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Vases

vase, found, romans, lids, body, precious, canopic, handles and beautifully

VASES, vaies, decorative vessels of vari ous shapes and materials, generally with one or more handles and variously embellished and ornamented by means of relief work, incising, pigments or otherwise, and used for many pur poses. The vase form usually consists of the following parts or members: rim, neck, shoulder, body or belly, stem and foot; any part of which, however, may be absent. Attachments to vases are handles and covers. Vases without feet are known as spode vases. Vase body forms are: spherical, cylindrical, oviform, pear-shaped (piriform), hemispherical, etc. Vases used by the ancients as receptacles for human ashes when the bodies of the dead were disposed of by cremation and known generally as gcinerary vases" are usually classified as urns. The an cient Egyptians used a peculiar form of vases in their funeral ritual; they are known as canopic vases because manufactured at Canopus (now Aboukir). They are found composed of clay, alabaster, limestone, etc. The early ones had flat lids (5th and 6th dynasties), but later the lids assumed the form of human and animal heads. These canopic vases are in sets of four and are dedicated to the Four Children of the god Horus, namely, Tuamut (jackal headed) ; Qebhsennuf (hawk-headed) ; Mestha (man-headed) ; Harpe (dog-headed). They were placed at the four corners of the sar cophagus and protected the viscera of the em balmed apportioned as follows: Heart and lungs; liver and gall; stomach ; intestines, dedi cated respectively to the above deities. The Etruscans adopted these canopic vases but at tempted to fashion the lids as a likeness of the deceased. The Gieeks and Romans dedicated certain fancifully-made vases to the gods in their temples—these are known as ex-voto vases. The ancient Greeks and Romans made drinking vases out of rock crystal and other semi. precious stones which they termed diatreta be cause the outside ornament was pierced and reticulated, in order, it is said, to enable the drinker to handle a cool outer surface while the contents were hot. Very interesting ex amples of such are extant. Greatly admired by the Romans were the murrhine vases for which they paid their weight in gold; they were so called from the substance of which they were made (an Oriental precious mineral termed murra) and of which we have a very indistinct knowledge. Nero paid for his cup of murra, with a handle, over $50,000. A flourishing in dustry in vase production was carried on by the Romans about the 1st century A.D. at Arretium (present Arrezzo) ; these Arretine clay vases with their red varnish found much appreciation in their day. But the most wonder ful vases dating from classical times in our possession are, probably, the Barbarini-glass vase (see PORTLAND VASE) with its variegated layers beautifully worked into cameo carving; the vases in the excavated silver of Hildesheim" and the of Bernay" (see SILVERWARE) with their beautifully executed repousse ornament; the Orsini coupe, etc. In

the catacombs of the early Christian era are found small glass vases containing a red sedi ment, which analysis proves to be blood, and canonically pronounced by the Roman Church to be that of the early Christian martyrs in whose tombs they have been found. They are known as sangutnolentce. From the 16th cen tury we come across beautifully turned and decorated vases of rock crystal; noted Italian artists doing such work are Valerio Vicentino, Jacopo de Trezzo and the Misseronis. Vying in renown for vase making with the classic Greeks were the Chinese with their fictile vases. Their forms are equally numerous, chiefly rect angular, octagonal, hexagonal, cylindrical, and those known to the auctioneer as single, double and treble gourd shape, beaker form, baluster form, lance shape, gallipot form. The inverted pear form was a favorite with the Celestials. Lovely vase forms as well as odd were produced in bronze by the Chinese; many decorated beau tifully with cloisonné enamel, etc., are of very distant date and fetch great prices. Other won derful vase makers of the Orient are the In dians and Persians with their slender, long necked bottle forms done in lovely intricate arabesque damascening in silver, gold, etc. Coming back to Europe we find fictile vases of artistic form and decoration of great original ity in the earthenware of the Moors of Spain, the most noted being the great lustred "Alham bra" vase with its quaint fiat wing handles and decoration in Arab script and painted poly chrome enamel. Other quaint vase forms are found in the German Siegburg (16th century) stoneware, such as the Ringkriige (annular vases) with the open centre leaving only a circle of hollow pottery to serve as a body; the Eulen (candelabra vases) utilizing the arms and mouth for candle sockets. Coming to the 18th century we find true originality and oddity in the Sevres vaisseau d mat (masted vessel) a vase consisting of a conventionalized hull, mast and rigging. Vases in precious metals entering into the ecclesiastical service of the altar are the ciborium and the ostensorium. (See ECCLESIASTICAL ART). Perhaps the strang est use to which vases have been put is found in the vases found in the walls of the old Roman theatres and public halls, which are supposed to izive the room better acoustic (or hearing) value. See GREEK VASES ; CE