Terracotta antefix, satyr's head and female head


British Museum

British Museum

This painted head was actually a terracotta antefix, a type of tile. It was used as a decorative attachment on the roofs of temples and other buildings. The antefix masked the semicircular end of the cover-tiles along the eaves of the roof. Architectural terracottas like this were made in moulds from coarse, unrefined clay, coated with a light-coloured slip and painted after firing. The female head has red-brown hair and wears a diadem, a kind of broad tiara which has been painted with a design to resemble a garland of leaves. The woman wears large ear-studs, like an Etruscan gold example also in The British Museum.

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  • Title: Terracotta antefix, satyr's head and female head
  • Date Created: -400/-300
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 40.64cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: moulded; painted
  • Subject: satyr
  • Registration number: 1893,0628.1
  • Production place: Made in Italy
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Caere
  • Period/culture: Etruscan
  • Material: terracotta
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Innocenti, Saturnino