The standing female figure is fully draped in chiton and mantle which covers her entire body, including head.
Grave robbing in the Boeotian city of Tanagra surged in the early 1870s. In 1872, the first terracotta figurines (now known as “Tanagras”) appeared on the antiquities market. Though collectors’ demand for Tanagras endured, by 1876 the supply of authentic statuettes had dwindled. Forgery production flourished and major museums and private buyers unknowingly purchased innumerable counterfeit figurines. Some forgeries were made with original ancient molds found during excavations and the same types of clay sourced by ancient craftsmen. Forgers artificially aged their productions, sometimes even submersing them in urine. Today, scientific testing can determine when clay was most recently fired to expose inauthentic Tanagras. A method known as thermoluminescence dating revealed that this figure is authentic.
-Taylor Anderson, Art Museum Advisory Board Fellow, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)
pottery; ancient; archaeology
Link to share this object record: