Greek Terracotta figure project
Greek Terracotta Figurines with Articulated Limbs
Terracotta standing male figurine holding a quadruped, ca. 750–600 B.C., Cypriot (74.51.1613); Terracotta standing warrior (?), ca. 750–600 B.C., Cypriot (74.51.1614); Terracotta standing warrior with a shield, ca. 750–600 B.C., Cypriot (74.51.1655); Terracotta standing male figurine playing a double flute, ca. 750–600 B.C., Cypriot (74.51.1691); Terracotta standing male figurine, ca. 750–600 B.C., Cypriot (74.51.1692)
Fragmentary terracotta pinax (plaque) with a dancing girl, 5th century B.C., Cretan (53.5.39)
Terracotta statuette of a seated youth with articulated arms, late 4th–early 3rd century B.C., Greek, Boeotian; Said to be from Thebes, Purchase, 1901 (01.13.1); Terracotta statuette of a seated girl with articulated arms, late 4th–early 3rd century B.C., Greek, Boeotian (01.13.2)
Maya B. Muratov
Terracotta figurines with articulated limbs are often described as dolls or children's toys, and are sometimes thought to have been dressed in clothes. While one cannot simply dismiss these assumptions, it must be pointed out that this hypothesis is based on an inaccurate reading of an ancient epigram, which was originally interpreted to say that a girl named Timareta dedicated to the goddess (at a sanctuary) her dolls and their dresses. However, more recently it has been convincingly argued that she in fact dedicated her hair and her own clothing. Another point to be made against the figurines being play things is that they are too fragile (11.212.43) to be constantly handled by children. The fact that these "dolls" are often discovered in the graves of adults indicates their possible chthonic connection or apotropaic function. In addition, the movement these figurines were capable of when swinging, as well as the clanking noise they produced, might have made them attractive charms.
Given so many choices, it is rather difficult to define a single purpose for the articulated figurines. The fact that they could move would seem to be essential to understanding their function and meaning, which have not been satisfactorily explained thus far.
Bothmer Fellow, Department of Greek and Roman Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
guidelines for you terracotta project
x: must have at least one removable limb or head
x: must be at least 6 inches tall
x: must come with a write up telling me what your figures purpose is
x: must be able to be fired in the kiln, if it blows up you will need to make another