- Museum number
Pottery jug with figural decoration in White Painted ware; wheel-made; squat globular body on a narrow, flat base; wide concave neck with a trefoil mouth; arching handle from shoulder to rim; greenish-cream clay and slip, decorated in black-brown paint (worn to give an greenish ting) in Free Field style: two birds in flight, drawn in outline with hatched bodies and tails and solid wings, flanking two stylised trees; single band on the neck; a pair of eyes on the mouth; zig-zag on the handle; part of rim missing.
- Production date
Height: 11.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The vase is not given a findspot in the Register but a later annotation, probably in the hand of H.B. Walters, refers to the Catalogue of the Cyprus Museum (Myres and Ohnefalsch-Richer 1899, p. 9) which mentions two vases decorated with birds found in tombs at Mari excavated by Max Ohnefalsch-Richter for the BM in 1881. In his short discussion of these excavations, Reinach mentions among the finds 'une petite oenochoé verte ornée de deux oiseaux d'eau peintes en noir' (1891, 188). The clay of the vase is indeed a greenish hue which seems to correspond to the present vessel. Reinach however mentions only one vase among the few finds described.
The text of the CCM possibly refers to another bird vase found in a tomb of ancient Kition (modern Larnaca) the same year (GR 1881,8-24.47; BM Vase C817). A similar annotation in the Register also hinted that this might be from Mari but, apart from the fact that it is given Kition as a findspot, the jug is also of a shape, fabric and decorative type quite different from the bird vases made by the 'Amathus Workshop' (see Benson 1982).
The present jug is attributed by Benson to a specific workshop at Amathus (1982, 140. Phase A, no. 4). On the species, see Benton 1961, pl. II,2.
NB this version of the text was written in March 2017 and should supersede previous comments. The attribution of this vessel to Mari seems assured, while the original attribution of GR 1881,8-24.47 to Kition also seems correct.
Benson, J. 1982, 'The Amathus workshop', RDAC (1982), 138-43.
Benton, S. 1961, 'Cattle egrets and bustards in Greek art', Journal of Hellenisc Studies, JHS 81 (1961), 44-55.
Myres, J. and Ohnefalsch-Richer, M. 1899, A catalogue of the Cyprus Museum (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Reinach, S. 1891, Chroniques d'Orient (Paris: Firmin-Didot).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number