Classical world, Southern Italy, Apulia, Messapian tribe, ca. 5th to 3rd century BCE. A stylish example of the most famous Messapian form, the trozella (sometimes "trozzella"). The vessel has high strap handles, each punctuated at the top by round "wheels" ("trozella" means, in the local dialect, "little wheels"). The body is graceful, with a pronounced rim that flows seamlessly into the handles, and the entire piece stands on a short leg above a round foot. Around the body are well-rendered, horizontal bands - some linear, some waveform, some interlocking swirls - all in an umber hue atop a creamy-beige ground. Each trozella features a spoke-like motif. A beautiful example! Size: 5.45" W x 7.6" H (13.8 cm x 19.3 cm)
Although the Messapian people were influenced by Greek colonists in other parts of southern Italy, they had a distinctive culture that included burial practices uniquely their own - and their distinctive terracotta form, the trozella, played a role. Unlike the Greeks in Apulia, Messapians reused their tombs for several burials, probably from the same family. Whenever a tomb was reused, the earlier grave goods were removed, along with the body, and then reburied inside or outside the same tomb. In this culture, grave goods indicated both social standing and gender, and the trozella is only found in the graves of women. The quality of the artwork on this trozella suggests that it was placed in the tomb of a high status woman.
Published in "Kunst der Antike", Katalog 15, 2001, no. 144.
Provenance: Allonne, France private collection, purchased in 2020; ex-private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-Galerie Gunter Puhze, published: Kunst der Antike, Katalog 15, 2001, no. 144
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Tiny repair to foot as well as a repair to the side of one handle. The rim has also been professionally restored. Otherwise in lovely condition. Both of these repairs are well done and difficult to discern. All pigment is original and well preserved, with light deposits on the surface.