A clay oinochoe with an interesting shape: the body of the vase consists of a mould-made female head, wearing a headpiece that looks like a polos but which is in fact the rounded shoulder of the upper part of an oinochoe (shape 5B, with a round mouth and a high slung, ribbed handle). This is a rare combination, of which only very few parallels are known. It belongs to Group G, the London Group, according to John D. Beazley.
The face is finely modelled with almond shaped eyes, the pupils painted red, and with arching brows, also with added red paint. The face is framed by three rows of forelocks, articulated as nodules of raised clay. The hair is covered by a black sakkos. A wreath of ivy was painted on the headpiece.
Beazley, who studied this type of vase extensively, remarked about Group G, the London Group:
This is one of the best groups. The object, with a few exceptions, is well constructed. The features are not large or carefully worked out, but there is plenty of character, especially in the ripe mouth swelling towards the middle; and the expression is extraordinarily winsome. (John D. Beazley, "Charinos. Attic Vases in the Form of Human Heads", Journal of Hellenic Studies 49 (1929), p. 50-51).
A very close parallel is in the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes, Greece (inv. no. 12913, Beazley Archive Database no. 218382), see Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: Italia, Museo Archeologico dello Spedale Dei Cavalieri di Rodi 2, III K a b c, pl. 1, 1-2.
On Attic Head Vessels in general see:
John D. Beazley, "Charinos. Attic Vases in the Form of Human Heads", Journal of Hellenic Studies 49 (1929), p. 38-78, especially p. 47-52 for Group G, the London Group;
François Lissarrague, "Identity and Otherness: The Case of Attic Head Vases and Plastic Vases", Source. Notes in the History of Art, Vol. 15, No. 1 (1995) (Special Issue: Representations of the "Other" in Athenian Art, c. 510-400 B.C.), p. 4-9;
Ellen Reeder Williams, "Figurine Vases from the Athenian Agora", Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Vol. 47 (1978), p. 374-376;
Marion True, "Athenian Potters and the Production of Plastic Vases" in Beth Cohen (ed.), The Colors of Clay. Special Techniques in Athenian Vases (Los Angeles, Getty Publications, 2006), p. 240-249, esp. p. 246-248; as well as the catalogue entries by Beth Cohan in Chapter 7: Plastic Vases and Vases with Plastic Additions, p. 268-273 (cat. nos. 79-81, esp. no. 80).
For Group G, the London Group, see also:
John D. Beazley, Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1963), 1533-1536, 1697;
Idem, Paralipomena: Additions to Attic Black-Figure Vase-Painters and to Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1971), 502-503;
Thomas H. Carpenter et al., Beazley Addenda: Additional References to ABV, ARV2 and Paralipomena, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1989), 386.
Circa 480 B.C.
Height: 17.5 cm.
Collection of Wladimir Rosenbaum (1894-1984), Zürich and Ascona, Switzerland; Wladimir Rosenbaum was both a lawyer and an antiquarian and art dealer.