Magna Graecian Terracotta Red-Figure Dish

£ 1,000.00

A fine Magna Graecian, Apulian, terracotta dish, featuring a shallow body which sits upon a small ring foot with a short stem. The centre of the dish has been decorated with a prominant, ‘lady of fashion’ in red figure technique. She is depicted facing left, with decorative details added in white tones. The lady is portrayed wearing a radiate ‘stephane’ (crown) and an elaborate headpiece, with her hair tied in a chignon with a ribbon. She is also adorned with delicate jewellery, including a beaded necklace and boss-pendant earrings. The tondo is framed by a band of black waves and an outer band of white laurel leaves painted on black glaze. The design is completed with a frieze of black rays on the raised, flat rim. To the reverse, the dish has been enriched with a black glaze across the body and the foot, whilst the rim and the stem are reserved.

Date: Circa mid-late 4th century BC
Provenance: Ex PA private collection, London, acquired in 1980s.
Condition: Fine condition with minor chipping and scratching of the paint. Minor chip to the rim. Old collector’s label to the base.


The lustrous black gloss of this vessel indicates that it is from the Apulian region of southern Italy. From the 8th century BC onwards, southern Italy was populated by a vast number of Greek colonies, so much so that the Romans referred to the area as Magna Graecia – ‘Great Greece’. These Greek colonies were instrumental in bringing Greek culture to Italy, greatly influencing Roman literature, philosophy, and material culture in turn. Items from Apulia are characterised by their glossy black glaze and by polychromatic pigments of white, ochre, and maroon.

To find out more about Greek pottery vessels please see our relevant blog post: Collecting Greek Vases.

Weight 447.1 g
Dimensions W 24.5 x H 5 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, Christie’s Antiquities Auction, 17 Oct 2023, Lot 51

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