Greek double spouted askos with dolphins


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ITEMDouble spouted askos with dolphins
CULTUREGreek, Daunian
PERIOD3rd Century B.C
DIMENSIONS213 mm x 180 mm x 160 mm.
CONDITIONGood condition, small hole in the dolphins’ side
PROVENANCEEx Swiss private collection, family property since the 1970s. Part of the collection was on loan to the Archaeological Collection of the University of Zurich until the end of 2022.

Daunian askoi are small ceramic vessels originating from the ancient Daunian culture of Southern Italy, primarily found in the region of Apulia during the 1st millennium BCE. These vessels are characterized by their unique form, featuring a spherical body with a spout and a single handle, resembling a miniature pitcher. What sets them apart is the decorative attachment of ceramic dolphins, typically encircling the spout.

Dolphins held significant symbolism in Daunian art and culture, often associated with themes of water, fertility, and the sea. The presence of dolphins on these askoi suggests a connection to maritime life or possibly religious significance related to water and fertility. These vessels showcase the artistic skill of the Daunian people, with the dolphins rendered in a stylized manner to emphasize their graceful and sinuous forms.