Incense burners (Greek thymiateria) were important cult implements throughout the ancient Mediterranean world. This South Italian terracotta example of the second half of the 4th century B.C. is exceptionally complex and rare: five women crowned with flowers are shown around a wellhead. The iconography reflects a local cult, probably that of Demeter and Kore who were widely worshipped in Southern Italy and Sicily at the time.
[Until 1983, with The Merrin Gallery, Inc., New York]; 1983, purchased from Merrin Gallery by Christos G. Bastis; 1983-1999, collection of Christos G. Bastis, New York; December 9, 1999, purchased by Mary and Michael Jaharis at Sotheby’s auction of The Christos G. Bastis Collection, New York (lot 115); 1999-2012, collection of Mary and Michael Jaharis, New York; since 2007, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; acquired in 2012, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jaharis.
von Bothmer, Dietrich, Bernard V. Bothmer, Pat Getz-Preziosi, Diana Buitron-Oliver, and Andrew Oliver, Jr. 1987. Antiquities from the Collection of Christos G. Bastis, Emma Swan Hall, ed. no. 74, pp. 158-59, Mainz on Rhine: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.
Buitron-Oliver, Diana. 1987. "Terracottas." Antiquities from the Collection of Christos G. Bastis, Emma Swan Hall, ed. no. 74, pp. 158-59, Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.
Karoglou, Kyriaki. 2014. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2012-2014." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 72(2): p. 8.