An Apulian Red-Figure Bell Krater, ca. 4th century BCE


Side A: The scene on the obverse probably has Dionysian associations, which appear regularly on Apulian bell kraters. To the right, a woman, perhaps a maenad in view of the thyrsus she holds in her left-hand faces a young satyr. She wears a long chiton of light material, through which the outlines of her body are clearly visible, her hair is caught up in a kekryphalos tied with white ribbons, which a bunch emerging from the back. She wears earrings, a necklace, bracelets on both arms and slippers. In her right hand, she holds up a rectangular box (cista) out to the young satyr she faces. The satyr is standing, shown naked with pointed ears and small tail, his weight on the left leg, right leg bent at the knee, holding a ribboned bunch of grapes in his left hand and a torch in right, his hair bound in a berried fillet with small horns at the front. At his feet is a small white dog, stands on its hind legs, looking up at him, front paws raised.

Side B: An elaborately dressed woman leans on a column, in her right hand she holds a fruit-bearing olive branch, in her left, she extends a bouquet of flowers to Eros, shown seated on a rock pile and holding a phiale in his outstretched right hand. She wears a long chiton, a necklace, bracelets, and slippers; her hair is caught up in a kekryphalos with ribbons, a bunch emerging from the back. The hair of Eros is caught up in a similar kekryphalos; he wears a necklace around his neck and torso, sandals on his feet, bangles on both arms, his upper left thigh and ankle bracelets on his left leg. His wings, spread out the back are enhanced with white.

The krater features a meander frieze with dotted squares below, a laurel wreath below the rim, palmettes with scrolling tendrils either side below each handle, details in added white.

Condition: Small losses to the glaze particularly at the rim area, minor chipping to the mouth, neither detract.  Otherwise intact and in very fine condition overall, the body with good patina.

Dimensions: Height: 12 inches (30.48 cm)

Provenance:  J.P. Backes private collection, Germany; William Russell private collection, New Mexico, thereafter P. Borromeo private collection, Virginia.

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