A Neo-Babylonian Terracotta Figure of Astarte, ca. 626 - 539 BCE
A Neo-Babylonian Terracotta Figure of Astarte, ca. 626 - 539 BCE
A Neo-Babylonian Terracotta Figure of Astarte, ca. 626 - 539 BCE
A Neo-Babylonian Terracotta Figure of Astarte, ca. 626 - 539 BCE

A Neo-Babylonian Terracotta Figure of Astarte, ca. 626 - 539 BCE

MT2219

Regular price$1,750 USD
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A very fine example depicting the Neo-Babylonian figure of the fertility goddess Astarte molded from terracotta. She is shown facing forward with her arms bent at the elbows, her hands clasped below her breasts, and wearing an ornate headdress. With lovely facial features, the eyes, nose, and mouth are naturalistically rendered, while the reverse remains unworked.

The goddess Astarte is associated with ancient fertility cults. "Astarte" is the Canaanite version of the name Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of fertility, love, sex, war, and power. Known by her Semitic name in Akkadia, Assyria, and Babylon, she is also identified by her Sumerian name, Inanna. Inanna was more closely related to fertility, love, sex, and war, while the Akkadian Ishtar was more of an astral deity associated with the planet Venus. As the daughter of the sky god Anu, Inanna was associated with rain and thunder, and the lion became one of her symbols, whose roar was said to be like thunder. Her association with war may also have risen from her connection to storms. The eight-point star, another of her symbols, derives from her astral deification. The Babylonians combined all of these characteristics in their adaptation of the goddess, which is the most well-known today.

Condition: The goddess is intact and in excellent condition overall. Presented on a custom mount.

Dimensions: Height: 6 1/8 inches (15.5 cm), Width: 1 1/4 inches (3.2 cm)

Provenance: Private collection of Ambassador Morris Draper ( 1928-2005) and Mrs Roberta Hornig Draper ( 1933-2021) acquired in Israel in the 1970s.

Ambassador Morris Draper, was a career diplomat and member of the State Department's Foreign Service for over 35 years. Ambassador Draper served the Department of State and the American people faithfully in diplomatic postings in the Near East, Europe, and East Asia, including as Consul General in Jerusalem and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He was a key player in the Camp David Peace Accords and the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979. From 1981-1983, he served as President Reagan's Special Middle East Envoy in negotiations regarding the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon. In many ways our current efforts on behalf of a peaceful, sovereign, independent Lebanon build upon the work Ambassador Draper began over two decades ago.

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