Apulian Red-figure Hydria


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Object Description

A delicate Ancient Greek hydria vase, from the South Italian colonies, painted in the red-figure technique. The vase features a large body which rests on a small foot. Three handles extend from the shoulders and from the cylindrical neck.

Side A features the majority of decoration, with a seated lady of fashion. She holds within her right hand a large casket and in her left hand a large palm frond. She is dressed elegantly, as befits a ‘lady of fashion’. Her hair has been styled in a graceful chignon, covered with a sphendone (a headscarf) and radiate stephane (crown). Jewellery at her neck and wrists have been added in additional white pigment, coloured with a yellow-ochre wash. Floral additions have been added to act as background fillers.
Side B features a large palmette design with swirling floral motifs.

The Hydria is a vase with a long history, used from the 8th century BC. It had three handles; two for holding and one at the back of the neck for pouring. It is most typically associated with storing water but evidence has been found to suggest other liquids / items were stored in the vase type, such as ashes at a cemetery. Such a vase could have been used to pour libations or left as a grave offering to a young woman.

Object History

Ex private Cambridge collection

Object Condition

Very fine; some professional repairs

Object Details

  • material
  • dimensions
    W:18.5 x H:25.5 centimeters

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)208 364 4565

Dealer Location

The Gallery
Trent Park Equestrian Centre
Eastpole Farm House, Bramley Road
Oakwood, N14 4UW, United Kingdom

St James's Ancient Art
10 Charles II Street, Ground Floor
St James