Ancient Greece, Mycenaean Period, Late Helladic IIIB to IIIA, ca. 1300 to 1100 BCE. An attractive wheel-thrown pottery vessel exhibiting a broad piriform body, a gently rounded shoulder with dense red-slipped decorations, a pair of stirrup-shaped handles that join at the top of a false central spout, and a functional, off-set spout on one side of the shoulder. The handle and spout are decorated with red-orange stripes and solid rings, with repeating rings covering the body, and the shoulder boasts abstract zoomorphic illustrations with scorpion-like bodies and curling tails. A handsome example of utilitarian pottery from a time when Mycenae was at its peak of influence in the Mediterranean. Size: 3.9" W x 4.5" H (9.9 cm x 11.4 cm)
This period is so named for the palace at Mycenae, famed in Homeric legend as the opulent seat of King Agamemnon. Excavations at the palace at Mycenae revealed an elite and long-lasting society with a great deal of wealth. This extended to the workshops of artisans who produced pottery like this vessel both for use in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean world; shiploads of similar jars went out as far as the Levant and Spain, carrying oil, wine, and other commodities.
For two stylistically similar examples of stirrup jars from the Late Helladic III Period, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession numbers 74.51.745 and 74.51.736.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-William Froelich collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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Repairs to areas of spout, body, and foot, with minor restoration in those areas, and resurfacing and overpainting along new material and break lines. Minor abrasions and nicks to handle, spout, body, and foot, and chipping and fading to areas of original pigment. Light earthen deposits and nice traces of original pigment with great craquelure throughout.