Italy, Etruscan culture, ca. 768 to 264 BCE. A huge pottery brazier, round in form, with the clay a deep red color and signs of use. Twin rings around the rim have been stamped using a cylinder stamp to create a frieze of animals grazing; the animals all have either ungulate form or horse form, standing with legs slightly apart, heads bowed; some have magnificent antlers. The cylindrical base is perforated with round holes in an even pattern to draw in oxygen for a fire. Size: 20.75" W x 6" H (52.7 cm x 15.2 cm)
Based on the decoration of other known Etruscan braziers (see, for example, the two held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art), this scene is probably meant to evoke the joys of the hunt. These are part of the tradition known as Caeretan Red Ware, which lasted roughly a century in southern Etruria and produced large braziers like this one as well as large storage urns in a roughly clay fired to this earthy reddish color. Braziers like these have been found in chamber tombs, domestic settings, and temples, and were designed to be portable. One of the most famous examples comes from The Tomba Maroi III, and is now on view at the Museo di Villa Giulia, Rome, which was found with the burned remains of several eggs and three drinking cups.
Provenance: Ex - Prominent LA County collector who acquired these prior to 2000, Ex Arte Primitivo
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