Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta jointed "doll"

Period:
Classical
Date:
5th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Corinthian
Medium:
Terracotta
Dimensions:
H. 4 3/4 in. (12 cm)
Classification:
Terracottas
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1944
Accession Number:
44.11.8
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Many examples of such small jointed figurines have been found in tombs, sanctuaries, and terracotta factories. Their attire—a cylindrical polos (headdress) and a short tunic and shoes—seems to indicate that they are ritual dancers. Similarly dressed dancers on reliefs of the fifth century B.C. hold castanets, and some of the jointed figurines hold cymbals or castanets. They are too fragile to serve as real dolls and must have been charms hung up to repel evil with their potential noise and movement.
Neils, Jenifer, John H. Oakley, and Katherine Hart. 2003. Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past no. 43, pp. 15, 268, New Haven: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College.

Related Objects

Terracotta statuette of a woman looking into a box mirror

Date: 3rd–2nd century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 12.229.19 On view in:Gallery 158

Terracotta statuette of a woman

Date: 2nd century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 30.117 On view in:Gallery 171

Terracotta head and torso of a woman

Date: late 5th–early 4th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 26.60.49 On view in:Gallery 171

Terracotta statuette of a doll

Date: 3rd century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 11.212.24 On view in:Gallery 171

Terracotta statuette of a doll

Date: 3rd century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 11.212.23 On view in:Gallery 171