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Intact and X-Large Boeotian Glossy Blackware "Type D" Kantharos

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1278991
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This attractive Greek ceramic is a Boeotian black-gloss kantharos, and dates circa 450-425 B.C. This piece is approximately 8 inches high, by 10 inches wide from handle to handle, and is extra large in size for the type and gracefully proportioned. This piece has a great deal of eye appeal, as it also has a rich deep loustrous black glaze seen over the entire piece, save the bottom of the vessel that has a reddish-tan reserve. The interior of the vessel also has an even deep black glaze, and this is an indication that this vessel was specifically made to hold a liquid, such as wine. This piece is catagorized as being a "Type D", and is the largest type for the period, and is amoung the largest Boeotian black-glazed kantharos cups. (For the type see: "Black Glaze Pottery from Rhitsona in Boeotia", by P.N. Ure, Oxford University Press, 1913, Pl. XIII.) This type of kantharos is also known as a "Sessile" type kantharos, which is characterized by it's lack of a raised stemmed base and a small torus disk foot. The form of this vessel is wheel made from a very fine reddish-tan colored clay, and the bowl and base was made as one single piece, with the large arching strap handles applied separately before firing. Small "spurs" project from the lower part of the handles, and they are likely "finger-grips". Flat bars connect the upper part of the handles to the main body of the vessel, and this creates a volute-like profile. The body of the cup has a thin flared upper rim, and a large torus ring foot with a flat base. The shape of this piece was made and used throughout ancient Greece, and the main areas of production for these black-glazed vessels was Attica and the region of Boeotia just northeast of the Gulf of Corinth. The reddish color of the fabric of this vessel also suggests that it may be of Attic manufacture, and/or is a product of an Athenian potter working in Boeotia using Attic source material. (This theory was also put forth by P.N. Ure in the work noted above, p.12, and he comments on the Boeotian black glazed vessels from the Fifth Century: "Such vessels as these and those of the Teisias Group suggest Boeotia occupied one of the very foremost positions in connection with the black glaze industry of this period. Wheather it was as producer or mearly as a purchaser is another question".) This type of vessel offered here is also seen on "Attic red-figure" ceramics that portray Dionysaic drinking scenes that often show satyrs dancing with a cup of this type. It may be that this type of cup was produced more for drinking ceremonies, rather than for funeral purposes which seems to be the case for smaller black-glazed vessels of this type. This attractive piece is intact, has no repair/restoration, and is in it's natural mint to superb "as found" condition. This piece has some nice minute root marking, and some heavy and spotty white calcite deposits seen in various sections of the vessel. An attractive large vessel for the type, and as such, is scarce on the market. Ex: Fortuna Fine Arts, New York, circa 1990's. Ex: Private New York collection. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: