Paestum red-figure bell crater

SKU AM.0018

400 BC to 300 BC


16.7″ (42.4cm) high





Gallery Location



The wide-mouthed bell krater was designed for mixing wine with water. This superb vessel may have been utilised at a symposium, or drinking party, an occasion for philosophical discussion as well as drinking and music.

The obverse depicts two warriors, both turned towards a draped male figure standing on the viewer’s left. This figure, wearing a sakkon, gesticulates at the nearest warrior, who leans back in a relaxed fashion with his legs crossed and his left arm resting on his shield. The second warrior holds his shield high on his shoulder and both wear short belted patterned tunics and helmets. The figures are flanked on both sides by a palmette complex. A laurel design adorns the band beneath the rim, and a meander motif is repeated around the lower register.

The reverse shows two young draped males turned towards a third male, perhaps a tutor, who motions with his hands. The form of the composition mirrors that of the obverse, A wreath and a rectangular object, possibly a pinax (votive plaque), are depicted in the field. Again, a palmette complex frames these wonderfully animated figures. A tongue motif surrounds the handles.

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