075. Pyxis - Geometric

075. Pyxis - Geometric

H: 18.3 cm
Allegedly from the Kerameikos
Attic Middle Geometric II [1]
800-760 B.C.
Ex collection: English private collection

The roundish body of our pyxis with its flat bottom was turnedon the wheel. The relatively flat lid and its ribbed knob were likewiseturned on the wheel and then joined. The visible parts of the pale clayvessel were painted brown-black before firing. The flat inner lip of thevessel and the edge of the lid are each pierced with four holes (two on each side) by which the lid was tied on and the whole possibly hung.

Condition: superlative, a very slight abrasion to the rim ofthe bowl and a few nicks on bowl and lid.

Very slight wear to the paint in two or three places and a smallbrown stain.

The painted decoration is a variety of geometric motifs and runningaround the circumference of the bowl is a large hatched meander.

Pyxides made of various materials - most commonly no doubt ofwood, the largest extant ones of terracotta - were employed as containersin daily life for precious objects. Often dedicated as funerary offeringsthey usually accompanied women - and in the Geometric period also men -to their graves.

On view: Archaeological Institute, University of Z├╝rich:1962-1971

Exhibited and Published:

Art Antique, cat. no. 116, ill.

1 J.N. Coldstream, on a visit on 8 September 1993, kindly gave us this dating which we have adopted. In the Russian catalogue it appeared as Attic Geometric, 760-750 B.C.