Featured Interesting old pot, but what is it?

Discussion in 'Pottery, Glass, and Porcelain' started by 2manybooks, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    2 handled pot 1a (593x640).jpg 2 handled pot 2a (632x640).jpg 2 handled pot 3a (626x640).jpg 2 handled pot 5 (640x616).jpg 2 handled pot 4a (640x596).jpg This pot was included in an auction box with something else I recognized and wanted. But I have not had any luck identifying its origin or age. 6" in height, it is a low fired, terracotta type of ceramic. Wheel thrown with skill, with thin walls. Glazed on the inside with a red glaze. There are some glaze smudges on the outside, where messy fingers might have gripped the pot while pouring the glaze out. I imagine the potter finishing his rather fine work, then handing it off to his assistant to apply the glaze with a little less care than the potter showed. The glaze smudges lie on top of the black smudges - perhaps the black is from a bisque firing before the glaze was applied?
    I am particularly curious about the function of the 2 handles placed close together on one side.
    I have found one very similar example on shutterstock:


    Their description is "Antique handmade ceramic vase... used to bring water or wine". The same jar turned up on another stock photo site, where they described it as "ancient", which piqued my interest. But neither site said where it might be from.

    I would welcome any suggestions. Thanks!
  2. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

    James Conrad, Lucille.b and judy like this.
  3. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Lucille.b, judy and i need help like this.
  4. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    I had this pot once:

    Don't know it's purpose, but the seller told me it was Calabrian. I thought it was a very nice piece of utilitarian pottery, the kind that's been made by the local potters for millennia.
  5. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Thank you, moreotherstuff - that is the hint I needed. Googling Calabrian pottery, I found this on a website for Calabrian tourism:
    The jar can be placed up to the fire while the handles remain cooler. I also found another image (which they won't let me copy) of a similar jar in use around a pottery kiln. You are right that it may be a very old type. Thanks!
  6. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    All right, I think we have this nailed down:
    "A pignata (pron: pin-nyah-ta) is a southern Italian clay cooking pot with a unique design that renders everything you put into it completely delicious. Nestled in embers fireside, they are used to slow cook everything from beans to stews to ragus and soups - part of la cucina antica - the ancient way of cooking. The pignata is the ancestor of today's crock pot with a design and utility that hasn't changed since the days of the Roman Empire. Pignate (pl) are fairly common in Italy but difficult to find here."

    It is very satisfying when everything comes together. :happy:
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