Black glazed orange clay, white and yellow paint highlights
H. 34 cm.
A few broken pieces glued back together, otherwise very well preserved.
Provenance: Galerie Saint Honoré, Cannes. Acquired from this gallery by the last owner in 1997.
Comparative bibliography: A. D. Trendall, The red-figured vases of Lucania, Campania and Sicily, Oxford 1967, Pl.128-131
The crater was the Greek banqueting vessel par excellence. High-alcohol wine was mixed with water to reduce the strength of the beverage and prevent drunkenness, which, contrary to popular belief, was highly frowned upon in Greek society. Three types of crater were available to comastes (bankers): columnar, chalice-shaped and bell-shaped. This last type is represented here. The decoration is spread over the two sides between the handles. Side A, the most ambitious, depicts a battle between two hoplites (infantrymen). Each is armed with a shield, crested helmet and spear. Side B depicts two ephebes in conversation on either side of a stele. They are dressed in himation, a kind of heavy woollen cloak. The scenes are framed at the top by friezes of ivy and olive leaves, and at the bottom by friezes of Grecians and wavelets. The handles are richly decorated with palmettes and scrolls. The finely executed details of the figures make this crater a magnificent example of Campanian ceramics from the 4th century BC.
25 000 €