Ointment vase

Greek, South Italian
Hellenistic Period
end of 4th, beginning of 3rd century B.C.


Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 132.

Dimensions

20.8 cm (8 3/16 in.)

Accession Number

76.55

Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Gnathian Ware

Not On View

Collections

Europe, The Ancient World

Classifications

Vessels

On the shoulder, flanked by yellow scrolling tendrils, is a female head facing left. The body of the vase is circled by two bands of ribbing divided by a band of scrolling tendrils, framed by yellow stripes. A band of yellow rays framed by stripes circles the neck. A white fillet separates the body from the foot. Finger-marks at the bottom show that the slip was applied by dipping.

ITALIAN VASE PAINTING in ITALY, #132 (76.55)
Bottle
End of 4th or beginning of 3rd century B.C.
Shape: The spreading foot is unusually wide for a bottle. The grooves between the ribs are broad and deep and are not perfectly vertical. The mouth resembles that of cat. no. 124.
On the shoulder, flanked by yellow scrolling tendrils, is a female head facing left, with white skin, blonde hair, necklace, earring, and a small hairnet confined to the back of the head, where the emerging hair is tied with a fillet. The body of the vase is circled by two bands of ribbing divided by a band of yellow and white scrolling tendrils, framed by yellow stripes. A band of yellow rays framed by stripes circles the neck. A white fillet separates the body from the foot. Finger-marks at the bottom show that the slip was applied by dipping.
The division of the ribbing into two sections is an uncommon feature on a bottle. Webster (Gnathia, p. 31) lists three late examples whose shape and floral ornament differ from the Boston vase; compare also CVA Naples 3, pl. 68, 13-14. Another bottle in Naples, with undivided ribbing, has a woman’s head on the shoulder (CVA Naples 3, pl. 68, 12). The florals on the bellyband may be compared with the band of tendrils dividing the ribbing on a bell-krater, London F 545 (CVA 1, pl. 1,7): compare also the shallow krater Toronto 923.13.113 (Hayes, Black-Gloss, pp. 158-159, no. 260), which also has a woman’s head flanked by scrolling tendrils below the rim. The carelessly executed ribbing points to a date at the beginning of the third century, but the head and tendrils recall earlier compositions (e.g. cat. no. 115). Compare the head on the shoulder of a a ribbed Gnathian lebes gamikos in Schloss Fasanerie, Adolphseck 224 (CVA 2, pl. 91, 6 and 10.

Provenance

By date unknown: Thomas Gold Appleton Collection (according to Robinson, Catalogue, no. 523: purchased of Alessandro Castellani; from Gnatia); gift of Thomas Gold Appleton to MFA, 1876

Credit Line

Gift of Thomas Gold Appleton