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Esoteric Greek Pyxis with Mold Pressed Medallion

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1031929

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Apolonia Ancient Art
290 Fillmore St. #D
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Esoteric Greek Pyxis with Mold Pressed Medallion

This mint quality piece is a Greek pyxis vessel that dates circa 3rd-2nd century B.C., and is a classic ancient Greek Hellenistic form. This piece is approximately 6.2 inches high by 4.25 inches in diameter, and is made of two sections, with a top section that sits on top of the bottom half. The walls of this intact ceramic are very thin, as the piece was fired at a high temperature. Consequently, this ceramic is very durable and the thin walls are very strong, and this suits this piece very well as it was designed to hold precious cosmetics and/or items such as jewelry. This piece was likely used by a woman of some means as it was an expensive piece in antiquity, and it may have also been used as a votive grave offering in order to be used in the afterlife as well. This piece is analogous to many "Attic" type examples, and is known as a "West Slope" type, as this type of ceramic was found on the west side of the Parthenon in Athens. This type of pyxis can also be seen in several Greek museums, including the Pella Museum in Greece. The piece offered here has a very attractive yellow ivy leaf and white berry band, which is a hallmark design of the Athenian ceramic industry, and many of these pieces were made for export. There are also two white decorative circles that run around the main body of the vessel, and a mold pressed roundel medallion that is seen at the top center of the upper lid section. Within this mold pressed medallion, are two standing figures of two lovers embracing, and a standing figure of Eros looking on. (A similar scene is seen on a Canosan terracotta pyxis, circa 3rd century B.C., which is seen in Sotheby's Antiquities, London, July 1987, no.276. See attached photo.) This intact piece has some spotty white calcite deposits, and is in mint "as found" condition. This vessel also has very vibrant colors, has great eye appeal, and is a scarce to rare example. Ex: Ulla Lindner collection. Ex: Private New York collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition:

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