Antique Highlights

Plastic Vessel in the shape of a Monkey’s head.

Apulian, 4th Century B.C.

Height: 3 5/16”

Diameter of Base: 21/16”

Monkeys did not exist in the art of Greece, but they can be found in the art of Magna Graecia, the Greek colonies on the southern coast of Italy. The image of the monkey came from Africa during the Ptolemaic period during the rule of Alexander the Great. Most plastic vessels are made  in the shape of animal heads–birds, bulls, ducks, deer—or women’s heads, and such vessels as the were used to hold aromatic oils and perfumes. Here is a  rare and charming example of a monkey’s head that comes from the Apulia region.  This finely-detailed model is made of terracotta with a black glaze and added paint.

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