Semitic Museum No. 1995.10.305
Black on Red Bottle
Date: Cypro-Geometric

Height: 13.5 cm.
Max. Diameter: 8.7 cm.
Ext. Rim Diameter: 4.6 cm.
Base Diameter: 5.0 cm.
Preservation: Mended. Large section of rim and some body sherds missing.
Stanford No.: 4287 (red)

Form: Black on Red I-II handle-ridge bottle or two-handled juglet, sometimes also called a flask. Globular body, wide cut-off base with a slight concavity in the bottom, high neck with sharply pronounced ridge in the center, lower neck flares toward the ridge, long upper portion of the neck flares toward the rim, flared everted funnel-shaped rim, very narrow internal opening; opposing wide vertical handles, subrectangular in section, from just below the neck-ridge, looping above the ridge and out widely then down to the upper shoulder.

Fabric: Very well levigated fine orange/beige clay (5 YR 7/6 reddish yellow) with only a very few fine white inclusions.

Decoration: Thick red/brown/orange slip (2.5 YR 5/6 red) over whole exterior body and down into the neck; some mottling. Lustrous, high gloss burnish and polishing. Monochrome decoration in matt grey-black paint ( 5 YR 2.5/1, which has been polished to a shine in most places): interior edge and edge of rim outlined, one band around the middle of the upper neck, top of neck ridge painted, slanting band around lower neck below handle attachments to neck, narrow band at base of neck, 6 sets of 3 concentric circles with a small dot on the shoulder panel, 3 sets between each handle, 6 narrow encircling bands placed very close to each other on lower body (not spiral-made); sides of handles painted, one handle has 2 sets of lateral bands with an X between them.

Technical/Manufacturing: Wheelmade. Extremely thin-walled and light in weight. Very shiny surface, due to burnishing/polishing or was it self-polishing due to the firing temperatures? Fired at an extremely high temperature: black painted decoration appears smudged on the edges or has a "smokey-look" as defined by Joan duPlat Taylor (see below). The surface of the handles in particular (which would not have been burnished) look almost as though they were made of plastic. Numerous shadows or "ghosts" of concentric circles and curved lines in various areas of the body; some look like halos. Small dots of black paint spilled on the shoulder. Compass point prick very visible in the center of the sets of concentric circles. Wheelmade narrow ridges very clearly visible on the interior and exterior of the unburnished upper neck; purpose, perhaps to consolidate the clay? Finger marks visible at handle attachments. Sherd taken for petrographic analysis under an electron scanning microscope from thin sectioning by Amelie Beyhum.

Remarks: Provenance unknown. Common type of thin-walled vessel made in Black on Red Ware, though not as common as the small to miniature handle-ridge jugs (with a single handle). Gjerstad called this shape a bottle; Coldstream a two-handled juglet. Particularly fine example of this type of Black on Red Ware vessel as far as the quality of fabric, surface and painted decoration are concerned. Fabric and lustrous finish diagnostic of the votive deposit found in the Temple of Astarte at Kition (see Karageorghis below). 1995.10.305 is very thin in section, very shiny and very light in weight. Cypro-Geometric III-Cypro-Archaic I in date. This vessel will have a quick-time movie on line soon to accompany this description.

  • Publication: None.
  • Comparanda SM: Numerous examples of similar type of bottle:1995.10.271 with elaborate decoration and said to be from Idalion per Cesnola; 308,310 with disk bases; jug 1995.10.306; also miniature Black on Red Ware jugs and juglets, see Comparanda with 1995.10.335.
  • Comparanda Elsewhere: SCE IV:2, Fig. XXXIX, Gjerstad's 18)2; Fig. XXXVIII, 9:3a from the British Museum for the wide cut-off base. Symons 1984:13;34, object no. 41, bottle at Wolverhampton Museum (A.80), provenance unknown. Coldstream 1984:128-129,nos. 16-19., Fig. 1 (p. 124). A vessel of similar fabric and surface finish as well as smokey encircling decorative lines (not spiral-made) and concentric circles (4 sets each side) is in the Belcher Collection (BC 124) at the Institute of Cypriot Studies, the State University at Albany, as well as BC 36 on display in the new Library.
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