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Superb Apulian Twin-Faced Situla, ex-Cahn

$7,995.00
Magna Graecia, Apulian, ca. 330 BCE. A most unusual blackware double-faced situla vessel with the spout in the shape of the head of a satyr, or rather a theatre mask of a satyr, presenting a wide open mouth. His lips are painted yellow, and a yellow wreath adorned by a red fillet were added to the head. Inside the spout, behind the mouth, a strainer was added to prevent irregularities in the contents of the situla from being poured out. Another face, that of a woman, possibly a maenad, was added to the other side of the body of the situla; this face was mould-made. The situla has a ring foot and an arching, bifurcated handle. The underside and inner side of the foot, lower part of body and upper rim with reddish glazing, the majority with black glazing, some yellow and red color for the decoration of the spout. Size: 6.375" W x 6.875" H (16.2 cm x 17.5 cm)

Situlae with a clay handle are rare. Vessels like this were used to mix water and wine. The shape imitates a metal bucket; see Rainer Vollkommer, Unteritalische Vasen. (Kleine Reihe des Antikenmuseums der Universitat Leipzig, 2) (Leipzig, Universitatsverlag, 1995), p. 30, and Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, Deutschland 72: Hannover, Kestner Museum 2, (Munchen, C.H. Beck, 2000), pl. 57, 4-6; 58, 1-2.

For the shape of the situla, with handle and spout in the shape of a head, compare also a vessel in Toledo (Inv. no. 73.7; that vessel also has a decorated body; see J. Richard Green, "Gnathia and Other Overpainted Wares of Italy and Sicily: a Survey", in Evelyne Geny (ed., sous la direction de Pierre Leveque et Jean-Paul Morel), Ceramiques Hellenistiques et Romaines III (Besancon, Presses Universitaires Franc-Comtoises, 2001), 57-103, esp. p. 89, no. 15). For the idea compare also Anneliese Kossatz-Deißmann, "Eine neue Phrygerkopf-Situla des Toledo-Malers", Archaologischer Anzeiger 1990 (Deutsches Archaologisches Institut), p. 505-520. A comparable spout can also be found in Leipzig, Antikenmuseum der Universitat, inv. no. T951, see Vollkommer, o.c., p. 30-32, no. 18 (illustrated).

Condition: Intact with some pigment loss - most noticeably to the handle and red bands. Otherwise, normal wear and minor scratches and scuffs. Some retouching of the black glaze on a few spots of the body, professionally done so that it is almost impossible to detect. In excellent condition overall.

Provenance: ex-Artemis Gallery; ex-Harlan Berk Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA; ex-private New Jersey, USA collection; ex-private C. A. collection, Geneva, Switzerland, previously with Jean-David Cahn, Basel, Switzerland (Auction 4, 2002, no. 257, pl. 34)

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