Janus-Faced Terracotta Amphoriskos with Medusa

Culture: Egyptian
Period: Ptolemaic period, 332-30 B.C.
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: 6.2 cm high
Price: Sold
Ref: 1439
Provenance: Private collection Dr. Daniel Fouquet (1850-1914), acquired in Cairo, Egypt. The French doctor lived from 1881 in Egypt and made a name for himself because he together with renowned Egyptologists such as Gaston Maspero did research on mummies. After his passing his collection of ancient art was auctioned with Drouot in Paris in June 1922. With a copy of the publication from 1921.
Condition: Except for some minor wear on the rim and on the base intact.
Description: Janus-faced terracotta amphoriskos from Memphis with diligently worked out portraits of Medusa in Hellenistic style. The former terrifying figure had during this period already human, almost pleasant features. The round faces with prominent cheekbones present a broad smile with visible rows of teeth. The nose is bulbous, the round chin prominent. The faces are modelled from the same form, but the hairstyles are different. The face on one side is framed by ringlets on the forehead and on the sides by corkscrew curls. The face on the other side has straight hair, which is parted in the centre, and cascades on the sides in long strands. Above the faces triple-row, dotted hair wreaths. The amphoriskos is flat on its base. The cylindrical spout with semi-circular handles, which turn into volutes at the bottom. The flask was already published in: Paul Perdrizet “Les Terres Cuites Grecques D’Egypte de la Collection Fouquet”, page 106, number 279, as well as on page LXI as illustration. Due to the different hairstyles, Perdrizet only sees on one side a Medusa, but on the other side the face of an Egyptian woman.