The Pithari: Greek Oil Jar for the People
The pithari, or oil jar, is one of the classics of Greek pottery design and is still used as storage, especially in Greek homes to store the family olive oil. In ancient Minoan culture, both liquids and cereals were stored in these large terra cotta pots, but they were also used as low-tech air conditioners by filling them with water in hot weather which would then evaporate, causing a cooling effect.
In our experienced opinion, there could be nothing more admirable than an antique Greek oil jar used as a focal piece either inside or outside. Though perfectly matched to a Mediterranean setting, it is a bold statement for every style.
Here’s a story for you: Ahhh, Athens…the Acropolis…the food… the air. A chance sighting of one small old Greek pot in a doorway led us to a friendship with a family in Athens with a wonderful antiques store, and at their home was a cache of old oil jars. Since that fateful meeting, our bond has strengthened and our kind and helpful friend continues to help us unearth these fantastic old pieces.
At Eye of the Day, these stout and graceful pieces of Mediterranean history stand sentinel throughout the store. Each piece is unique and yet they are all basically the same. Some are heavily whitewashed, and on some the wash has worn away in places and the aged beauty of the terra cotta clay shows through. Many have no white, but instead they have darkened with age.
Whether you call them antique Greek pitharis, oil jars, storage jars, pots or even PLANTERS, our extensive collection is a favorite of the design community as well as everyone having the opportunity to see them.