Terracotta duck-askos (flask with spout and handle)

Attributed to the Clusium Group

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 170

This Etruscan pottery style is associated with workshops active in Chiusi and Volterra during the second half of the fourth century B.C. In addition to the duck's body and wings with carefully rendered feathers, each side is decorated with a floating nude female holding a ribbon. On some related pieces, these figures are winged and have often been identified as Etruscan lasas, nymph-like characters frequently depicted on engraved mirrors and pottery. The precise function of duck-askoi has been hotly debated. Many seem too large to have been used for expensive scented oils and instead may have contained lamp oil or olive oil. Because some earlier duck-askoi have been found with a special type of barrel-shaped vase, some scholars have suggested a connection with wine.

Terracotta duck-askos (flask with spout and handle), Attributed to the Clusium Group, Terracotta, Etruscan

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