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SALAMIS IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.
BY ALEXANDER PALMA DI CESNOLÀ, F.S.A.,
believed to indicate that a vessel, must have been wrecked at sea near that point, and that parts of her cargo were recovered from time to time; unless, indeed, the sea now covers the site of a manufactory of Samian ware. Fragments of Roman pottery have been dredged up from below the waves off Winchelsea, and other parts of the southern coast. It is only the pattern depicted in black or red, or incised on the dark grounds of some of these vessels, which gives us anything like a clue to the age, nation, or mode of design to which such works are due.1 It must be remembered that a large number of such antiquities are without patterns, and exhibit shapes so simple and characterless that they may belong to any period except the rudest. Observers of such relics never allow themselves to mistake simplicity or, to be more exact, defect of character, for the proofs of ancientness,
1 Mr. Sandwith, in the notice already referred to, makes an endeavour to classify the pottery into four classes:—1. The very early Greek red, highly glazed, with incised lines; and a few black, and red and black blended.
2. Delicate pale black with occasional patterns incised or raised, having a thin siliceous glaze.
3. .Vases with black, brown, and yellow fast colours, red and purple water colours, pale fawn ground upon a brick red body, clay not so fine and thin as that of the previous class. The forms of this class are amphorae, aslcoi, pinalces, oinochoes— red, with concentric circles and parallel lines, highly glazed; and pale buff, highly finished. Lamps of the form shown in fig. 304. 4. Style of decadence of native ceramic art. Coarse material; common design.
or the expression of extreme antiquity. No shrewder trap for tyros than this one is known to exist. On the other hand, it is often true that productions of the finest period of ceramic art are absolutely simple even to severity. Indeed, severity, if not plainness, is an essential in 'the finest mode of art as applied to "pots", and to everything else. Amphorae and jars are comprised in this collection, than which nothing could be less ornate; and yet they belong to the best style of Greek design, and are unrelieved by patterns in colour or otherwise. Doubtless,, the greater number of the vases before us are Greek. There can be no question that the largest amphorae, some of which are between four and five feet high, and capacious enough to contain a well-grown man, are of the Greek period, although they exhibit the Egyptian lotus (see fig. 266) in exquisite compositions as to lines and proportions. There is nothing archaic or stiff in the enrichments of these vessels, and we could not fail to expect such characteristics as these in works which were due to the Egyptian domination in Cyprus. The contours of these great vessels are perfectly and purely Greek; the lotus occurs often enough in Greek decorations when combined in the mode before us. The accessory ornaments on these amphorae are exclusively Greek. There are two amphorae of the second order as to' size, which bear traces of Assyrian influence in some of their decorations; but even these are not without testimonies to ' the effect of Greek taste on the minds of the makers. The taller of these has dark handles, and round its neck a very broad band, within which, besides other elements, is a floral conventionalised pattern of a volute enclosing within the "horns" respectively a rosette. The other work of the two in question is smaller, has a broader base, less elegant proportions of handles, neck, and body, and is of inferior workmanship. About the shoulders, on the line of the handles, are groups, four in each, of the concentric ring ornament, which is more Assyrian than Greek, and less Egyptian than either. This example seems to me older than any of the above-named instances of the first and second class in the order of size. It may be, however, that its insufficiency is merely a proof of the comparative incompetence of the maker than a sign of the antiquity of his handiwork. There is a fine specimen, in the second order as to size; of Greek art, comprising the lotus (see fig. 266) in the band at the line of the handles. This is very typical. The throat of this example comprises the guil-loche in upright lines, and compartments of crossed and reversed chevrons, forming a diaper. The handles are unpainted, and not very well proportioned. Of the third order, in respect to size, is a numerous group of vases, bottles, jars, jugs, or pitchers. Great variety of decoration has been employed on these examples, and, so far as it is possible to judge, I am willing to accept the idea that two classes of this order are Phœnician, or, at least, less Greek than either of the others. The Egyptian and the Greek artists never, I believe, departed from the true logic of design in enriching anything which came to their hands for the purpose of being decorated. They could, I sincerely believe, never have brought themselves so far to outrage the sense which was within them as to depart from its instinct, and place on a vessel an ornament which did not more or less completely harmonise with the contours of the article itself. Concentric circles, enclosing diapers or collars, of running patterns, as in the lotus bands before-named, all of which are continuous and complète in themselves, whether they include rosettes or chevrons, or what not else, pertain to the Greeks, or their teachers, the Egyptians. Violations of this devotion, this instructive logic of propriety, seem to me to indicate the art of a people whose ǽsthetic conceptions were not high; and as to who that people were, I think, admits no doubt. The
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