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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

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#130984

Condition

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.

Starting Bid

$2,000.00

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Greek Attic Black-Figure Kalpis - Satyr & Maenad

Auction ended on Thu, Feb 15, 2018
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Estimate $4,000 - $6,000
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Internet Bid
$1,895.00
Starting Bid
$2,000.00
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