Ancient Greece, Mycenaean Period, Late Helladic III, ca. 1400 to 1300 BCE. A lovely wheel-thrown pottery amphora with a petite circular foot, a spherical body with a tapering shoulder, a corseted neck, a wide mouth with a thick rim, and a pair of applied handles arching along the shoulder. The beige-slipped vessel is decorated with swaths of dark-brown pigment which cover the interior and exterior of the neck, create fretted patterns along the rim and handles, form sinuous tendrils which surmount a small concentric circle on either side of the upper body, and shape several rings along the lower body. Size: 7.5" W x 7.2" H (19 cm x 18.3 cm).
This period is so named for the palace at Mycenae, famed in Homeric legend as the opulent seat of King Agamemnon. Excavations at the palace at Mycenae revealed an elite and long-lasting society with a great deal of wealth. This extended to the workshops of artisans who produced pottery like this vessel both for use in Greece and throughout the Mediterranean world; shiploads of similar vessels went out as far as the Levant and Spain, carrying oil, wine, and other commodities.
A stylistically-similar example of a slightly-larger size with images of goats hammered for $15,000 at Christie's, New York Antiquities auction (sale 2856, June 5, 2014, lot 68): https://www.christies.com/Lotfinder/lot_details.aspx?hdnSaleID=24445&LN=68&intsaleid=24445&sid=34bbccb9-a2e4-4a73-839a-5bcc994a0db9
This piece has been tested using thermoluminescence (TL) analysis and has been found to be ancient and of the period stated. A full report will accompany purchase.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-William Froelich collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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Foot and areas of base and lower body repaired, with stabilization to several hairline fissures, and small chips along break lines. Minor nicks and abrasions to foot, body, handles, and rim, with fading to areas of original pigmentation, and heavy encrustations mostly within interior. Nice earthen deposits throughout. Two drill holes: one beneath base, and one inside one handle.