Apulian Red-Figure Pelike

SKU AM.0026

400 BC to 300 BC


13.25″ (33.7cm) high





Gallery Location



Pelike is the term used to describe a type of amphora with two handles, where the broadest part of its body is below the mid-point of its height. The shape of the vessel was originally designed as a storage receptacle for liquids, particularly oil and wine, but it is likely that elaborately decorated examples such as this one served a funereal purpose.

The obverse depicts a draped female with her hair elegantly arranged beneath a sakkos. In her right hand she carries a mirror, whilst her left holds a kettledrum in a movement of gesture towards the naked male standing to the right. This figure wears only thronged sandals and a chlamys draped over his left arm. This cloth billows in the direction of his right leg which runs parallel to the figure’s outstretched right arm, clutching a bunch of grapes. The interplay of such parallels is widely observed on pottery from this period. A rosette and dotted ovolo motif runs above the figures, whilst a meander pattern is visible beneath.

The reverse shows two draped males facing one another, the figure to the right clutching a staff. A rosette and possibly a votive plaque are visible in the field. The figures are framed on both sides by a palmette complex. The same meander motif appears on the reverse but a laurel band above the figures replaces the rosettes on the obverse. – (AM.0026)

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