Sand coloured pottery single handled jug. Black painted glaze with white, cream and red painted decoration round middle and neck. Flat strap type handle with shaped in top lip of jug.
History & Provenance
Athenian era. Ancient Greek Gnathian Ribbed Oinochoe
An Ancient Greek terracotta oenochoe from the South Italian Apulian region. Glazed entirely with black pigment. Grape decoration in yellow ochre decorates the neck, whilst vertical ribs adjourn the majority of the belly. A thick handle leads from the rim to the middle of the jug. The entire vase rests on a small foot.
Date: Circa 3rd century BC
Provenance: Private collection, F.B.A. Collection acquired by descent
Condition: Very good.
The clay (keramos) to produce pottery (kerameikos) was readily available throughout Greece, although the finest was Attic clay, with its high iron content giving an orange-red colour with a slight sheen when fired and the pale buff of Corinth. Clay was generally prepared and refined in settling tanks so that different consistencies of material could be achieved depending on the vessel types to be made with it.
Greek pottery was invariably made on the potter's wheel and usually made in separate horizontal sections: the foot, the lower and upper body, the neck, and finally the handles, if necessary. These sections were then joined together with a clay 'slip' after drying and it is possible in many cases to see the prints of the potter impressed on the inside of the vessel. The piece was then put back on the wheel to smooth the join marks and add the final shaping. Therefore, all vases were unique and the small variations in dimensions reveal that the use of simple tools and not cut-out templates was the norm.
Next, the pot was decorated. This process depended on the decorative style in vogue at the time, but popular methods included painting the whole or parts of the vase with a thin black adhesive paint which was added with a brush, the marks of which remain visible in many cases. This black paint was a mix of alkali potash or soda, clay with silicon content, and black ferrous oxide of iron. The paint was affixed to the pot by using a fixative of urine or vinegar which burned away in the heat of the kiln, binding the paint to the clay. Another technique, used more rarely, was to cover the vessel with a white clay paint. Alternatively, only lines or figures were added in black using a thicker version of the black paint mentioned above and applied with a stiff brush or feather; in consequence, a slight relief effect was achieved. Minor details were often added with a thinned black paint giving a yellow-brown colour, a white pipe-clay, and a dark red of ochre and manganese. The latter two colours tended to flake off over time.
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The physical condition of the book and dust jacket (if there is a dust jacket) are each given a single condition grade. The most common standard book condition descriptions from best to worst are:
As New (abbreviated AN)
This is an unused, unread, clean and flawless copy of the book.
Fine (abbreviated F)
Fine is very close to As New in condition, except that the book may have been previously opened or carefully read.
Very Good (abbreviated VG)
This is a book that shows signs of previous ownership and use, but it's still very nice copy. If there are any flaws or defects such as the former owner's name (FON) or the former owner's initials (FOI), they need to be specifically noted.
Good (abbreviated G)
Possibly the most confusing book condition for the layman. A good condition book will show significant wear including the potential for tears in the dust jacket, wear on the edges of the wraps or boards as well as the text block. Specific issues should still be noted. A good condition book should still have all pages and a fully intact cover.
Fair is a book with noticeable wear. Some non-essential pages such as the Front Free End Paper(FFEP) or Rear Free End Paper (RFEP) may possibly be missing but the entire text and all plates should be still present. A Fair condition book isn't typically considered collectible condition (except in cases where scarcity is such a factor that a better copy isn't commonly available). Fair condition books are still serviceable reading copies.
A book with significant wear and faults. A poor condition book is still a reading copy with the full text still readable. Any missing pages must be specifically noted.
A reading copy is typically a book with whose condition does not merit it to be collectible. A reading copy of a book is still perfectly useable for reading. A collector may well have both a collectible copy of a favorite work to cherish and display, and a reading copy of that same title to read or loan out to others, preserving the more valuable one from wear or loss.
A binding copy is the complete text of the book (unless specifically otherwise note) but the condition of the binding, if in fact there still is one, is significantly degraded or damaged as to require the book to be entirely rebound to be serviceable.
In traditional book description guidelines, this is a book condition unto itself. The statement that the book was removed from library circulation historically indicated that the book had no collectible value due to certain standard practices of libraries such as ink stamps asserting ownership and uniquely durable tape binding the dust jacket to the rest of the book. That old standard has relaxed some over the years.
The condition of the book is listed first, followed by the dust jacket condition with a slash separating the two measures, EG: VG/G meaning a book in very good condition with a good condition dust jacket). If the book was originally published with a dust jacket, the absence of that jacket might be described by a dash EG: VG/- meaning a book in very good condition with a missing dust jacket).
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