Overview: handle left

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Summary: Oinochoe with plastically modeled snake on handle.
Ware: Boeotian Geometric
Context: From Thebes
Date: ca. 745 BC - ca. 690 BC

H. 0.502 m., D. 0.285 m.

Shape: Oinochoe
Ceramic Phase: Boeotian LG
Region: Boeotia
Period: Geometric

Decoration Description:

The clay is pale brown, the decoration is in dull black. The body of the vase is slightly ovoid, with a high slender neck and a trefoil mouth. There is a plastically modeled snake on the wide flat handle. The lip of the vase is black, the neck has narrow vertical panels bounded by horizontal lines above and below it. In the front panel are two latticed squares between erect triple zigzags. The outer points of the zigzags connect by horizontal lines with the sides of the panel, and the side lines end above in concentric circles (the "eyes" on the trefoil mouth). In the side panels is a flower pattern or elongated rosette in the narrow rectangle with triangles in the spaces between the petals. The panels are separated by vertical lines enclosing a vertical wave pattern and ending at the back with a vertical triple zigzag. There are longitudinal lines on the snake and a latticed pattern on its head, and short triple zigzags between the folds of the snake on the back of the handle. The body of the vessel is covered with groups of concentric circles in slightly irregular rows, and five horizontal lines at the bottom.

This vase is in Coldstream's Group iv (201); the body is more attenuated, and has a higher neck than earlier types. Boeotian Late Geometric wares were influenced by Attic LG I, in the replacement of the dark ground by a light ground, the evolution of a consistent figure style, and the fondess for equal square metopes arranges in horizontal bands.

Material Description:

The clay is a pale brown.

Collection History:

Anonymous gift, 1892.

Sources Used:

Coldstream 1968, 201-204; Fairbanks 1928, no. 287, pl. 25

Other Bibliography:

R. Hampe Frühe griechische Sagenbilder in Böotien (Athens, 1936) v. 33, pl. 20d