Greece, Corinth, Italo Corinthian (Etrusco-Corinthian), ca. 600 to 575 BCE. A stunning bichrome pottery wine pitcher (olpe) with a piriform body resolving to a narrower neck that gradually widens to a flared rim, and a bifurcated handle joining rim to shoulder. Two decorative circular discs - each one detailed with an abstract painted star burst motif - are applied to the rim, flanking the upper end of the handle. The body is decorated with four friezes presenting processions of birds and panthers interspersed with flowers - all delineated in red and umber slip against a creamy beige ground and incised with extensive details. Red and cream striations separate the friezes. Finally three dotted rosette motifs adorn the field at the lower end of the neck; another one adorns the rim, between the raised disks; additional red and cream bands decorate the interior of the rim, and three groups of vertical frets decorate the lowest section of striated bands just above the base. Truly a beautiful example! Size: 6.75" W x 12.125" H (17.1 cm x 30.8 cm)
The Corinthian style evolved from the earlier Geometric style. Surfaces were traditionally organized into horizontal bands, with an emphasis on repeated patterns, as well as an attractive play between light and dark. The Corinthian potters elected to expand the bands encircling the vessels, and fill them with both abstract, non-figural design motifs and zoomorphic images. On occasion they also included anthropomorphic motifs.
An Etrusco-Corinthian olpe sold at Christie's New York - sale 9796, Antiquities, December 5-6, 2001, Lot 534, for $14,100.
See a similar olpe by the Hercle Painter listed for $15,000 by Royal Athena and published in: J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 1985, no. 200; J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2014, no. 131.
Accompanying this piece are scanned letters written in German from former owner Michael Schindler discussing the piece dated to 1979 which translate as follows, "The first paper says basically that he confirms the authenticity of the listed works and that he always will take them back if there are problems. The second paper says that the pieces number 1, 2 (this vase), and 3 were inspected in the Roman-Germanic museum (RGM) in Cologne and in the academic institute in Bonn. Both were inspected there and considered to be authentic.
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex German collection, acquired from Michael Schindler, Cologne, in 1979
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Repaired from about a dozen pieces with restoration and touched up paint over the break lines.