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A GREEK POTTERY OINOCHOE
A GREEK POTTERY OINOCHOE

GEOMETRIC PERIOD, CIRCA 8TH CENTURY B.C.

Details
A GREEK POTTERY OINOCHOE
GEOMETRIC PERIOD, CIRCA 8TH CENTURY B.C.
The globular body on a flat base, with a tall cylindrical neck, trefoil mouth and rounded handle, decorated in red-brown slip with geometric designs arranged in horizontal bands, including lambdas, lozenge-chain, and a hatched meander, all separated by narrow bands, the shoulders with five foxes running to the right chasing a long-eared rabbit through a grassy plane, designated by zigzag marks above and below, the neck with a frieze of six female figures facing right, with arms raised above their heads, pulling out their hair in mourning, each figure separated by a chevron-patterned column and triangular capital, the trefoil mouth and handle with horizontal bands and geometric ornament
9 in. (22.8 cm.) high
Provenance
Private Collection, France, acquired in the 1950s.

Brought to you by

G. Max Bernheimer
G. Max Bernheimer

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Lot Essay

During the Early Iron Age in Greece, oinochoai were typically found in funerary contexts, as one of a variety of vessels associated with eating and drinking that were included as grave gifts. This shape was used for decanting wine and water and was often found with amphorae, cups and other vessels to fulfill this drinking function, possibly for a graveside feast or extinguishing the pyre. The placement of drinking vessels in the grave mirrors Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Egyptian and Canaanite burial practices and the characterization of the dead as thirsty in the Mediterranean and the Near East.

The imagery on this vessel further reinforces the funerary context and is common in this period. For similar depictions of women pulling their hair see the Attic krater from the Dipylon cemetery in Athens, fig. 16, p. 87 in Langdon, ed., From Pasture to Polis: Art in the Age of Homer; for an oinochoe with similar geometric ornament, see no. 33, p. 114 in Langdon, op cit.

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