The rounded body with tapering neck and four crescentic lug handles pierced, on flaring foot with concave base
With Galerie Heidi Vollmoeller, Zurich, 1973
Christie's, London, The Heidi Vollmoeller Collection, 29 October 2003, lot 539
American private collection, 2003-2019
Possibly originally from Naxos. The Early Bronze Age culture of the Cyclades islands in Greece is renowned for its unique white marble vessels and idols. The marble kandila is a fine example from the Grotta-Pelos phase. Carved from glowing white marble, the effort to hollow out these stone vessels must have been considerable. Kandiles take their name from the modern Greek word for ‘lamp’, because their shape resembled that of sanctuary lamps found in Greek orthodox churches. Cords strung through the four pierced lugs evenly spaced around the body would have been used for hanging, or to attach a lid. Produced in both marble and clay and in a wide range of sizes, this vessel type typically held liquids, such as oil or wine.
For a kandila of similar form, see P. Getz-Gentle, Stone Vessels of the Cyclades in the Early Bronze Age, Pennsylvania, 1996, pl. 18d3.