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Cypriot 'plank idols'.


During the Early and Middle Bronze Age in Cyprus roughly from 2000 BC to 1600 BC  so called plank-shaped statuettes made of terracotta were made.


Most of them are made in Red Polished ware pottery, but there are some rarer types  from the Middle Cypriote period and made in White Painted Ware. The average size of plank figures is 22cm. 


They are all very stylized, with a flat rectangular body and a narrower head and neck. There is a variant with a single body but two heads. There are also examples of female figures holding a child, so called 'cradle figures'.


Facial features and other ornamentation are added by incised and painted patterns with the exception of noses and occasionally ears and breasts that are sometimes modelled in relief. The incised (or rarer painted) detailing, appears to indicate clothing patterns, jewellery, and possibly tattoos or decorative scarification as well as sometimes zig-zag hair shown on the back of the figure. In many, there are long lines, shown down from the shoulders diagonally , which though looking  like arms are now believed to represent long decorative clothing pins. 



The principal reference is still the 2012  PhD dissertation Daisy-Kate Knox.

'Making sense of Figurines in Bronze Age Cyprus'  

She was able to trace and document 238 Plank and Cradle figures. Many more are in private collections.  Her extensive analysis and discussion is really worth reading.


These are from the David Johnson collection.

There is very interesting and useful information on his very nice website.


Someone who saw this on eBay asked me for my opinion.

I recognized it: that is to say I recognized the original from which it appears to have been copied.


Such as these often sell for substantial sums of money.

This one sold on eBay by the same seller is a fairly well made fake.

Probably copied  from, this one in the Louvre museum.



 Several of these pieces haves been , probably deliberately, damaged which has been helpful really!

It has helped determining that they are fakes.

Compare fabric with genuine examples......


Another from the same eBay seller: also probably copied from  one in the Louvre.



This seller has a flourishing relationship weith the little factory which manufactures these (and many other types of fake ancient artefact for sale on eBay)




More and more......!

And another fake from a different manufacturer>>>>>>next page