Greek colonies, Southern Italy, Apulia, ca. 325 BCE. A gorgeously preserved, brilliantly painted pottery guttus, featuring a fierce spout in the form of a lion head, a perfectly-formed, delicate loop handle, and a circular depressed strainer on the top center. On one side of the body are two swans or geese, one standing and one sitting, each with their heads delicately bent forward on their long, curved necks. Small white-painted dots near their heads give the impression that the birds are eating something on the ground. Larger circles and flourishes also decorate the surface. A guttos like this example would have been used by the ancients for holding precious oil to fill oil lamps. Lion and swan imagery were both popular in the classical world. Size: 4.8" W x 2.5" H (12.2 cm x 6.4 cm)
This piece sold as part of Lot 128 on June 11, 2003 at Christie's New York for $5019 USD.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Christie's, New York Antiquities auction (sale 1244, June 11, 2003, part of lot 128); ex-Ariadne Gallery, New York, USA, circa 1970
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Intact, in excellent condition, with beautiful preservation of pigment that has developed an attractive iridescent patina.