Greek South Italian Pottery Guttos


A Greek pottery guttos from Southern Italy, covered entirely in black slip. The top of the vessel is decorated with a facing head in relief, possibly intended to represent the god, Apollo. Vertical ribs surround the profile and decorate the perimeter. The guttos has a high-angled spout with ring handle around the top, and the whole surface is black-glazed, apart from a band around the foot which is reversed.

Date: Circa 4th Century BC
Condition: Fine condition; the handle has been repaired; a couple of surface chips; rubs to glaze; otherwise complete and intact.


SKU: AS-3573 Category: Tags: ,

This blackware guttos would have been used to refill an oil lamp, as well as providing decoration to a table. It was manufactured by a Greek community in Southern Italy – an area populated by a large number of Greek colonies from the 8th century BC onwards (so much so that the Romans referred to the area as Magna Graecia – ‘Great Greece’). These Greek colonies were instrumental in bringing Greek culture and thought to Italy, greatly influencing Roman literature, philosophy, and material culture in turn. The pottery from the area is easily recognisable by its lustrous black glaze.

The Greek god Apollo was considered the epitome of youthful masculinity, and was always depicted as beardless, athletic, and handsome. He was one of the most complex and important gods within the Greek mythological canon, boasting command over music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, medicine, the sun, light, and knowledge. Given his prominence across so many spheres, he was frequently represented in Greek art and everyday life. As the god of light, it is fitting that his image decorates this flask.

To discover more about Ancient pottery, please visit our relevant blog post: Collecting Ancient Greek Vases.

Weight 358 g
Dimensions H 14.3 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


Greek Mythology