A black figured Attic colonette crater, ca. 530 - 520 B.C.
Antique Arms & Armour, Hunting Antiques and Works of Art, Antiquities | A79aw | Live auction | 415 Lots
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Wide two-stepped base with ovoid body and distinctive shoulder. The black neck with a slight concave profile, clearly offset by an edge flaring more widely at the top than at the bottom. Above a wide rim with deeply hanging and slightly drawn-in lip. The rim between the picture panels extended by protrusions held by small columns on either side (colonettes). Over the foot a red field with lancet-shaped rays and red brown stripe at top. Surmounted by a glossy, black glazed section which extends to the lower edge of the neck, but between the colonettes two large rectangular sections with a red base.
On one side a symmetrically designed composition: two Hoplites fully dressed with greaves, cuirass, helmet and shield approaching each other with raised lances. Behind either soldier a youth draped in a gown holding a spear. On the other side a picture of Hercules kneeling and wrestling a lion. On the left behind Hercules a bearded man with cloak in his left (probably his companion Iolaos). On the right, behind the lion, Athena with shield and lance. Over Hercules hanging from the edge of the picture a cloak. The picture panels framed by two rows of grapevines flanked by lines, at top an Ionic kymation. On the lip also two grapevines separated by a line, at top zigzag lines with palmette décor at the protrusions.
This piece comes from an old collection and was already restored twice to stabilise the sharded vessel with different coloured clay from the inside. Another restauration of the piece which was broken a third time has given the crater its original appearance without overpainting the minor replacements of smaller losses. The first two restorations were thereby not altered. The figural scenes mostly preserved with the original colours without significant overpainting. Height 32.5 cm. Maximum width 35 cm. A representative example of late archaic, Attic vase painting with attractive scenes. Two stylised and formally closely related pieces of the same workshop are housed in the "Musées d'art et d'histoire" in Geneva. Inventory number 15053.1937: portrayal of a gigantomachy and two lions slaying a bull, (Origins unknown, estate Gustave Revilliod 1890). Inventory number 15041.1937: also gigantomachy and Hercules with lion between Athena and Iolaos, youths with spears at side.
Provenance: From a private collection kept in Germany, purchased in the 1990s in the English art trade.
Condition: III +