Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World

Cypriot, ca. 1500-1200 B.C.
Fired clay (White Slip Ware)
h. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm); body diam. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm)
Purchased with the Antiquities Acquisition Fund 
Photography by Peggy Tenison

This jug is an example of White Slip ware, a type of ceramic that was prevalent in Cyprus for over four hundred years (ca. 1600–ca. 1050 B.C.). Handcrafted with clay that was covered in a thick layer of slip, the vessels were then decorated with orange-red to black paint. Here, the linear geometric motifs are finely executed in brown paint and resemble embroidery. This jug was part of a group of objects acquired by Luigi Palma de Cesnola in Cyprus between 1868 and 1873 and purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1874, where Cesnola later became Director. Objects from the Cesnola Collection were later sold to the Toledo Museum of Art in 1916, which in turn sold off portions of the collection in 2017.