Ancient Artifact Roman/etruscan/greek Terracotta Votive Foot Idol Relic 600bc For Sale
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Acquired at an sale is this Ancient Roman/Etruscan VotiveArtifactRelic Terracotta Right Foot Idol.
Exquisitely carved and beautifully rendered, with toenails!
Intact as pictured--Complete.
Warm buff redwith flecks of gold/mica pottery.
Idols like these were left as offerings to the Gods at the temples in hopes of granting their requests for good health, safe passage into the afterworld, etc. The thought of various diseases in antiquity must have been quite intimidating and bewildering alike, in an era when many diseases were poorly understood, often remained unexplained adequately, and for which effective treatment was sadly lacking.
The idea of a votive, was an attempt by man to achieve some form of understanding with the gods. By creating an anatomical effigy of the offending organ or part of the body, and placing it in a temple ofworship to Asklepios, the god of medicine, the dedicant was hoping to persuade the god to heal that part of his or her body. Votives such as this are extremely rare on the art market and can mostly only be found in major museums. They represent the ancient belief that a gift to a God can be given in exchange for a favour, received or anticipated. In most cases we have no way of knowing what a votive was dedicated for, which could include good fortune, safe passage, a new baby etc. Many votive artifacts are either dedication stones, statues of a God or simple inscriptions recording that a dedicant "gladly and willingly fulfilled his vow" - "VOTUM SOLUIT LIBENS MERITO" in Latin.
I am not an expert on ancient relics, but did have some helpfrom local and online Ancient Art Galleries, it was confirmed that thisrelic is authentic. It dates between 600BC to 200BC.
Measures 1.75" tall x 2.5" wide
The "Make an Offer" button is there for a reason, it means I am somewhat negotiable on my price. I will not give my items away, but I LOVE making sales. =) That being said, shoot me a fair offer and this lovely rare piece can be yours!
"Votive Offerings in Etruscan Religion"
The Etruscans were known to be pious people; even the Romans occasionally consulted Etruscan priests about rituals and divination. It was also an Etruscan priest and haruspex, called Titus Vestricius Spurinna, who warned Julius Caesar to beware the Ides of March, a month before he was assassinated.
Since they were so pious it is not surprising that many religious objects were made. Especially votive offerings in terracotta have come from sanctuaries in enormous numbers, and more than 200 important deposits of votive offerings are known to date (1). Most of these offerings date to the fourth and third century B.C. They illustrate how many gifts were brought to the temple on a daily basis, as well as the variety of offerings. There were models of cult images, gods and worshippers but also of food and sacrificed animals; the latter could replace real live animals, too costly to offer (2). But also models were found of the entrails of a sacrificial animal (as used during divination), sometimes inscribed with the names of the relevant gods (3); most importantly many reproductions were given of parts of the human body, such as limbs and organs; among these body parts were the heads and half heads.
One example out of many is the Ara della Regina find, containing more than a thousand votive offerings from the fourth to the first century B.C., most of which with a healing character (statues and heads of men, women, boys, swaddled babies, halfheads, busts, body parts etc.) (4).
Dedicating a model of the ailing part of a body in order to receive healing has been called highly distinctive of their religion from the 4th-1st centuries BC with earlier evidence from the 6th century (5).
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