the pig [which would] have been compared to corn growing and ripening" (Marija Gimbutas, The Goddess and Gods of Old Europe), pigs were often sacrificed at annual rituals such as the Eleusinian Mysteries and the festival of Thesmophoria to celebrate the goddess and the harvest. In later mythology, the role of the boar shifted to that of the antagonist; the Calydonian Boar and the Erymanthian Boar are two such examples who were depicted as mindless rampaging beasts in need of slaying.
Representations of boars mostly took the form of small terracotta figurines, used as sacrificial or votive objects in temples dedicated to Demeter, as funerary objects, and as children's toys. Workshops in Rhodes, Attica, and Boeotia were the major centers of production for these figurines.
Dimensions: Height: 2 inches (5 cm), Length: 3 1/2 inches (8.89 cm)
Condition: Despite minor surface wear, intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: From the estate of Robert Thompson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bob represented the extensive dedication, scholarship, and attention to detail that the antiquity collecting community requires. Bob started collecting in the 1960s and dedicated a substantial portion of his time to the acquisition, attribution, and conservation of his collection.
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