A Palesian Red Figure Bird Chous, Campania, ca. 4th century BC


The small pottery pouring vessel sits on low ring base, with trefoil rim and attached strap handle behind, the bulbous body features a charming red-figure painted chick at front center, flanked by half palmettes and wave pattern filler above.

Condition: Complete, the handle professionally reattached, in very good condition overall. 

Dimensions: Height:  4 1/8 inches (10.6 cm)

Provenance:   Ex. Robert H. Johnston (1928-2005) collection, acquired in the 1970s.  The archaeologist who helped decipher Dead Sea scrolls, Robert H. Johnston served in the Marine Corps during World War II, and then studied art at what was then Kutztown State Teacher's College in Pennsylvania. He earned a master's degree in art from Columbia University and taught at Lock Haven University, simultaneously studying for a doctorate in archaeology at Penn State University, which he earned in 1970.   For two decades he was a professor and administrator at the Rochester Institute of Technology and helped develop a way to read ancient texts blackened or faded by time, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and texts from the time of Christ.  Dr. Johnston further decoded parts of a 10th-century parchment copy of a famous treatise by the Greek mathematician Archimedes that had been used as the fabric for a 13th-century prayer book.

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