**Originally Listed At $2000**
Magna Graecia, Southern Italy, near present-day Ignazia, ca. 340 to 320 BCE. A stunning and quite sizable blackware hydria, decorated in the Gnathian technique with fugitive white and yellow-orange pigment atop lustrous black glaze which has faded in some areas to reveal the orange pottery body beneath. The sloping shoulder is decorated with a band of enclosed vertical lines with one orange stripe for every two white stripes, and this register is further enclosed by two white-painted registers of undulating wave-form motifs. The neck displays a singular orange stripe beneath a register of drooping vine-form bands, and the rim is ringed above and below with yellow-white pigment. The hole through the bottom of the foot indicates that this piece was used to make liquid offerings when placed over the grave - an ancient Greek funerary practice. A wonderful example of Gnathian pottery, impressive for its elegant form and extensive decorative program. Size: 9.25" W x 14" H (23.5 cm x 35.6 cm).
Hydrias, as their name implies, were used for carrying large quantities of water; the two horizontal handles on either side of the body were used for lifting and transporting the por, while the third, vertical handle, located between the other two handles and joining neck to shoulder, was used when pouring water.
Gnathia ware is named for the site where it was first discovered - the Apulian site of Egnathia. The black glaze ware is traditionally decorated with floral motifs in red, white, or yellow hues. Scholars believe that its production was most likely centered around Taras, with primary workshops in Egnathia and Canosa. The quantity and quality of Greek colonial Apulian potters increased significantly following the Peloponnesian War when Attic exports dramatically decreased. Apulian artistry demonstrates influences of Ionian (Athenian, Attic) conventions, as well as Doric (western colonial Greek) styles, with a palpable native Italic aesthetic.
For a stylistically-similar example of a miniature size and with a tiered foot, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 41.162.224: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/254395
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Gabriel Vandevort collection, Montrose, California, USA
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Minor nicks and chips to rim, handles, body, and foot, with fading and chipping to most areas of pigmentation, lightening to some black-glazed areas, and some age-related fissures not indicative of repair, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits and nice traces of pigmentation throughout. Nice craquelure and faint silver iridescence to some glazed areas.