Classical Antiquities :
Daunian : Daunian Double-Spouted Askos
Daunian Double-Spouted Askos - PF.5922
Origin: Magna Graecia
7.25" (18.4cm) high
x 6.25" (15.9cm) wide
| Photo Gallery
In the eighth century B.C., Greek settlers left
their homeland behind and established a string
of colonies along the Adriatic coast of Southern
Italy. After the rise of Rome centuries later, this
region would become known by the Latin term
Magna Graecia, literally “Greater Greece,” due to
the dense concentration of Greek settlements.
The Greeks flourished here alongside the native
populations, amassing great wealth through
trade and importing their Hellenic culture
throughout the area. They in turn were
influenced by their neighbors, so that Magna
Graecian pottery developed into a unique style
that reflected both Greek and native Italian
traditions. The Daunians were one such native
culture that lived alongside the Greek colonies.
Daunian pottery can be characterized by its
rounded forms, geometric, linear designs, and
eathern tones. The Greeks adopted some of the
Daunian forms for themselves, revealing the
cultural interplay that so distinguishes the art of
Magna Graecia, both in respects to the Greeks as
well as the native peoples such as the Daunians.
This double spouted askos, which originally
served as an oil flask, was
one of the types of Daunian ware that would
influence their Greek colonist neighbors.
Rendered in a typically ornate Daunian fashion,
this vessel is covered in abstract motifs painted
in brown and further highlighted with pink and
orange touches. The bulbous body of the askos
has been segmented into curving bands that
conform to the shape of the vessel. The motifs
that fill the band seem to be based on natural
themes, one can identify a spiraling wave pattern
as well as a bird in flight. The top of the body,
directly under the handle connecting the two
spouts, is the depiction of two clearly identifiable
leaves. Perhaps this touch of foliage alludes to
the plants that were necessary for the
manufacture of the oils or other liquids that were
once contained within. The Daunians love of
decoration and ornamentation is fully revealed by
the fact that even the circular flat bottom of this
askos is embellished with radiating lines.
Overall, this gorgeous vessel, which comes down
to us in near perfect condition, appears as
vibrant and fanciful as the day it was fired.
Looking inside, we almost expect there to be
some oil still left over.