Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0019A
Greece, Athens, ca. 5th century BCE. An impressive Attic black-figure kalpis, adorned with a panel featuring a satyr pursuing a maenad. In Greek mythology, the satyr was one of a Dionysian (Dionysos also Dionysus, Roman counterpart being Bacchus - god of wine, pleasure, ritual madness, ecstasy, and theatre) ensemble of companions, usually presenting equine ears and tails, permanent erections, the body of a man, and a bearded visage. They are best known for their seemingly insatiable sexual desires, and they loved chasing maenads - later known as nymphs - as we see in this scene. The kalpis is essentially a variant of a hydria with three handles which facilitated easy lifting and pouring. A wonderful example, and given its Dionysian iconography, ideal for any oenophile! Size: 6" W handlespan x 7" H (15.2 cm x 17.8 cm)

A dotted border, framed by striations, surrounds the saucy scene. Note how the vase painter went to great pains to communicate the action-packed drama. The satyr is presented in composite profile, so that we can at once understand his forward motion as he pursues the maenad and simultaneously appreciate his frontal face's expression and state of arousal. The maenad, dressed in her copious garments makes a valiant attempt to escape his grasp. All is skillfully delineated via the black figure technique with added incised details defining the satyr's bold facial features, beard, and penis as well as the flowing drapery and headdress adorning the maenad.

Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection acquired before 2000

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.



Normal surface wear with some scuffs and pigment loss commensurate with age. Minor enhancement to pigment. Section of the rim was restored (a small section - less than an inch). Phallus had been obscured in Victorian England and was later restored before 1995 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Greek Attic Black-Figure Kalpis - Satyr & Maenad

Estimate $4,000 - $6,000Feb 15, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA