Old Babylonian Terracotta Plaque: Musician

Old Babylonian Terracotta Plaque: Musician

An ancient Old Babylonian terracotta plaque depicting a musician, nude but for a belt around the waist, with a pony tail, playing a necked string instrument, a lute.

Old Babylonian Period.
Ca. 1900-1650 BC.
Height: 3 1/2 in. (8.5 cm).

Terracotta votive plaques in large numbers in Babylon. Many portray lively scenes of musicians, banqueters, and lovers. Their exact purpose is not known, but Old Babylonian erotic poetry often alludes to alcohol consumption, gaiety, and romance.

cf.: H. Frankfort, The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient, (Baltimore, 1956), pl. 59b (a harpist); also a plaque with a similar lute player in the Oriental Institute of Chicago.

Formerly in a New York private collection; acquired from Royal-Athena galleries, New York, 1980's; previously in a French private collection.

Inv#: 5936


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