A Cypriot Redware Amphora, Early-Middle Cypriot Period (2000-1800 BC)


This beautiful Cypriot vessel is of red polish ware and contains etched linear decoration. It has a wide neck with a large belly and two handles on either side of the neck. The white patterns consist of straight lines, criss-crossed lines, chevron lines, and circles in register motifs around the entirety of the exterior. The interior of the lip and the handles also contain chevron decoration.

Background: Red Polish Ware from Early-Middle Cypriot Periods (2500-1600 BC) were created by covering the vessel with red slip and burnished. When decorated with linear motifs, the decoration was carved before firing, and covered with lime after to create a white contrast to the red slip.

Dimensions: Height: 8 in (20 cm), width: 6 1/4 in (15 3/4 cm), diameter: 4 in (10 cm)

Condition: Overall good condition. Hairline fracture along one side of the exterior and some of the bottom exterior slip has chipped away.

Provenance:  The William R. Crawford collection of Ancient Glass and Antiquities, acquired in Cyprus prior to 1972.  This piece is accompanied by a copy of the export license issued to Mr. Crawford by Republic of Cyprus, Department of Antiquities.    William R. Crawford, a retired American career diplomat and expert on the Middle East and Cyprus, was Director of Arab-Israeli Affairs at the State Department between 1959-1964, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Cyprus thereafter.  In the 1970's, he was ambassador to Yemen and then to Cyprus and later became principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East and South Asian affairs.  He donated part of his collection to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts prior to his death in 2002.

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