Greek Trefoil Lipped Oinochoe


A black-glazed pottery oinochoe, with a bulbous body and trefoil lip. The jug has a high, curved handle and a stepped foot, with these features contributing to the vessel’s interesting silhouette.

The glossy, black glaze is accentuated by concentric, incised circles around the base of the neck, and a pleasing line-and-dot pattern around the neck itself. This resembles a grapevine – a particularly apt motif in the context of a wine jug. The colour scheme of white and yellow was common in Greek pottery, and provides a beautiful contrast with the thick, black base.


Date: Circa 4th - 3rd Century BC
Condition: Fine condition.


An oinochoe is a form of ancient Greek wine jug, which would likely have been used at the symposium (a male drinking party). The trefoil lip allows for the careful pouring of the contents, and adds to the aesthetic value of the jug.

Southern Italy was 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.

Weight 149 g
Dimensions H 13 cm



Pottery and Porcelain