Ancient Greek Terracotta Daunian kyathos - 27×17×0 cm - (1)

Ancient Greek Terracotta Daunian kyathos - 27×17×0 cm - (1)
Ca. 4 Jh.v.Chr. - Italy

Greek - Southern Italian colonies, Daunia, approx. 400 BC. A beautiful and extraordinarily tall, round vessel with a bat finish on the big handle and a wide, flat rim. The Daunian society was a mixture of local Italians and Greeks who had settled in the area. The shapes of the vessels remained strongly influenced by the Italians - this is, for example, a form of Greek Kyathos or common dipper, with a flat, long handle, which is sharply turned at the top, but the width of the belt is purely Daunian. Many of these vessels, like this one, were decorated with ribbons with geometric ornaments, the so-called Listati. Here, they are made in black on chamois-coloured ceramic, with wide linen bands everywhere, but the last ring around the lower part of the body, which was repeated, shows flash motifs with wide margins in between. The band has repeated, diamond-shaped motifs, and the bat finish with three bats consists of two large ears and a short nose over two bore holes that seem to represent the two breasts of the bat. The paint is very fine and fresh.
The symbolism of bats in antiquity is fascinating. In some ways, people would have compared them to human women, because of their two breasts and the fact that they only give birth to one or occasionally two babies at a time. They were associated with the underworld and death, they were holy like Persephone. Since this vessel was almost certainly made to decorate a tomb, the bat symbolism complements its function.

Condition: The item is in flawless condition.

Provenance: 1995 from the German art trade H.L. Kornfeld, before that German private collection of the 50s. Proof of origin at Catawiki.

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Lot details
Ancient Greek
Number of objects
Daunian kyathos
27×17×0 cm
Century/ Timeframe
Ca. 4 Jh.v.Chr.
Good Condition, See Photo
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