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Home > Auctions > 4th June 2024 > Monumental Greek Apulian Red-Figure Calyx-Krater

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LOT 0092

GBP (£) 18,000 - 24,000
EUR (€) 21,130 - 28,180
USD ($) 22,940 - 30,580

Opening Bid
£10,000 (EUR 11,741; USD 12,743) (‡+bp*)

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Bids: 0

22 in. (7.6 kg, 56 cm high).

With elegant fluted body, drum foot and elaborate up-swung handles, displaying polychrome panels on both sides, between a laurel wreath below the rim and a band of Greek meander motif; Side A: the hero Bellerophon riding Pegasus, wearing a Thessalian hat (petasos), depicted nude except for a cloak fastened at the centre of the neck by a round clasp, the hero towering above the other two mythological characters beneath him: Princess Filinoe, on the left, crowned and dressed in a long chiton, and King Iobates of Lycia, dressed in Persian fashion with a long sleeved red tunic worn under a long dress, the field with a representation of an altar, two palm branches over a volute krater, a shield, a javelin, a lotus flower, and above the hero a hanging shield and two clamydes; Side B: figure of a young beardless man, wrapped in a large cloak and holding a staff, with windows and floral scrolls on the background.

Acquired in the mid 1980s-1990s.
From the family collection of Mr S.A., Switzerland, thence by descent.
Private collection since the late 1990s.

Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by a search certificate number no.12068-218200.

Cf. Trendall, A.D., ‘Paestan Pottery: a Revision and a Supplement’, in Papers of the British School at Rome, 1952, no.20, pp.1-53, pls. I-III, for similar bell-kraters but with different iconography; see also British Museum accession no.1867,0508.1335, in Walters, H.B., Forsdyke, E.J., Smith, C.H., Catalogue of Vases in British Museum, London, 1893-1925, no.F270.

The decoration is very different on the two sides: on the main one, the painter has created a large mythological scene as if it was a summary. The scene comprising the famous hero Bellerophon riding Pegasus, the winged horse, flying above Iobates and his daughter (who will become the hero's wife). The king sent Bellerophon to perform impossible mission, among which the best known is the fight against the Chimera (monster with the body of a lion and a goat, with a snake's tail and two heads, one of a lion and the other of a goat).