A jar in the shape of a bird, possibly a duck, with its beak acting as a spout. On the back of the animal is a handle, leading to a funnel with a strainer inside. The whole body is decorated in shades of dark brown and red, using geometric patterns like circles, squares, crosses and triangles; on the chest a floral design.
An askos is a closed vessel with an out-turned rim, a conical to straight neck, a globular to low rounded body, and with a handle on top of the body. It can have a theriomorphic tail, and often becomes a stylised bird, the body roughly imitating the shape of the animal with the mouth in place of a head. Going one step further, the artists sometimes turned their work into a realistic representation of a bird (see Yntema, p. 343-345 and fig. 231, forms 9A and 9B; p. 356ff. and fig. 243. For the bird askos see also p. 380-381; p. 390, fig. 274).
In the classification of pottery by Yntema another type with bird shape also appears: the strainer. This is a closed vessel with a bag-shaped body, a flat or slightly hollow base, a strainer-tail, and a tall strap handle; opposite the strainer-tail is a bird protome, thus giving the form a duck-like appearance (ibid., fig 231, form 17; fig. 243, form 17B; p. 369, figs. 255-256).
Douwe Yntema, The Matt-Painted Pottery of Southern Italy. A General Survey of the Matt-Painted Pottery Styles of Southern Italy During the Final Bronze Age and the Iron Age (diss. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Utrecht, 1985);
Detlef Fedder, Daunisch-geometrische Keramik und ihre Werkstätten (Habelts Dissertationsdrucke, Reihe Klassische Archäologie, Heft 9) (Bonn, 1976), p. 328-329, nos. 138 and 142 (with sketch of no. 138 on p.74, form 18).
South Italian, Daunian, early 3rd century B.C.
Height 14.8 cm, length 23 cm.
German private collection of Ch. Loch, Rheinland-Pfalz, since the 1950s.
Intact, with only a small chip at the beak and a few very small surface chips; in very fine condition, with original colours.