Magna Graecia, Southern Italy, Canosan, ca. 3rd century BCE. A fabulous polychrome vessel composed of two ovoid jars, symmetrically placed and mirroring each other's form as well as decoration. The vessels are comprised of ample rounded bodies on flat bases with wide flaring rims and a conjoined double arch handle rising between them. The exterior walls are highly decorated; from top to bottom we have a register of inverted waves below the rim; a leafy vine band; a register of stylized avian motifs; a looping chain motif; and finally, a band of varied geometric symbols. Each register is separated by a border of two black lines. Several of these borders are filled with the bright pigment that the Canosans are known for: pale pink and bright orange. The lower part of the strap handle, where the two jars conjoin, is embellished with orange pigment. Adorning the interior rim is a band of stylized egg-and-dart motifs, and the bases are decorated with an abstract star motif. Size: 11" W x 8.75" H (27.9 cm x 22.2 cm)
An outstanding example with ample added pigment. Vessels as fine as this one were manufactured especially for funerary purposes, and have been found in the chambered tombs dug out of the bedrock that surrounds Canosa.
A similar double situla sold at Christie's New York, sale 2007, 4 June 2008, lot 212, for US$ 8,750.
Provenance: private Carlton collection, Los Angeles, California, USA; ex-William Froelich collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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One of the bowls has been repaired from multiple pieces, with nicks near the break lines, but the repairs are well done and the decorative program is still strong. Each of the conjoined vessels shows expected chips/nick/scuffs to the surface of the bodies.