Magna Graecian Terracotta Oinochoe

£ 1,795.00

A fine Magna Graecian terracotta oinochoe featuring a globular body, slightly tapering to the base leading to a cylindrical concave foot. The shoulders curve in towards the narrow neck and trefoil mouth. A large, curving handle is attached from the rim to the shoulder. The oinochoe has been enriched with a black glaze across the mouth, neck and handle. The Apulian red figure technique displays a female’s head facing left. She is adorned with a delicate necklace and an embroidered cap covering her hair, painted in white and orange tones. Palmettes and curving swirl motifs decorate the rest of the body. Vibrant white vertical lines enrich the neck framed by a single white band.

Date: Circa 340-320 BC
Provenance: Ex Paris gallery, 2000's, previously from a German auction
Condition: Fine condition, cracks across the face leading up the shoulder, slight chip to the base. Earthly encrustation is visible to the surface.

In stock

An oenochoe, also spelled oinochoe, which means wine-pourer, is a wine jug and a key form of ancient Greek pottery. There are many different forms of oinochoe; Sir John Beazley distinguished ten types. The earliest is the olpe (ὀλπή, olpḗ), with no distinct shoulder and usually a handle rising above the lip. Key characteristics are the trefoil mouth, curved body and single handle.

The lustrous black gloss of this vessel indicates that it is from the Apulian region of southern Italy. From the 8th century BC onwards, southern Italy was populated by a vast number of Greek colonies, so much so that the Romans referred to the area as Magna Graecia – ‘Great Greece’. These Greek colonies were instrumental in bringing Greek culture to Italy, greatly influencing Roman literature, philosophy, and material culture in turn. Items from Apulia are characterised by the glossy black glaze covering the dish and by polychromatic pigments of white, ochre, and maroon. Pieces as this fine example are attributed to the Xenon group, a variety of Apulian pottery identifiable by their shape, such as the karanthos, and the decorative motifs rendered in a matte pinkish colour.

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

Weight 418.7 g
Dimensions W 9.5 x H 26.6 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1928,0117.70

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