Greek Corinthian Terracotta Pointed Aryballos

£ 1,195.00

An elaborate ancient Greek, Corinthian pointed, terracotta aryballos with painted decoration. The vessel features a slim and tapering body, which rests on a small, circular foot. The body leads to expanding shoulders, a squat rounded neck and wide, flattened rim. A flat, rectangular handles joins the rim to the shoulder. The aryballos is richly decorated in a more stylised, geometric pattern. The body features a large frieze of spiraling palmettes, the background colour a rich and deep black glaze. Two larger palmettes occupy the centre, with six fan-tails distinguishing them from their smaller counterparts. Burgundy pigment is used to highlight various swirling tendrils. The frieze is flanked by three concentric narrow bands, leading again to flanking petal sprays, decorating the shoulders and tapering point. The flattened rim is decorated with a swirling spiral motif, its spokes painted with alternating pigments of cream, burgundy and black.

Date: Circa late 7th century - 6th century BC
Provenance: Ex private collection, Mr JL, Surrey. Acquired 2019 Bonham's, Antiquities, July 2019, lot 294 (part). Ex Gottfried and Helga Hertel collection, Cologne, acquired prior to 1995.
Condition: Excellent. Some loss of pigment and glaze. Repair to the rim. One minute chip to the body.

Corinthian pottery is distinct in its style, in much the same way Black-figure and red-figure wares are. Corinthian pottery was the largest group of exported wares from the 7th and 6th centuries, following the Geometric style. It continued to be made up until the 5th century, although Attic pottery had grown steadily in popularity by this point. By the 4th century Corinthian pottery had almost entirely ceased in production.

The aryballos was another type of oil flask, although the term is a modern label for the shape. In antiquity it would have been known by other names also, such as lekythos. The shape was popular in Corinth, from which it originated, but use spread throughout Ancient Greece. It was used extensively by athletes, carried at the waist to transport oil for the gymnasium.

To discover more on Greek pottery shapes, please see our relevant blog post: Style and Uses of Greek Pottery. 

Dimensions W 5.3 x H 9.3 cm



Southern Europe

Reference: For similar shape: The British Museum, London, item 1977,1201.19 and for similar spiral pattern: The Aukland War Memorial Museum, New Zealand, item 35966.1

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