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“This Cyprus is so fertile and abounds in products of every kind, that without the need of any help from without, by its native resources alone it builds cargo ships from the very keel to the topmast sails, and equipping them completely entrusts them to the deep.”

Ammianus Marcellinus (4th century AD), Res Gestae XIV.8.14
Cypro-Archaic amphora
£4,450
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“This Cyprus is so fertile and abounds in products of every kind, that without the need of any help from without, by its native resources alone it builds cargo ships from the very keel to the topmast sails, and equipping them completely entrusts them to the deep.”

Ammianus Marcellinus (4th century AD), Res Gestae XIV.8.14
Cypro-Archaic amphora
£4,450
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Cypro-Archaic amphora

Archaic period, circa 700-600 BC

A well-preserved and richly decorated polychrome amphora, with arrows, checks, and bands of red and black paint. The herringbone decorations on the neck of the vessel probably represent abstract fish. This motif is more commonly found on the so-called “free field style” jugs of the same period and may hold a chtonic signification.

The strategic location of Ancient Cyprus at the crossroads of East and West made it an object of envy for its neighbours, leading the island to be subjected to successive waves of invasion and occupation. As a result, it was always a dynamic melting pot of different peoples, cultures and sensibilities. Under Assyrian domination between 709 and 627 BC, the ten Cypriot city-kingdoms were able to flourish and prosper. This resulted in a period of intense artistic creativity where vibrant and instantly recognisable pottery, blending both local and foreign influences, was produced.

Diameter: 7 3/4 inches (19.7 cm)

Height: 9 1/4 inches (23.5 cm)

Provenance:

Christie's, London, 11 July 1990, lot 122

Subsequently in the collection of Dr Takey Crist, Jacksonville, North Carolina

Exhibited:

The Cyprus Museum, Jacksonville, North Carolina, 1988-2018.

£4,450

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