Daunia, South Italy, 4th century BC
H. 12 cm
A charming Daunian polychrome doll, a so called “bell-idol”. The figure is freely formed in a coil and pinch technique, showing a male figure with a bell-shaped lower body. The upper body and neck are shaped like a column, with the neck merging directly into the face, the features of which are not strongly defined (yet cheery in aspect), and topped with a headdress. An attached phallos leaves not doubt as to the figure’s gender.
These so-called dolls are quite rare were likely used as toys or talismans; some have been found in tombs, suggesting that they may have held symbolic or spiritual significance as well.
Condition: Small surface losses to the rear; Surface worn and sintered.
Provenance: Formerly priv. coll. Mrs. R. K., Basel, Switzerland
Item reference: CL0314