Desmond Morris Collection Rare Bronze Age Cypriot Bottle

£ 2,950.00

An extremely well-preserved Bronze Age Cypriot bottle potted in a lustrous reddish coloured clay, with some traces of firing. The bottle features a spherical body, a long cylindrical neck ending in a wide, flaring rim. The majority of the surface appears decorated with an incised geometrical motif, accentuated with white pigment, including incised chequered units and a band of horizontal diamonds to the body, displaying different geometric patterns. The vessel features two pierced holes near the mouth for a suspension cord or stopper-attachment.

Date: Circa 1900 – 1600 BC
Provenance: From the Desmond Morris Collection of Ancient Cypriot Art. This piece is part of his study of this series, 100 pieces (of the approx. 150 examples known) where thematically studied. See Morris, D, The Art of Ancient Cyprus, pages 323-352.
Condition: Extremely fine. With some minor restoration as it is usual to this class of pottery.


Product Code: GS-63
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The patterning on this bottle displays the specific attribute of a known maker, referred to as the Tiered Diamond Artist. This artist has a distinctive calligraphic style, characterised by heavily and boldly incised lines. Although, the relatively large size of such specimen might link it to the Big body Artist, who was known to work with larger vessels. Small bottles of this type were extremely popular in the Early and Middle Bronze Age, coming in a variety of incised motifs. This item comes from the private collection of Desmond Morris who wrote one of the most comprehensive studies on Cypriot art as well as being an accomplished zoologist, ethologist, surrealist painter, and a popular author in human socio-biology.

Dimensions H 19.3 cm

Near East (Western Asiatic), Southern Europe



Reference: For a similar item, Bonham’s, 3rd July 2019, London, lot 12.