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Greek Megarian Terracotta Bowl

Greece, Hellenistic Period, ca. late 3rd to 1st century BCE. A pretty bowl with a delicate, dense relief pattern of vines and flowers on the exterior and a smooth black interior. The manufacturer intended the exterior iconography to evoke grape vines, and bowls like this one were used as drinking cups for wine. The rare black color of the vessel - most Megarian ware is red - may indicate a misfire in the kiln; it may also have been done deliberately, with the relief motifs protected by wax when black slip was applied so that they remained red. Size: 5.5" W x 2.7" H (14 cm x 6.9 cm)

Megarian style wares, by being mold-made rather than thrown on a wheel, allowed artisans to produce bowls with intricate relief designs in imitation of more expensive metal bowls. They were made to be owned by people aspiring to wealth, or least an appearance of it.

Condition: Intact, with encrustation on the interior and exterior. Possible wear to pigment on exterior (see description).

Provenance: private New Jersey, USA collection, acquired over twenty years ago

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