The Tanagra figurine is a Greek terracotta figurine produced primarily in the Beotia, a region of ancient Greece, already since the 6th century BC. Tanagra was a city north of Athens and in Greece of little importance in the ancient history. The Tanagra terracotta figurines were produces in the 4th century BC the Hellenistic period.


Tanagra figurine auctioned at Maison Jules Auctionhouse Saturday 1th of june

The Tanagra terracotta figurines were mass-produced and as they were essentialy produced in Tanagra the figurines were named after the city name.

Most of the Tanagra figurines were made for decorative purposes. Although some may have been made for religious purposes but this was not believed to be true. Neverthelessmost of the figurines  were found in graves but it is common knowledge that they were put there just for decoration.

The figurines do represent normal moments in the day to day life of women, sometimes a man or boys but this was rather uncommon. The women were wealthy middle class women. They made very different types of standing, seated women or even dancing females. On holding a hat , a fan or even music instruments.

Teh tanagra figurines are especially appreciated for their naturalistic characteristics and charm. The variety of gesture and detail makes them so attractive and appealing despite the complex process of manufacturing the figurines.

The new feature in the manufacturing process was that the Tanagra figurines had 2 seperated molds, one for the front and one for the back. This was not the case before as the back was a simple unmodeled form. It was also possible that other parts of the body (head, arms) were molded seperatly and attached before the firing. Sometimes after the firing, the figurines were painted with watercoulors just like the ‘Lady in blue’ which statue can be seen in the Louvre in Paris.

Despite the Tanagra figurines were produced in mass, it is very difficult to find them in a very good condition except in some museums like the Louvre in Paris.


The Tanagra figurine that will be auctioned at the Maison Jules Auctionhouse is in a very good condition, measures 34 cm which is higher that usual (normally the figurines are between 10 and 20 cm high).

The figurine has been examined by the Brussels Art Laboratory in Brussels and they confirme the authenticity and age (300 BC) of the Tanagra figurine.

The sale of the figurine is accompanied with a certificat of the Brussels Art Laboratory.


Maison Jules Auctionhouse