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Greek Apulian Pottery Pedestal Dish with Swan

Magna Graecia, South Italy, Xenon, ca. 4th century BCE. A fine ceramic plate on a raised foot, the interior bowl adorned from rim to tondo with a repeated V-pattern followed by a pair of concentric fine-line circles, next a register of repeated laurel leaves, another double ring of circles, and finally a swan on the tondo, all via skillfully added salmon-pink pigment on a lustrous, almost iridescent black ground. Size: 8.5" W x 1.8" H (21.6 cm x 4.6 cm)

The artwork of the swan is particularly fine, with sweeps of the brush suggesting the broad shape of the wings. In Greek-influenced southern Italy, the swan as a symbol of Zeus was probably well known. Xenon ware is a specific type of Apulian pottery, named after a vase in Frankfurt (Beazley, EVP, p. 219,1.) that is inscribed with the name: XENON. The type is distinguished by added matt red decoration over black glaze.

Condition: Repaired and restored from seven or eight mainly large pieces. Overpainting along the repair lines. Nice preservation of motifs.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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