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Statuette of a snake goddess

about 1600–1500 B.C. or early 20th century


Dimensions

Height: 16.1 cm (6 5/16 in.)

Accession Number

14.863

Medium or Technique

Gold, ivory

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

She stands with arms held to the front and each hand grasping a gold snake. She wears a crown, a gold girdle, a full skirt with five flounces edged with gold bands. Part of the skirt at the bottom, the right arm and the portion of the snake coiled about it are restored.
She has long been admired by many experts, but some have questioned her authenticity. Her face has been seen as "too modern-looking," and her hips too narrow for a Minoan woman. Scientific testing has proven inconclusive.

Provenance

By July 1914: written records in the Museum archives place the object at the MFA with no information about its previous provenance (oral tradition in the 1950s linked the piece to an immigrant from Greece but recent research by Kenneth Lapatin concludes that the statuette was brought from Europe on behalf of an unnamed person by Richard Seager who then sent it to Boston with Bert Hodge Hill, a former assistant curator at the MFA); purchased by MFA, October 1, 1914 with funds provided by Mrs. W. Scott Fitz

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz