Classical World, Etruria (Central Italy), ca. 600 to 500 BCE. A massive terracotta storage vessel called a pithos with a tall, elongated body decorated with relief and incised motifs. The vessel rests on a flat base with the thick walls swelling outward to a short neck and flared rim. The exterior decorations include a register of zigzagging lines near the base, a fluted body, and a register of riders with a bird perched on a horse’s rump on the shoulder. The hollow interior could accommodate the storage of olive oil, wine, or grain. Many pithoi were made to be stored in a subterranean situation, dug into the ground, and thus did not have to stand on their own; however, this one was clearly made to stand alone, based on its flat foot and the fact that its decorations cover its entire body. Beautifully decorated pithoi such as this example were intended for use in a home or business, while plain vessels for transportation were kept in warehouses and usually had lugs or handles. These pleasing designs suggest that this was not just a utilitarian pithos but also a work of art! Size: 20" Diameter x 35" H (50.8 cm x 88.9 cm)
For a similar example please see The Getty Museum website accession number: 71.AE.287
This piece has been tested using thermoluminescence (TL) analysis and has been found to be ancient and of the period stated. A full report will accompany purchase.
This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world’s largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.
Provenance: East Coast, USA collection, from a major New York Gallery acquired prior to 2010
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Repaired from dozens of pieces with restoration and infill. Restoration with terracotta and adhesive visible on interior. Visible and stable fissures and break lines on interior. Surface abrasions, losses, and chips to exterior and base. One TL hole on underside of rim, and second TL hole on fluted ridge near base. Base is stable. Massive size and nice preservation of motifs.