South Italian Gnathian Oinochoe

£ 475.00

Attractive black-glazed oinochoe with trefoil spout and arched handle. The neck area decorated with grape wine and tendril motifs suspended from bands. The applied white color is partially ‘gilded’ with a yellow ochre wash, which look slightly smudged in some points. The pear-shaped body of the small vase rests in a flat circular base where the glaze has faded, exposing the terracotta-colour of the ceramic.

Date: 4th century BC
Condition: Excellent condition with few smudges on the paint decoration


Product Code: GS-94
Category: Tags: , ,

Southern Italy was populated by a large number of Greek colonies from the 8th century BC onwards – so much so that the Romans referred to the area as Magna Graecia – Great Greece. The pottery attributed to the Gnathia style is so termed after the site of Gnathia (present-day Egnazia), which is located on the Adriatic coast of Apulia. Gnathia ware was famed for its glossy black slip pottery and for its polychromatic decoration – often using shades of white, ochre and red. After 330 BC, white paint became predominant. The Gnathian style incorporated a range of scenes, including images from the lives of women, erotic meetings, theatrical scenes, and Dionysian motifs, such as the grapes and vines on this vessel. Oinochoes were used in Ancient Greece for pouring liquids, such as wine and oil. The liquid could be distributed with a degree of control, due to the slender concave neck.

To learn more about Greek pottery, please visit our relevant blog post: Styles and Uses of Greek Pottery.

Weight 74.2 g
Dimensions L 9 x W 6 cm



Southern Europe

Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1867,0508.1204