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A Magna-Grecia Red-figure Pelike, Apulia, Southern Italy, ca. 380 - 360 BC

decorating the obverse side is the most charming scene.  Here we see a young bejewelled lady of fashion wearing a long himation, cradling a parasol in the crook of her left arm and holding a leopard skin sybene (flute case) in her right hand.  She stands facing a youth who is naked but for a cloak that is gracefully draped over both arms.  He offers her the large phiale he is holding in his left hand, while above him flys a white dove holding a laurel wreath.  Between the couple stands a large white stele unusually rendered in three quarter view; the field is decorated with a ribboned fillet and flowers. The reverse, in a symphony of graceful, flowing movement, portrays a running woman who is, perhaps a Maenad, one of the female followers of Dionysus. She holds a small casket in her outstretched right arm that is suspended over an altar, and a large sprig of laurel with fillets attached in her left.  There is a band of laurel and dotted ovolo at the neck; palmettes and foliate tendrils under handles, band of meander and dotted squares below, with sumptuous details in added yellow and white.  A most handsome example.

For a related example, refer pelike with accession number  01.8.14 in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Exhibited:  Workhouse Art Center, Virginia,  International Ceramics Exhibition, August 13-October 16, 2016

Height: 32 cm (12.6 inches), Width: 19 cm (7.5 inches)

Minor chip to the rim otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance:   Dr. Robert McDonald, NYC from his stepfather Mr. McCullough who received it in Bari, Apulia as a gift of thanks from the Italian government in the 1920’s.  Thereafter gifted to Harper & Shirley Moulton in 1980 and then by descent to their daughter Penn Moulton in 2005.  Authenticated by the Met Museum in 1953-4.  With original documentation; signed letter by Penn Moulton with provenance details and receipt from Met Museum.

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