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Double Spouted Askos, 3rd century BCE (84.17)

Double Spouted Askos
Double Spouted Askos
Italy, South Italian, Daunian
3rd Century BCE

Director's Comments
This lovely little Daunian double-spouted askos features rosettes on each side, with a small hare dashing along the edge of the rosette. One spout - decorated with two concentric rings on the inner lip - is open, the other - black with small projecting lines - is a strainer. The decoration overall is complex and shows the typical exuberance of late Daunian pottery.

It is unusual, however, in depicting both a trinacria, or triskele, and a naiskos, or small funerary monument. The triskele form is a widely-used symbol in antiquity, and later came to be particularly associated with Sicily, which still uses the triskele with a Gorgon's head as its symbol. The Museum exhibits a metal shield boss in the form of a triskele in the Weinberg Gallery (77.7); as far as I'm aware it's the only actual such triskele boss known. Such bosses are known from depictions, however, and a particularly fine example is known from the late 6th century BCE (London B323). The naiskos on the vessel contains the bust of woman, with added white and traces of red in both the bust and the pediment. In my mind's eye I draw a parallel between this naiskos and that framing Dido in David Ligare's painting Dido in Resolve (1989, MAA 89.6) hanging in the Museum's stair landing, although there's nothing else to link the two. Askoi may have had multiple functions, ranging from pouring wine or oil to pouring libations for the dead.

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copy of depiction of triskele boss
late 6th century BCE triskele boss
(London B323)

Dido in Resolve
David Ligare
(American, 1945- )
Dido in Resolve


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