Greek Geometric Pyxis


Greek Geometric Pyxis

A large ancient Greek Geometric pyxis, the body pierced at each side for suspension, decorated in dark slip with meanders and X's, with two panels on each side depicting swans with star bursts in the field.

Late Geometric. ca. 750 - 700 BC.
Diameter: 8 1/4 in. (21 cm).

The pyxis was a lidded cylindrical vessel mostly used by women to hold cosmetics, trinkets or jewelry. Surviving pyxides from the Classical Period are mostly ceramic, but sometimes they are made of wood, metal, or ivory. The name derived from Corinthian boxes made of wood from the boxwood tree (puxos).
Geometric pottery production began as Greece reemerged from the Dark Age after the decline of Mycenaean Bronze Age civilization. Geometric pottery was austere but precise in its execution. The shapes and decorative motifs that would eventually be predominant in Classical Greek vase painting are at first evident in Greek Geometric pottery of the 8th century BC.

cf.: J. Boardman, Early Greek Vase Painting, 11th - 6th Centuries B.C., (London, 1998).

Formerly in a San Jose, California private collection, acquired from a previous collection in 1993.

Inv#: 7823


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