Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
Log In
lots of lots
Lot 0035
Magna Graecia, Apulia, Canosa, ca. second half of the 4th century BCE. A beautifully preserved ceramic lidded pyxis, cylindrical in form, with tripod, avian-shaped legs. The rim of the vessel has a slight lip which allows its lid to fit in place. The lid is saucer-shaped, with a raised, disc-shaped handle featuring a face - perhaps of Medusa - in relief. The edges of the lid hang out over the vessel, mirroring the form of the base, which flares outward above the legs. In the distinctive Canosan style, the surface is painted a creamy white, with pretty pale pink bands and vine and floral decorations encircling the lid and the body. The pyxis form is found throughout the ancient Near East and the Classical world, a rounded vessel with a fitted lid, originally made to hold cosmetics, trinkets, or jewelry. The form was probably imported to the ancient Levant from Mycenaean Greece. Size: 8.25" W x 4.75" H (21 cm x 12.1 cm)

Canosa, or Canosion as it was known then, was a major center of the ceramics and pottery trade when it was a Greek polis. It produced truly unique pottery, completely different in decoration style (although not in shape) from earlier and neighboring traditions. The clay is buff, with the decoration applied directly to it without the use of slip. This pretty vessel would have belonged to a woman living in the region and was probably buried with her.

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-private Texas, USA collection, acquired in the 1980s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.



Drill holes for TL on underside of body and inside the lid. Base has been repaired, with some small areas of added clay on interior of the vessel. This is well done and invisible from the outside. The pigment is beautifully preserved.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Greek Canosan Polychrome Lidded Pyxis, TL Tested

Estimate $6,000 - $9,000May 22, 2019