East Greek, Phrygian, ca. 7th to 6th century BCE. A wonderful wheel-formed (note the fingermarks from pulling up the form on the wheel visible on the interior of the piece) and hand-modeled terracotta rhyton in the form of a bull head, replete with life-like features and hand-painted black and red detailing on the eyes, snout, and forehead - with a strap handle on underside and a hole through the snout for pouring. Rhytons like this example demonstrate the ancients' refined taste for special tableware, and this piece was probably used both as a drinking cup and as a pouring vessel to decant wine into drinking bowls during festive banquets. Zoomorphic forms like this one were popular throughout the Classical world, and bulls symbolized power, signifying virility and masculinity, qualities prized above all others in ancient Greece. What's more, bull figures were often given as offerings at the Temple of Zeus of Olympia. Size: 8" L x 5.125" in diameter (20.3 cm x 13 cm); 8.75" H (22.2 cm) on included custom stand.
A Phrygian painted pottery bull's head rhyton sold for 9,600 GBP ($12,469) at Sotheby's London - 20 April 2005 - Lot 83. https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/a-large-phrygian-painted-pottery-bulls-head-4469974-details.aspx
Published in Fortuna Fine Arts: Venerable Traditions, New York, Entry #3, 2007.
Cf. Sale catalogue, The Ernest Brummer Collection, Vol. II, Galerie Koller and Spink & Son, Zurich, 16-19 October 1979, p. 357, no. 713, for similar.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; Ex William Froelich Collection, New York, 1960's.
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