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GP705

An East Greek Terracotta Lydion, ca. early 6th Century B.C.

A lovely and elegant jar,  the everted rounded rim with flat upper surface tapers to a narrow neck all painted in black, broadens to a piriform body decorated with a painted black band at its greatest diameter. 

A related example is at the Louvre Museum, found in tomb J24 in the necropolis of Elaeus, in Thracian Chersonese during the Excavations of the archaeological section of the French Eastern Army, 1922, Accession number Élé 40 (CA 4061).

These jars have been found at Sardis as well as around the Mediterranean. Because they seem to have been a speciality of Lydia, modern scholars call this type of vase a lydion. Such jars probably contained baccaris, a perfume for which Sardis was noted in antiquity.

Sardis was one of the great cities of Asia Minor. As the capital of Lydia (a kingdom located in western Turkey, inland from modern Izmir), Sardis achieved fame and wealth especially under the last Lydian king, Croesus, before succumbing to the Persian conquest in the mid-sixth century B.C. The city's wealth and prosperity can be attributed to its location, ideal for trade and commerce, and to its abundant source of water and mineral resources, most notably the legendary gold-bearing sands of the Pactolus stream.

Condition: Three small losses to the rim professionally restored in white, minor losses to the black glaze in places stem and foot missing otherwise in very good condition overall.  

Dimensions: Height: 6.5cm (2.6in).

Provenance: Private New Jersey collection acquired prior to 1960.

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