This is a beautifully decorated vessel from Corinth, Greece; it is commonly called a pyxis (a usually round container for cosmetics, ointments or trinkets; plural pyxides; however, the term pyxis is found mainly after the fourth century B.C., whilst contemporary references use the word kylichnis).
The convex body of this vessel is decorated in black with a motive that was popular with certain artists in Corinth, a frieze of animals. In this case there are four panthers and three goats in alternating order. Around these there are rosettes and dots in the field. Above and below the central field are bands of concentric circles, with dots and rays above.
The vessel has a flanged ring base, the underside of which was also decorated with a series of concentric circles, and two upright handles. A raised lip is there to take the lid, which is knobbed and was decorated in red and umber with a number of encircling bands.
For parallels see Ashmolean Museum Oxford, inv. no. 1971.876 (Beazley Archive Pottery Database, Vase 550015); Ashmolean Museum Oxford, inv. no. 1879.102 (published Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: Oxford, Ashmolean Museum 2, 70, pl. (388) 5.9); and the literature mentioned below.
A beautiful and interesting example, in the past with Charles Ede, London!
Greek Antiquities, Catalogue 46 (London, Charles Ede Ltd., 2004), no. 6471.
For the motive with panthers and goats see:
Darrell A. Amyx - Patricia Lawrence, Studies in Archaic Corinthian Vase Painting(Hesperia, Supplement 28) (American School of Classical Studies at Athens; Princeton, New Jersey, 1996), passim, esp. pls. 59-64;
Agnes N. Stillwell - Jack L. Benson, The Potters' Quarter: The Pottery (Corinth, Volume XV Part III) (American School of Classical Studies at Athens; Princeton, New Jersey, 1984), passim (see also index p. 411 and 414);
Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: Oxford, Ashmolean Museum 2, 70, pl. (388) 5.9;
For a similar pyxis with not only panthers and goats but also swans see Darrell A. Amyx, Corinthian Vase Painting of the Archaic Period (California Studies in the History of Art, 25) (University of California Press, 1988), no. 90.
Middle Corinthian, circa 600 - 575 B.C.
Height 16.5 cm; diameter ca. 15.5 cm; diameter of mouth ca. 7.5 cm.
Ex 19th century French collection; an export licence was issued by the Ministry of Culture of France in 2003; ex Charles Ede Ltd., London.
The decoration is somewhat worn in places; a few scratches; fractures to the lid were professionally repaired; otherwise intact.