|Antiquities - African|
|Origin:||Pre 16th century A.D. Originally acquired in Sudan; ex private collection, U.K.|
|Dimensions:||Length: 25.5 cm|
African - An ancient Sub-Saharan terracotta figure of a reptile An ancient Sub-Saharan terracotta figure of a reptile. The crudely formed figure is portrayed with head raised and neck slightly turned, giving it a sense of animation. The creature's claws, ridges on tail and eyes are all incised. Both the back of the animal and the flattened underside are covered in networks of incised arcane symbols that appear not to belong to any known script, but which almost certainly would have carried magical significance. Stylistically the figure closely resembles the Sao culture terracotta figurines from the Lake Chad area, known to have been produced predominantly in the 12th-13th century. However, the fact that magical symbols are not attested on Sao terracottas suggests a different cultural source, probably further to the east.