Large Marble Torso of a Kiliya Idol

Culture: West Anatolia
Period: 3500-3000 B.C.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 13.6 cm high
Price: Sold
Ref: 6460
Provenance: US private collection. Thence Sotheby’s auction on 18 June 1991, lot 55. Thence French private collection.
Condition: Head and legs are broken in ancient times. Encrustation- and root traces on the back which suggest that the idols were offered lying on the back. On the front two small surface cracks and a scratch.
Description: Important and large torso of a female marble Kiliya- or stargazer idol. Small heads and mostly smaller torsi were found particularly in the northwest of Asia Minor, e.g. in the region of Mysia. Intact idols are only about a handful preserved, amongst them the world famous stargazer from the Guennol collection. It was auctioned in 2017 with Christie’s New York for USD 14.4 million, but afterwards was claimed by the Republic of Türkiye. Following the legal dispute in 2021 it was decided against Turkey’s title and the stargazer was awarded to Christie’s and the consignor, respectively. Our torso would have in its entirety with head and feet approximately the size of the Guennol stargazer. It originates similarly from the zenith of Kiliya art like another torso from the Al Thani collection, which was exhibited in spring 2022 in Paris. In the catalogue of the exhibition “Les trésors de la collection Al Thani á l’Hôtel de la Marine”, Éditions du patrimoine, Centre des monuments nationaux, it is published on the pages 62-63. It is mentioned that worldwide there are not more than a dozen known Kiliya torsi in this size and quality. Striking are the massive, rounded, semi-circular shoulders which merge into the raised, crossed arms. The pubic triangle is drawn over the entire width of the protruding pelvis. The legs are closed and only separated by an engraved line. This reminds of the later types of Cycladic idols during the Keros-Syros phase and suggests the dating to the second half the Early Bronze period. Also notably is how the back is worked out, where a horizontal buttocks line as well as a separation line of the legs are engraved. Mounted.