A CYPRIOT TERRACOTTA ASKOS (WINE OR OIL JAR)


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1277950
Biblical Artifacts
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P. O. Box 14646, Jerusalem 9114601, Israel
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Middle Cypriot; c. 1900-1600 B.C.

In the shape of a quadruped with a trefoil mouth in place of a head and a loop handle on its back. The vessel is handmade and is decorated with a white slip and red paint. Inverted triangles are painted on the sides of the vessel, with the rim, handle and the majority of the body being decorated with a variety of red bands.

In very fine and original condition. Tail of vessel now missing, otherwise intact.

14 x 9.8 x 3.5 cm (5.51 x 3.85 x 1.37 inches)

Similar example at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Accession Number 74.51.828)

Certificate of Authenticity and Export Approval from the Israel Antiquities Authority Included.

Bibliography:

Åström, P. The Middle Cypriote Bronze Age. The Swedish Cyprus Expedition, vol. IV, part IB. Lund: The Swedish Cyprus Expedition, 1972.

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 212, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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An askos is defined as a vessel for holding oil or wine with an ellipsoidal body, a short, angled handle and a thin, over-arching handle. The Greek word askos originally referred to the bags made of animal skin used for carrying wine and several askoi mimic that shape. Others such as this example, however, are zoomorphic in form, either with or without the head depicted.