The Nabataean tribes first encroached upon Jordan and the surrounding area sometime in the 6th century BC. Thought of originally as a nomadic people they settled in the area, existing as an autonomous kingdom until the 2nd century AD, when they were defeated by the Romans. Since the 1st century BC, the Nabateans developed a specific and characteristic style in their pottery production, without any reference to the Hellenistic artistic tradition. Characterised by bright red terracotta and fine modelling, Nabataean pottery usually displays painted decorations and a smooth and matte finishing. Many different shapes have been recovered, including huge jars, pots, flacons for storage of perfumes and ointments, and bowls. One of the most interesting and most recognisable aspects of Nabatean terracotta wares is the thinness of the vessels’ walls, known as egg-shell vessels. Such vessels, featuring a thickness of 1-3 mm and a metallic hardness, were mostly shallow open bowls, extremely difficult to be potted on the potter’s wheel. With the Roman conquest of the area around 150 AD, Nabatean pottery production started losing its thinness and polychrome decoration, becoming more crude and simple.
Nabataean Red Terracotta Double Handle Juglet
A small terracotta juglet displaying the characteristic of the bright orange colour in Nabataean pottery. The globular body rises from a flat base leading to a slightly concave neck and a wide rim. Two small handles have been applied symmetrically from the rim to the shoulder. Earthly encrustation covers the surface with the additional residue of a past inventory sticker.
Provenance: From an important collection of Near Eastern pottery formed by a gentleman, deceased, before 1988; passed by descent to his family in London and Geneva.
Condition: Very fine condition, slight on the surface crack to lower body.