Ancient Greece, Mycenaean, Late Helladic IIIA2, ca. 1375 to 1300 BCE. A lovely wheel-thrown pottery jar with a squat foot, a broad spherical body with a smooth shoulder, a pair of arching handles conjoined along the edges of a central discoid handle, and a cylindrical spout with a flared lip protruding from the side. The cream-slipped vessel is elegantly decorated with thin, concentric stripes in vibrant orange-red pigment, and areas of darker pigment ring around the base of the spout, central protrusion, and foot. Additional stripes embellish the handles and spout rim, and a spiraling line courses around the top disc. A fabulous example of a sizable form! Size: 6.7" W x 7.2" H (17 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 jars went out as far as the Levant and Spain, carrying oil, wine, and other commodities.
For a stylistically-similar example, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 74.51.760: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/240347
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos collection, Canada, acquired in the 1950s
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Minor abrasions and nicks to base, body, handles, and spout, with a few small excisions, fading to original pigmentation, and light encrustations within some recessed areas, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits and great traces of original pigment throughout.