ostracon ancient art



Greek Boeotian Figure of Pan, ex Ernst Pfuhl, 5th Century BC

Pan is shown with a goat's head, hoof-shaped feet and the body and legs of a human.

The ithyphallic god holds a horn in his raised right hand, a bunch of grapes (?) in his left. Pan stands on an integral rectangular base.

The figure is almost entirely covered with soil deposits, with much white slip and pink pigment underneath.

The original collector's label is covered by a second one referring to Fischer's 1941 sale.

The label below with the inscription ΘΙΣΒΗ B-IE mentions the Boeotian town of Thisbe, where the figurine was found.

Often considered as a rustic god, Pan gained popularity as a deity supportive in critical situations, and as a protector of young people during the transition to adulthood.

The worship of Pan was especially relevant in Boeotia, where numerous terracotta figurines have been found in caves.

Intact. Interesting piece with excellent provenance.

H. 11.3 cm (4.4 in)

Ex collection of Ernst Pfuhl (1876-1940), Basel, renowned classical archaeologist and art historian.

Thence Galerie Fischer Luzern, 21 May 1941 sale, part of lot 232 (with copy of the catalogue entry).

Auction house owner Theodor Fischer gifts the piece to a friend in July 02, 1941 (copy of the accompanying note and list of objects joined).

1250 USD

Click above for larger pictures --------

Literature: Victoria Sabetai. "Pan, God of Wilderness, in Boeotian Landscapes: Fear, Laughter and Coming of Age", Mythos 13/2019.
For a figure with goat legs, cf. C44, pl. 63 in: Simone Mollard-Besques. Catalogue Raisonné des Figurines et Reliefs en Terre-Cuite Grecs Etrusques et Romains, Vol. I. Paris 1954.

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