- Museum number
Fragment of a closed vessel. Applique decoration showing Isis with sistrum in left hand, reclining on couch. Cat (?) to right of couch. Black and reddish-brown paint on hair, drapery and couch. Micaceous Nile silt clay. Lower body sherd with an applied sprig: Isis or Euthenia reclining on a draped couch. She has a chiton and an Isis mantle, with an Isis Knot between her breasts, and wears a wreath and long locks. A sistrum is held in her right hand, and a small rounded pot with a horizontal rim in her left hand. A panther or a dog stands on its hind legs on her left side, looking to front. A panther, the animal of Dionysos, if it is one, may suggest the goddess is Isis; a dog may be the Sothic dog of Isis. Euthenia, consort of Neilos, is more likely to be shown reclining than is Isis. She wears a chiton and himation, but a few are apparelled with the Isis mantle and knot. She rests her left arm on a sphinx; and has wheat as her main attribute: very seldom does she hold a sistrum. I suspect that our sprig represents Isis rather than Euthenia. The fabric of the pot is a micaceous buff clay, a marl ware or a marl/Nilesilt mix. The sprig, made in a plaster mould, is set within a reserved panel with black and red-brown borders of ceramic colours; the relief itself is also painted black and red-brown.
- Production date
- 200BC- 30BC
Height: 5.90 centimetres
Width: 7.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- A panther or a dog stands on its hind legs on her left side, looking to front. A panther, the animal of Dionysos, if it is one, may suggest the goddess is Isis; a dog may be the Sothic dog of Isis. Euthenia, consort of Neilos, is more likely to be shown reclining than is Isis (Jentel I998, 120-124 and pls 63-7), including many on Alexandrian coins of the second century AD. Published by Bailey as part of an Alexandria produced group of goblets, amphorae and other forms dating to the 2nd century BC, found at Alexandria and Naukratis (Bailey 2011, 71-93: Goblet 1A 74-77, pls 2-8; Goblet 1B 77- 81 pls9-11; Goblet 1C 81-82, pl. 11; Table Amphora 2 82-84, pls 12-15; other form 84-85 pl. 15). Parallels have been given a wide variety of dates: ‘3rd to 4th century AD’ Kom es-Shugafa, Alexandria (Pagenstecher 1913, 130ff, pl. XLIII, 1 and 2; 133, fig. 141; pI. XLI V. 6; Guidotti 1980, 70-2. figs 11- 13; Rodzewicz 1985. Pl. I, 3 & 5), ‘ 2nd to 3rd century AD’ Egypt or Sudan (Hayes 1976. pl. 24, 191), ‘end 1st BC to beginning 1st century AD’ Kom el-Dikka, Alexandria (Rodziewicz 1976, 173. fig. 4. no. 6), ‘4th century AD’ Saqqara (Guidotti 1980, 65-81, pls I-II, plus parallels pls I-V), 2nd to 1st century BC context at Athribis (Południkiewcz 1992, 101, 12), ‘late 1st century BC, unprovenanced, in Louvre (Aubert & Cortopassi 1998, 158, no. 105), ‘1st century BC’ Diana theatre, Alexandria (Élaigne 1998, 105, fig. 2-12), ‘Late Ptolemaic’ Kom el-Dikka and Kom es-Shugafa, in Alexandria Greco-Roman Museum (Saad Rachwan 1998, 359-70), dated ‘Late Roman’, Naukratis (Leonard 2001, 194. fig. 3.7 and pl. 3.22).
Aubert, M. F. & Cortopassi, R. 1998. Vase paint, in Portraits de l’Égypte romaine, paris, 158.
Bailey, D. M. 2011. Drinking-goblets and table-amphorae groups of Ptolemaic painted pottery. CCE 9: 71-93.
Élaigne, S. 1998. Alexandrie –étude préliminaire d’un context céramique du Haut-Empire, in J-Y. Empereur (ed) Alexandrina I.
Guidotti, M. C. 1980, Alcuni vasi dipinti da Saqqara, EVO 3: 65-81.
Hayes, J. W. 1976. Roman pottery in the Royal Ontario Museum, A catalogue. Toronto.
Pagenstecher, R. 1913. Die griechisch-ägyptische sammlung Ernst von Sieglin II, 3,. Leipzig.
Południkiewcz, A. 1992. Imitations of Greek pottery in Tell Atrib, CCE 3: 95-101.
Rodziewicz, M. 1976. Un quartier d’habitation gréco-romain à Kom el-Dikka, Etud Trav 9: 170-210.
Rodziewicz, M. 1985. On the origins of the Coptic painted pottery in Kharga Oasis, in Mélanges Gamal Eddin Mokhtar II, BdE 97/2: 235-241, pls I-II.
Saad Rachwan, S. 1998. Un groupe de céramique à décor peit au Musée gréco-romain d’Alexandrie. Nouvelles données sur un atelier du Delta, in N. Bonacasa (ed.) L’Egitto in Italia dalla’antichità al medioevo, Atti dell III congress internazionale italoegiziano, Rome. 239-370.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased from James Ede as part of a group of 10 pieces (2002.4-19.1 - 7; 2002.4-20.1; 2002.4-22.1 and 2002.4-23.1)
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number