Terracotta kernos (vase for multiple offerings)

Early Cycladic III–Middle Cycladic I
ca. 2300–2200 B.C.
Overall: 13 5/8 in. (34.6 cm) Other: 14in. (35.5cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 2004
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Although the kernos was used in widely disparate regions during the prehistoric period, particularly impressive examples have come to light in the Cyclades, and this is one of the grandest preserved. The receptacles probably contained foodstuffs of various kinds or perhaps of flowers.

    The kernos was found, together with the jar (2004.363.2) and the jug (2004.363.3) displayed nearby in this gallery, in 1829 in a tomb on Melos by Captain Copeland, a British naval officer. In 1857 his widow gave the objects to Eton College, where they remained until coming to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on loan in 1996.

  • Provenance

    Said to be from Melos (Bosanquet 1896-97, p. 58, no. 8).

    1829, excavated from a tomb in Melos; by 1836, acquired by Captain Copeland, R.N., in Greece; until 1857, collection of Captain Copeland, England; 1857-2004, Copeland collection, Eton College; 1996-2004, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; acquired June 7, 2004, purchased from Eton College, England.

  • References

    Bosanquet, Robert Carr. 1896–1897. "Notes from the Cyclades." Annual of the British School at Athens, 3: nos. 8, 60, p. 58.

    McConnell, James, Jeremy M. Potter, and William Winter. 1976. Treasures of Eton London: Chatto & Windus, fig. 130.

    Picón, Carlos A. 1986. Classical Antiquities from Private Collections in Great Britain: A Loan Exhibition in Aid of the Ashmole Archive. London: Sotheby's, London, no. 2, p. 16.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2005. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2004-2005." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 63(2): p. 6.

    Masello, David, Dick Kagan, and Doris Goldstein. 2005. "100 Top Treasures." Art & Antiques, 28(11): no. 95, pp. 101-2.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2006. Genethlion: Anamnestikos tomos gia tes symplerose eikosi chonon leitourgias tou Mouseiou Kykladikes Technes, Nikolaos Stampolides, ed. Athens: Mouseio Kykladikes Technes, pp. 35-42, figs. 1-4.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 13, pp. 37, 411.

    Mertens, Joan R. 2010. How to Read Greek Vases. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 1, pp. 11, 24, 32-35.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 62.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History