ostracon ancient art



Greek Sicilian Askos, Selinunte Group, 450-425 BC

Fine zoomorphic askos in the shape of a crouching cow.

The barrel-shaped body decorated with owls facing each other with their wings raised, the other side features a large (tuna?) fish.
The owls rendered in silhouette technique, the fish with reserved eye and teeth.

The animal crouches on short straight forelegs, the hind legs are folded up under the body

Although relatively small, the askos belongs to the Quadruped Series 1 (Series C) of the Selinunte Group listed by Barbara Heldring.

Heldring explains the gradual reduction in size over time with a shift from cultic to secular applications. The present piece could well have served as a baby feeder, which would also justify its characterful designs.

Superb quality and condition with extremely rare decoration. Missing left ear and horn restored, as well as the tail. Small section of the spout restored.
Standing on a labeled custom base.

L. 13.3 cm (5.2 in)
H. 9.7 cm (3.8 in)

Ex Galeria M. A. Daneu, Palermo, sold April 24, 1962 – well before the UNESCO World Heritage Convention of 1972 (copy of the invoice joined).

8500 USD

Click above for larger pictures --------

Barbara Heldring. Sicilian Plastic Vases. Utrecht 1981.
Arielle Kozloff (ed). Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection. Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland 1981. As for animal askoi, cf. nos. 123 & 124, pp. 145-146.

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