CULTURE: Greece, Magna Graecia
PERIOD: 4th Century BC
DIMENSIONS: Height 25 cm
PRICE: 1,700 euros
PROVENANCE: Private collection L.B., Barcelona, acquired in the 1970s.
CONDITION: In a good state of preservation, intact.
DESCRIPTION: An ancient Apulian Gnathian ware trefoil pottery oinochoe (wine jug), dating to the fourth century BC. A delicate, well potted piece, with an ornate bulbous ribbed body, ring base with trefoil lip and strap handle, the shoulder decorated with a white ring below a red-brown garland.
Used for the pouring of water and wine, the oinochoe was omnipresent in the households of the ancient Greek world. With its beautiful trefoil mouth, it is not hard to see why the shape endured so resolutely throughout the centuries.
An oenochoe is a type of Greek base widely used in antiquity. As its name indicates, oinos (wine) and choes (jug), this recipient was used to serve wine and for this reason it always had an ample body, a wide rim and a vertical handle so that it could be more easily lifted.
This vase is from the ancient city of Gnathia, in the region of Apulia, in the south of Italy, where the ancient Daunia was situated, coincident with the modern province of Foggia and Messapia in the south of the region. From 320 B.C. Athens no longer exported pottery and only produced some vases that were given as prizes to the athletes of the Panathenaic Games. The pottery produced by the Greek colonies in the Italian peninsula took the place of the Athenian ware in the Mediterranean market area.