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Cycladic Marble Spouted bowl with Lug
New York | Vessels
 
Date:  3500 BC - 2500 BC2500 BC - 1900 BC
Culture:  Cycladic
Category:  Vessels
Medium:  Stone
Dimension: H: 6.5 cm – D: 12.0 cm - L: 15.5 cm
Price: $28,000.00
Provenance: Ex- Carlo Monzino private collection, ca. 1960s
Serial No: 25780

The Early Cycladic II period of the Aegean culture is well known not only for the sophistication in craftsmanship of the human figures, the so-called Cycladic idols, but also for various stone vessels of elaborate design. They constitute two major groups (open and lidded vessels). This bowl belongs to the category of open vessels along with the dishes, palettes, footed cups, and candilai.

The bowl was sculptured from a single block of marble. Its hemispherical shape lies on a rounded bottom (as a variant, a spouted bowl can be supplied with a foot) and has a horizontal, unperforated lug below the rim on one side for use as a finger rest. Opposite, the wall and rim project to form a spout, perhaps for pouring. The spouted bowl with a single lug became a favorite form of the period and is found in any quantity in the excavations on the Cycladic islands: Naxos, Keros, and Syros. About forty specimens are known, most of which are smaller than the present example. While this type of vessel is usually thought to have served for pouring liquids, it may also have functioned as a lamp (in this case, the spout would have served as a nozzle for a wick support). Few examples still expose the traces of color; pigments such as red cinnabar or blue azurite were probably mixed with oil or water, and used for cosmetic or ritual purposes.

The workmanship of this vessel is quite remarkable: the sides of the spout are emphasized with the projected rim made to help direct the flow of a liquid or a very finely ground dry substance. The spout rim is of the same thinness as the rim of the bowl; the wall is just slightly thicker than the rim. Many of the spouted bowls are quite unstable; in this vessel the wall is getting considerably thicker toward the bottom thus enabling the vessel with a steady shape.