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Terracotta Megarian bowl

Period:
Hellenistic
Date:
ca.165–100 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, probably Asia Minor
Medium:
Terracotta; mold made
Dimensions:
h. 3 1/16 in. (7.8 cm); d. 4 3/4 in. (12 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Gift of Susan Dwight Bliss, 1945
Accession Number:
45.16.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
This finely made bowl is decorated in relief with a lesbian-leaf molding (a vegetal motif named for the island of Lesbos) banded by a row of small beads and a raised ridge. Below, meanders serve as a backdrop to a procession of Erotes, who step between jeweled long petals of alternating lengths that surround an exceptionally ornate triple rosette foot-medallion.

Notable on this bowl are the long petals, which are normally of uniform length, and the highly unusual pairing of this ornament with figural decoration. Although it is believed that the long petal motif was introduced to mold-made ceramics around 165 B.C. by Corinthian potters, the particular style of the lesbian-leaf molding on this bowl associates it with Ionian workshops in Asia Minor where it appears to have been a popular variant.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 132, 271, pl. 111d, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Lightfoot, Christopher S. and Carlos A. Picón. 2015. "A Fragment of a Mold-Pressed Glass Bowl in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Journal of Glass Studies, 57: p. 26, fig. 7.

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