A refined example of its type, this vase belongs to the earlier group of shoulder oinochoi, as distinguished by the sloping shoulder.
The oinochoe (pl. oinochoi) constitutes a very large category of vessels which had many everyday uses, acting as a means for containing and pouring a wide variety of liquids, including oils, wine and water. The shoulder oinochoe has a low foot, a short neck, a low arching handle and most often a trefoil lip. The body has no decoration, though later examples sometimes have ribbed walls. The glaze continues inside the neck of the jug, but the base is always reserved. The earlier examples in this class, which date from the late sixth to early fifth centuries BC, have a more sloping shoulder than those developed around 450BC, where the shoulder is more developed.
Colonel Norman Colville, MC (1893–1974), Penheale, UK; thence by descent