ITEM NO. M7886
$26,000
Full Screen Etruscan Terracotta Cinerary Urn
 
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CIVILIZATION South Italian
PERIOD Etruscan
DATE circa 7th-6th Century B.C.
MATERIAL Terracotta
MOUNTED No

Etruscan Terracotta Cinerary Urn

Etruscan, circa 7th-6th Century B.C.

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*Item location: New York, USA

An immensely large lidded cinerary urn ‘olla’ decorated in relief, a technique known as impasto, with trailing of interlocking triangles, arched ribs, and projecting nubs, with two nearly horizontal handles on either side. The domed lid similarly decorated with a pattern of arched ribs, two on each quadrant, surmounted with a projecting conical element. The olla rests on a small ring foot.

It is possible to read symbolism into the deceptively simple decoration. Thus, the lid resembles a breast with projecting nipple, and the arched ribs on the body may represent a pudenda or a womb, the two nubs above, nipples, again. The lower projecting nub may be a phallus. If so, the elements present the male and female members necessary for the creation and sustenance of human life. By including these elements in the decoration, the vessel suggests regeneration and the hope of the deceased for a glorious rebirth in the afterlife.

This example once used as a funerary urn, contained the ashes of the deceased. Such urns were com

*Item location: New York, USA

An immensely large lidded cinerary urn ‘olla’ decorated in relief, a technique known as impasto, with trailing of interlocking triangles, arched ribs, and projecting nubs, with two nearly horizontal handles on either side. The domed lid similarly decorated with a pattern of arched ribs, two on each quadrant, surmounted with a projecting conical element. The olla rests on a small ring foot.

It is possible to read symbolism into the deceptively simple decoration. Thus, the lid resembles a breast with projecting nipple, and the arched ribs on the body may represent a pudenda or a womb, the two nubs above, nipples, again. The lower projecting nub may be a phallus. If so, the elements present the male and female members necessary for the creation and sustenance of human life. By including these elements in the decoration, the vessel suggests regeneration and the hope of the deceased for a glorious rebirth in the afterlife.

This example once used as a funerary urn, contained the ashes of the deceased. Such urns were commonly deposited in chamber tombs. Sometimes found in the same tombs as sarcophagi which contain bodies of the deceased. Both cremation and inhumation were employed at the same time in funerary practices throughout Etruria.

monly deposited in chamber tombs. Sometimes found in the same tombs as sarcophagi which contain bodies of the deceased. Both cremation and inhumation were employed at the same time in funerary practices throughout Etruria.

Height: 23 1/2" (59.7cm)
Condition:
Minor losses to rim, lid, and handles and wear consistent with age.
Provenance:

Formerly in the collection of the late Patti Cadby Birch (d. 2007), collected in the 1990s, New York. A philanthropist and longtime Honorary Trustee and generous supporter of the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2011, the Birch Foundation in memory of Patti Birch, funded The Patti Cadby Birch Court (room 456) and the Patti Cadby Birch Gallery (room 457) at The Met, along with the Patti Cadby Birch Garden Plaza at the MOMA.
Accompanied by a thermoluminescence report from Bortolot Daybreak, 1996, and a second report by CIRAM, 2018.
Exhibited TEFAF, New York, October 27-31, 2018.
Art Loss Register, no. S00139418.

Bibliography:

For a near identical parallel found in Vulci, see Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Rome, inv. no. 84839.

Direct URL: https://medusa-art.com/M7886

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Pottery
Ceramics
Etruscan Antiquities

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SHIPPING
 

This item qualifies for an interest-free payment plan. This exclusive feature is made available to customers who would like to pay off qualified purchases in installments. Learn More 

Free expedited shipping is available on this item. Allow 3-5 business days for delivery to the U.S.A. and Canada. Allow 5-10 business days for international deliveries. Express shipping may be available at checkout. Minor shipping delays may occur. All items are carefully packaged to ensure safe arrival. We ship Monday to Thursday. Learn more

CATEGORY South Italian
PERIOD Etruscan
DATE circa 7th-6th Century B.C.
MATERIAL
MOUNTED No
 
 
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