Ancient Greek Gnathian Ribbed Oinochoe


An Ancient Greek terracotta oenochoe from the South Italian Apulian region. Glazed entirely with black pigment the jug features a pyriform shaped body leading to a trefoil rim. Ivy decoration in yellow ochre decorates the neck, whilst vertical ribs adjourns the majority of the belly. A thick handle leads from the rim to the middle of the jug, decorated with a small human face in relief. The entire vase rests on a small foot.

Date: Circa 3rd century BC
Provenance: Private collection, J.L Collection acquired by descent
Condition: Very good. Some loss of pigment and small abrasions to the base and rim.


SKU: AH-689 Category: Tags: , , ,

An oinochoe is a form of ancient Greek wine jug, which would likely have been used at the symposium (a male drinking party). The decoration and colour palette used on this vase are typical of Apulian pottery. Gnathia, a city in southern Apulia, was famed for examples such as this, with production beginning around 360 – 370 BC. A simple palette would have been used to decorate such ceramics, mainly a black gloss glaze with additional decoration made in white, red, yellow ochre and sometimes purple pigments. The colourful pigments were then applied directly onto the pot’s black glaze – one of the defining traits of Gnathia-ware pottery. Decoration was often simple, with floral and geometric motifs with occasional addition of figures.

To find out more about different types of Greek vessel please see our relevant blog post: Collecting Greek Vases.

Weight 280.6 g
Dimensions H 15.5 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For similar: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, item 91.1.456