Magna Graecia, South Italy, Xenon, ca. 4th c. BCE. A fine ceramic plate on a raised foot, the interior bowl adorned from rim to tondo with a flowering vine pattern followed by a pair of concentric fine-line circles, next a register of repeated linear frets, and finally a swan stamped with an 8 petaled flower on the tondo, the same laurel leaf motif mirrored on the exterior walls - all via skillfully added peach-pink pigment on a lustrous black ground. Size: 6.25" in diameter x 1.375" H (15.9 cm x 3.5 cm)
The artwork of the swan is particularly fine, with sweeps of the brush suggesting the broad shape of the wings. In Greek-influenced southern Italy, the swan as a symbol of Zeus was probably well known. Xenon ware is a specific type of Apulian pottery, named after a vase in Frankfurt (Beazley, EVP, p. 219,1.) that is inscribed with the name: XENON. The type is distinguished by added matt red decoration over black glaze.
Provenance: Ex- Collection of James Farmer, Maryland, collected from major galleries and auction houses between 1995 and 2005
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