RARE CYCLADIC MARBLE TORSO
Measurements: 7.8 cm – height (without stand), 11.8 cm – height (with stand)
Description: A delicate alabaster Cycladic torso of a female, early Spedos type. The torso has a slightly triangular outline and is carved with the arms folded beneath the breasts – a characteristic of this type, the flat stomach gently curving above the triangular incised pubic area, the thighs with a groove between both front and back. The back has a vertical groove down the spine and a single curved groove indicating the buttocks. The item is mounted on a custom-made brownish metal stand, with felt lining to the base. A very fine, rare piece of Cycladic art.
The Spedos type, named after an Early Cycladic cemetery on Naxos, is the most common of Cycladic figurine types. It has the widest distribution within the Cyclades and the greatest longevity. The group as a whole includes figurines ranging in height from miniature examples monumental sculptures of one and a half meter. With the exception of a statue of a male figure, now in the Museum of Cycladic Art Collection, all known works of the Spedos variety are female figures.
Reference: Papathanassopoulous, G., Neolithic and Cycladic Civilization, National Archaeological Museum of Athens, 1981, nos. 108 -110. For further reading and similar examples: Thimme, J., Art and Culture of the Cyclades, London, 1977, pgs. 253-8, 459ff.
Provenance: Ex. Mayfair, London gallery.
Christie's sale 7207, lot 80.
Ex. Austrian private collection, 1970s.
Period: Early Spedos Type, Early Cycladic II, 2700 – 2600 BC.
Condition: Very fine, broken off below the buttocks, head broken off, chip to the right shoulder, minor chipping to the left arm, back and buttocks. Surface crazing visible in the middle of the torso. Minor crazing and traces of earthy deposits on the surface.