Cypriot Pyriform Miniature Black-on-Red Ware Alabastron

£ 950.00

A Cypriot, miniature alabastron of typical black-on-red form. It features an elongated body, pyriform in shape that leads to a flaring trumpet mouth. There is a pronounced ridge at the junction of body and neck, formed of three indented grooves. An applied handle has been added to the body. The alabastron stands on a small, flattened base, slightly carinated as it joins the body. The whole of the vessel is made of a buff clay with a vibrant red-brown slip and covered in linear decoration of black pigment.

Date: Circa 1050 BC - 600 BC
Provenance: From a collection acquired on the UK art market from various auction houses and collections mostly before 2000. From an important Cambridgeshire estate; thence by descent.
Condition: Excellent. Some minute chipping consistent with age. Vivid colouring.
Product Code: GS-117
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Black-on-red Cypriot pottery can be dated to the Iron Age, circa 1000 BC. It reached it’s peak popularity during the Cypro-Geometric period to the Cypro-Archaic period, from 1000 BC to 600 BC. It is comprised of mostly small, miniature vessels made of thin-walled red-brown clay, covered in a similar coloured slip. Additional geometric patterns were then applied in black pigment. There is some debate as to the origins of the black-on-red ware, with some siting a Phoenician influence. Regardless of the origin, the wares became immensely popular in Cyprus and were produced on the island by local craftsman. They were then exported off Cyprus and have been excavated across the Mediterranean and the Levant.

The most common decorative theme were linear bands or concentric circles. Towards the end of the Cyprio-Archaic period, circular decoration faded from use and potters began to favour the Bichrome red ware style, which included the addition of white pigment.

Dimensions H 10.3 cm



Southern Europe

Reference: For similar: Bonhams Auction House, London, Antiquities, 3rd July 2019, lot 5 (part)

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