Pyxis with lid

Unknown"760-750 BC" - ""

Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art

Pyxis was an ancient vessel with lid but no handles, which was used for the safekeeping of cosmetics and jewellery for the female toilet and adornment. Pyxides have been found as grave goods accompanying female burials and as votive offerings in sanctuaries of female deities. In the early 9th c. BC spherical and pointed pyxides with conical lids were predominant, while in the latter years of the 9th and the early 8th c. BC the flat pyxis replaced the spherical. The vase illustrated here, product of an Attic workshop in the early years of the Late Geometric period, is a characteristic example of a luxurious variation of the flat pyxis decorated with one to four horse figurines on the lid. Such pyxides seem to have been intended exclusively for male burials and are usually found in richly-furnished graves of the period. It is thus probable that the horses were symbols of the privileged class of "Hippeis" (literary "riders" but actually meaning horse-owners or those who could afford raising and maintaining a horse). From 750 BC, flat pyxides acquired almost monumental dimensions and became common, while their luxurious variations - crowned by a group of horses - were no longer used only for male burials.

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  • Title: Pyxis with lid
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: "760-750 BC" - ""
  • Read more: <a href="http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=resource&cresrc=794&cnode=55&clang=1">Read more</a>
  • Provenance: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: w325 x h265 mm
  • Period: Geometric period
  • Culture: Greek (Attic)
  • Type: pyxis
  • Rights: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, N.P. Goulandis Collection, no. 1103, http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=NODE&cnode=25&clang=1
  • External Link: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
  • Medium: clay