Double Kandila of the Grotta-Pelos Group

Unknown3000 - 2800 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Cycladic potters in the Pelos period, about 3000 to 2800 B.C., produced characteristic kandiles with globular bodies, and tall necks and feet. Cycladic pottery of this period was decorated with geometric designs incised into the surface of the vessel and often filled with a white chalky substance that contrasts with the darker surface of the pottery. The herringbone pattern was a typical motif for this period, but the deep grooves on the feet of the vessel are unusual. This example, a double kandila, is extremely rare. The broken area on this vase shows nicely how the small vases were each made separately and then joined with a clay bridge.

The jar was burnished before firing, giving it a shiny compacted surface and making it less porous. Kandiles take their name from their resemblance to modern Greek church lamps, and they would have been used to hold liquids such as oil or wine. The potter's wheel was not yet in common use at this period, so this jar was made by hand.

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  • Title: Double Kandila of the Grotta-Pelos Group
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 3000 - 2800 B.C.
  • Location Created: Cyclades, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 10.2 x 18.3 x 8.9 cm (4 x 7 3/16 x 3 1/2 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Kandila
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 91.AE.31
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 217, Neolithic and Bronze Age Arts
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Cycladic
  • Classification: Vessels