Antique Majapahit Miniature Terracotta Head, Indonesia (1138EHA)


Ht: 4”  W: 1.5”  D: 1.75” | FREE SHIPPING!

This terracotta head was crafted during the Majapahit Empire in Java and was either part of a Hindu bas-relief frieze or made as a freestanding figurine. Most figures found are small decapitated heads with no bodies, and it is very rare to find a complete figure with a naturalistic facial expression. As with many heads, this one displays Javanese facial features, hairstyles and ear ornamentation typical of the period. It has a naturalistic facial expression and wears large round coiled earrings, possibly suggesting it represented someone of the upper classes. It is in very good condition given its age and use and is mounted on a metal stand. This items pairs with Majapahit Terracotta Head 1137.




Small solid clay earthenware terracotta figures have been found in many Majapahit period sites primarily finished with carved and/or incised decorations. The powerful Majapahit Empire spanning the 13th-16th centuries was Hindu based, centered on the island of Java and extended from present-day Indonesia to Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Southern-Thailand, and the Philippines. Trowulan was the empire’s capital and is now an archaeological site in the Indonesian province of East Java. It is considered to be one of the greatest Southeast Asian empires in history. Many Majapahit buildings were decorated with intricate deeply carved bas-reliefs and other decorative elements portraying Javanese folklore and stories from the Hindu Sanskrit epics the Ramayana and Mahabharata and are fine examples of Hindu Cultural Art. In the 2nd half of the 20th century, terracotta artifacts were unearthed in East Java near the Empire’s capital as the result of road building and agricultural activities. Some scholars believe these figures were used as effigies and decapitated as part of religious offerings, while others feel they were secular objects that were discarded when they were broken. This piece is likely a fragment from a large terracotta frieze.


Soedarmadji J H Darmais, Majapahit Terracotta, 2012, p. 88, BAB Publishing.

Additional information


Antique (1200-1920)


Majapahit Empire (1293-1527)

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

H: 4" W: 1.5" D: 1.75"

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 10.16 cm W: 3.81cm D: 4.45cm




Very good, signs of age and wear consistent with age, no restorations/repairs (see description)

Reference Number