ostracon ancient art



Etruscan Votive Eye, ex Moshe Dayan, 4th-2nd Century BC

Anatomical votive offering in form of an eye. Frontally molded and reworked with the modeling tool.

The Etruscans knew a great variety of votive terracottas, which they placed in their temples as thanksgiving offerings or wishes for healing.

Some of the votive eyes found appeared with eyelids and the periocular tissue, while others just showed the eyeball. The first may have referred to disorders like conjunctivitis, the other to myopia and cataracts.

One-eyed owner Moshe Dayan certainly had a special affinity for this piece.

For a closely related eye, cf. reg. no. 1865,1118.132 in the British Museum database.

Intact and fine. With good detail and light mineral deposits.

L. 3.9 cm (1.5 in)

Ex collection of Moshe Dayan (1915-1981), Israel. Conveyed directly to his friend Ervin Harvith in 1973.

500 USD

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Literature: Steven M. Oberhelman. "Anatomical Votive Reliefs as Evidence for Specialization at Healing Sanctuaries in the Ancient Mediterranean World", pp. 47-62 in: Athens Journal of Health, Vol. 1, Issue 1, March 2014.

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