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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta head-shaped flask

ca. 80–1 B.C.
Greek, probably Cypriot
Terracotta; Magenta Ware
h. 5 15/16 in. (15.1 cm)
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
The glossy red pigment covering the surface of this handle flask identifies it as an example of Magenta ware. The combination of the mold-made face, wheel-thrown neck, and hand-formed back and base, is also characteristic of this class of pottery. Although Magenta ware was made throughout the Mediterranean world, handled flasks in the shape of human heads have been most commonly found on Cyprus.
From Cyprus

Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. no. 1728, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Michaelides, Demetres. 1996. "Magenta Ware in Cyprus Once More." Four Thousand Years of Images on Cypriote Pottery: Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Cypriote Studies Nicosia, 3-4 May, 1996 p. 140.

Karageorghis, Vassos, Joan Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 447, pp. 276-7, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lund, John. 2015. A Study of the Circulation of Ceramics in Cyprus from the 3rd Century BC to the 3rd Century AD, Gösta Enbom Monographs, 5. no. 1627, pp. 144, 299, fig. 208, Bristol, CT: Aarhus University Press.

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