The body of this small black askos is shaped like a knuckle-bone or astragalus, a symbol of good luck in Ancient Greece. The name "askos" comes from the Greek word for a wineskin, but it was not used for vases of this type in Ancient Greece. The term is used today for squat, closed vases that have a spout and a handle to control pouring. The spout on this vase is placed in the centre of the top of body and leans at a slight angle towards the pointed end of the knuckle-bone. It has a narrow neck and flaring mouth with a squarish lip. The flat strap handle is made from two flattened coils of clay that have been joined together, but not completely smoothed, so that a groove remains in the centre. The handle passes from just below the lip on the spout to the top of the rounded end of the knuckle-bone shape. Before being attached, a double or Herakles knot was tied in the middle of the handle; it is situated where the handle curves around and down onto the body of the vase. The vase is in good condition with a repair on the lip and slight wear in places. The black is shiny except for inside the mouth where it is rather dull.
Purchased from Charles Ede Ltd, London, with funds from the Castlehow Bequest, 1972.
c. 400 BC
Aegean, Greek, and Classical, “Knucklebone Askos,” RD Milns Antiquities Museum Online Exhibitions, accessed October 4, 2022, https://uqantiquitiesonlineexhibitions.omeka.net/items/show/148.