The black glazed lebes-pyxis with a globular body set on a short foot, with two arching handles and a knopped lid. Decorated with white, yellow and red slip, the obverse depicting a seated figure of winged Eros holding a mirror, with scrolling foliage to either side. The reverse with ovolo and dots.
Rugby School Art Museum, given around 1880 by Matthew Holbeche Bloxam (1805-1888), a
distinguished antiquarian and himself a Rugbeian. A nephew of the fourth
President of the Royal Academy, the great portrait painter and drawings
collector Sir Thomas Lawrence.
The pyxis (pl. pyxides) is a small round box, probably used for storing trinkets, ointments or cosmetics. The form of this example has its origins in Corinthian pyxides. Gnathian pottery was the work of Greek vase-painters from Apulia in South Italy. In this technique, the entire surface of
the vessel is painted black, then decorative motifs were applied in added colours.
The Painter of Lecce 1075 was an important figure in the development of Gnathia pottery, picking up from the initial stages and setting the pattern for later work. For further discussion, see J. R. Green, 'Some Gnathia Pottery in the J. Paul Getty Museum,' Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 3, Occasional Papers on Antiquities 2, Malibu, 1986, pp. 115-138, p. 123, figs. 12a-b; J.R. Green, 'Some Painters of Gnathia Vases,' in Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, no. 15, 1968, pp. 34-50.
For another vase of the same shape by the painter, see CVA Taranto (3) pl. 19, 3-4. There is also a little lekythos in Edinburgh with a head between wings: BICS 15, 1968, pl. 6c; CVA pl. 50, 12-13; an alabastron in the Museo Jatta in Ruvo with related floral work (old inv. 1230): E. Lanza Catti, 'La ceramica "di Gnathia", al Museo Nazionale Jatta di Ruvo di Puglia', Ipotesi di ricontestualizzazione, Rome, 2008.