Corinthian Cockleshell Aryballos
An ancient Corinthian Greek aryballos in the form of a cockle shell realistically modeled with ridges and stripes in black slip. The shell imitates the form of the edible cockle cardium edule.
The idea for creating a shell-shaped terracotta vessel may derive from containers made from real shells. Archaeologists have found shells outfitted with hinges and clasps in order to serve as containers for small items.
cf.: Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, inv. no. .1898-35, from Panticapaeum necropolis, Crimea.
Formerly in a New York private collection; previously in a German private collection.