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Corinthian Pyxis Lid
Period: Corinthian, circa 570 BC
Culture: Greek
Material: Pottery
Dimensions: 11.7 cm Diam.
 
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This vibrant vessel lid would once have sat atop a matching Corinthian pottery pyxis. The pyxis was a small personal cosmetic vessel, primarily used by women to hold expensive perfumed oils or precious jewellery. The fine pale yellow clay and decorative scheme in black-figure with accents in added red paint are typical of examples from the ancient city of Corinth, which flourished as the centre of pottery production from the eighth to the sixth centuries BC. Corinth's favourable location on the Isthmus that joins the Peloponnese to mainland Greece made her a city ideally situated for trade, and earned her the name 'wealthy Corinth' in antiquity. As such, Corinthian pottery was widely exported throughout the Mediterranean. Corinthian artists favoured friezes of animals, such as the panthers and duck found on this example. The stylized and elongated bodies of the creatures, together with the palmettes and rosettes that fill the field, embody the rich Orientalizing flavour of the Corinthian style.

Provenance

Reportedly found at Gela, Sicily.
F. Renn-Rain, Taormina, Sicily.
Carl B. Spitzer (1878-1962), gifted to The Toledo Museum of Art, 1927, accession no. 1927.201.
Toledo Museum of Art, 1927-2017.

 

Exhibited: The Toledo Museum of Art, The Unseen Art of the Toledo Museum of Art: What’s in the Vaults and Why?, 12 September 2004-2 January 2005.


Published: C.G. Boulter and K.T. Luckner, Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, The Toledo Museum of Art, Fasc. 2, Toledo, 1984, p. 8, pl. 75.2-3.
Beazley Archive Database no. 1001522.