Magna Graecia, South Italy, Apulia, Canosan, ca. 3rd c BCE. A polychrome pyxis of a striking form, the body a cylindrical shape gently flaring toward the bottom, corseting to a protruding band, and returning to a ring foot; the lid with a raised, bifurcated ring atop the sloped contour that also corsets to a slender protruding band. Most impressive is the decorative painting of red, white, grey, and blue hues featuring a pinwheel on the depressed center of the lid, registers of stylized egg motifs on rim and body, and frets. Size: 6.5" W x 4.875" H (16.5 cm x 12.4 cm)
The pyxis form has been found throughout the ancient Near East and the Classical world: a rounded vessel with small fitted lid, originally made to hold cosmetics, trinkets, or jewelry. This example boasts the marvels of Canosan painting, with Classical motifs replacing the previous simpler geometric repertoire of the earlier Daunian school, all in a beautiful color palette.
Provenance: Ex-private east coast, USA collection
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