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Biot antique Terracotta olive jars, a 20,000 years old legacy that refuses to go obsolete.

July 25, 2016

French olive jars originated from a small potting village in the south of France called ‘Biot’.Untitled-5

Biot jars were made entirely by hand, without mold or even a spinning wheel (like the one we’ve seen with Demi Moor and Patrick Swazi in Ghost!).biot jars part c

They were made from a beautiful grey clay from ‘Vaugrenier’ and a red clay from ‘Clausonnes’.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Both clay pits were pre-historic and were used by ancient cultures to make their own pots and wares.Shadyside-2008-Atrium

What we call French Clay is also known as Muscovite, Illite, Cookeite, and Kaolinite.
A mixture of two or more of those clays was used centuries ago to achieve their perfect desired signature color.Kronos Stone in the Wine-Cellar-2c

After the clay mixing, the round bottom was laid out then circular ropes of clay were stacked on top of one another.

The clay jar was then smoothed inside and out by bare hands, left to dried out for a day before the kiln and varnishing.In Stock-02d

Once completed the olive jars were used to store flour, dried fruits, dried meets, nuts, other food items and last but not least to store olive oil and olives in its brine and oils.img976

Many authentic antique olive oil terracotta jars will still contain olive wax residues at their bottoms.4J699_W05755-401-1

Glaze drips like the green and brown drips in the above picture is very desirable.

This “drip” is often referred to in french as “mother-in-laws-tears” (don’t ask us why!).

These drips of color are derived from the glazing of a jar dripping out before it dried during the firing process.
Antique-Terracotta-By-Ancient-Surfaces-6The hand made process of the rim coloring and the dripping are what makes them so special and highly sought after by antiquarians and collectors alike.Antique-Terracotta-By-Ancient-Surfaces-9Jarriers have left us their seals of production typically on the neck of the jars or on the bottom ring.Biot Jar-03

The most unique feature to the Biot jar was their honey colored glaze at the neck of the jar as seen in the picture below.2902735222_4be9cb0dfe_o

These jars are special to own.BEST-IMG_8557-c

If you would like to have one you can call Ancient Surfaces and inquire about our current available reclaimed selections.Terracotta-Jars-2

We travels extensively throughout France including visits to our collection yards.Hallway Neptune Roman Mosaic-2

We have over the years selectively hand picked the right antique biot jars from these and other areas in France Italy and Spain.Antique-Terracotta-By-Ancient-Surfaces-5


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