The stirrup jar is so-called because of the inverted stirrup-shape of the handles.
The lovely, fluid octopus design is typical of the Late Minoan period. Marine motifs, like the octopus, work well on a variety of vase shapes, because their shapes are simple, irregular and sinuous and translate well to two-dimensional representation. This Marine Style is also characterised by 'horror vacui' , namely 'a horror of the empty', so a need to fill every available space with some ornamentation.
The original of the piece upon which this delightful miniature is based, was found at the palace at Knossos, is in the museum in Heraklion, Crete, and dates to ca 1500 BC.
Minoan octopus stirrup jar (mini)
- Height: 5cm