Babylonian Terracotta Plaque of Humbaba

Culture: Sumerian
Period: 1st half 2nd millennium B.C.
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: 7 cm x 6.2 cm
Price: Sold
Ref: 6351
Provenance: From the estate of Daryl P. Gruber-Kulok, New York and Connecticut. Last with Art for Eternity, New York.
Condition: Chips on the surface on the right side, but not restored and of a strong expression.
Description: Almost circular terracotta plaque of light clay depicting Humbaba’s head. The guardian of the Cedar Forest was beheaded by Gilgamesh and his loyal friend Enkidu because they wanted to cut cedars in the forest of the goddess Inanna. Humbaba had supernatural abilities as a demon, he was in possession of fears and was able to recognize his enemies from a far distance. Plaques such as the present one were used to keep evil away, but also to bring luck to the owner. Humbaba has a broad nose, alert eyes sitting between strong lids and deep wrinkles under the eyes. Parallel hair strands falling into his forehead. The mouth is open to a broad grimace, making the row of teeth visible. Typical for the depiction of Humbaba from Mesopotamia is the long moustache, framing the mouth and reaching to the chin. The moustache ends are curled in. Mounted.