Terracotta Statuette of Baubo

Culture: Egyptian
Period: Roman Period, 1st century B.C. to 1st century A.D.
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: 9 cm x 13.4 cm
Price: Sold
Ref: 1319
Provenance: Swiss collection Alton Edward Mills (1882-1970), La Tour-de-Peilz. The British-born Alton Edward Mills lived for over 50 years in Egypt before leaving in 1956 due to the Suez crisis and moving to Switzerland. Auctioned at Christie's London on 15 April 2015, lot 58. Last in an English private collection.
Condition: The right leg reattached.
Description: Terracotta figure of Baubo with a round face and a large hair crown. Underneath the curls are cascading along her shoulder and her back. Baubo sits naked with a large belly and legs wide open, her right hand touching her genital, with her left hand reaching to her buttock. On the back an eyelet for suspension. Baudo belongs to the cult of Isis and the syncretic merging of Isis and Demeter respectively. From her role in the Eleusinian mystery cult derives also Baubo's task as Demeter's companion: After her daughter Persephone's abduction by the king of the underworld Hades Demeter grieves and is cheered up by Baubo with obscene jokes. Specifically these jokes include exposing the vulva as shown on this statuette. In the eyelet an old loop for suspension.