ANATOLIAN MARBLE IDOL (SOLD)
Anatolian, ca. 3000 – 2800 BC
Height: 6 inches (15 cm)
Provenance: Dr. William Rumancik Collection, NY, 1993; New York art market, 2015
A culture related to that of the Cyclades existed in Anatolia from the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, if not earlier. A preference for highly schematic and reductive figurines, predominantly female, is common to both. These female figurines represent mother goddesses and their simplicity can be traced back to the Neolithic Age, when they were made in a variety of materials – stone, clay, bronze, and gold. In Anatolia, this style of figure continued, with regional variations, long after neighboring Mediterranean cultures adopted more naturalistic or elaborate styles.
This idol is part of the second phase of development, which took place in southwestern Anatolia, beginning in 2700 BC. The thin flat figure has a disk shaped head on a slightly-flaring neck. Triangular arms are offset from the circular body. It represents the female figure in its most abstract form, smooth and elegant. Thimme coined the Kusura-Beycesultan variety based on the find spot of no. 512 in Art and Culture of the Cyclades, pp. 386 and 560, which shares the similar outline of the Kusura-type. With its rounded body and elongated neck, figures of the type are also called “violin idols”. The fact that they have been found in ancient homes and small shrines suggests that they were used in everyday domestic worship.