Magna Graecia, Southeast Italy, Canosan, ca. 350 to 250 BCE. An elegant vessel presenting a portrait bust of a female visage with very naturalistic features, her delicate face presenting large almond-shaped eyes, arched brows, an aquiline nose, full lips, and soft 'fleshy' cheeks, all framed by a wavy red coiffure and round earrings, and rising from a slender neck with a delineated pink foot. Above this head is a lovely oinochoe with a red globular body, a trefoil spout, and high handle behind. The surfaces of this vessel show liberal remains of post-fire red, white, pink, and even a trace of green pigment. The hole through the base suggests that funerary libations were poured through this piece. Size: 4.25" in diameter at the base x 12.875" H (10.8 cm x 32.7 cm)
Vases like this example were often used as grave markers; however, their primary purpose was to serve as a means of offering diluted wine to the deceased. Given the existence of other examples from the same period used to decant wine during everyday meals etc., a funerary vase like this was only used during ceremonial rituals.
Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA, acquired in the early 2000s; ex-Tom Cederlind collection, Portland, Oregon, USA
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Repaired from about 4 large pieces. Nicks to periphery of the base. Intentional hole through the base for libations. Normal surface wear with expected pigment loss commensurate with age, though much remains.