Bell Crater

Apulian ceramist

Puglia, 4th century BC.

Material: Terracotta decorated with red figures

Size: Altezza 28 cm

Review by The Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la città metropolitana di Firenze e per le province di Pistoia e Prato, dott. Michele bueno

Ancient bell crater of Apulian production of the second half of the 4th century BC. The piece was sculpted with pinkish hazel figulina clay and appears to be embellished and finished with black paint and white overpainting.
The bell-shaped crater is characterised by a distinct everted lip with a rounded rim on the upper part, it has two rod-shaped handles at the sides and a so-called echinus pedestal at the base. The piece has rich and elegant decorations finished with motifs: for example the lip is framed by a laurel wreath at the bottom and by a saving thread above; below the two figurative scenes there is a meander motif; near the handles there is a fan-shaped palmetto between two pairs of spirals; both of the handles are adorned by a pod at the join and finally, between the two handles there is a saving band. Both sides of the crater are delicately decorated. Side A is animated by a scene representing the offering: a woman with a chiton and a radial crown is seated on a rock and turned to the left with the right hand stretched forward in the act of receiving a gift; in front of her you can see a satyr with tail and feral ears turned to the right with the left foot resting on a rock; he is naked, with a white tapeworm around his head and holding a mirror with his right upward hand while holding a crown with the other hand. A writing tablet can be recognised in the space above the satyr. Side B instead, shows a conversation scene between two men with curly hair who stand and face each other wearing a himation; the man on the left is leaning on a walking stick. Also on this side of the bell crater presents a writing tablet (?), and two halteres next to each man.  The crater is intact except for the lip that has been reassembled.

The work was analysed by the Nucleo Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale of Florence and resulted to be legally sourced. Also, it has obtained the approval for sale by the Soprintendenza Archeologica Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la città metropolitana di Firenze e le province di Pistoia e Prato.

The piece comes with a permit for free movement issued by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage & Activities of the Florence Office.

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