This is an amazingly well-made and detailed head from the western Greek colony Taranto, one of the best we have ever handled.
An expressively modelled, gender non-specific face with the lower part of a cap or helmet-like headgear. The face has applied strands of hair below the left temple, plastically applied. The eyes are wide open and have pronounced eye lids, and incised irises and pupils. There is a distinctive philtrum. The mouth, with full lips, is slightly opened, revealing the two upper middle incisors. The head was mouldmade, and the details were hand-modelled using a modelling stick. The interior is hollow. There are traces of reddish, pink and light blue paint.
For a stilistically related work of art see Helga Herdejürgen, Götter, Menschen und Dämonen. Terrakotten aus Unteritalien. Sonderausstellung im Antikenmuseum Basel, 16 April bis 20. August 1978 (Mainz am Rhein, Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1978) p. 28, no. A 15.
Late 5th - 4th century B.C.
Height 7.7 cm.
Collection of the art dealer and collector Jean Mikas, Paris, prior to 1960. Thereafter Krimitsas Gallery, Paris. Thereafter with Cahn Basel, TEFAF Maastricht 2020.
Fragment as shown, with traces of reddish, pink and light blue paint. Mounted.