Greek Apulian Red-Figure Stand


A beautiful three-tiered Greek, Apulian terracotta ‘dinos’ stand decorated in the red-figure technique. It is comprised of a trumpet-shaped base with carinated balusters and a broad upper face with a dished centre. The bottom tier is painted with the side profile of a fashionable female head, shown with decadent jewellery such as a headband, necklace and earrings. The rest of the surface is covered with running wave patterns around the horizontal axes of the stand, a sunburst rosette at the top in the centre, and floral motifs elsewhere.

Date: Circa 4th century BC
Provenance: French collection, 1990s-early 2000s. Ex Hampel Auctions, Munich, Germany, 1990s.
Condition: Good condition with minor chipping and scratching of the paint.


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.

Stands such as this would have been used to hold large bowls, known as a dinos or lebes. They were used specifically to mix water and wine, as it was considered barbaric to consume wine neat and without mixing it. Examples of both the bowl and the stand rarely survive in terracotta however they also influence bronze examples, which are more commonly seen. The name ‘dinos’, is modern terminology, whilst the ancient term would have been a ‘lebes’. The bowl was usually rounded at the base, hence the need for a stand. On vase painting, the ‘lebes’ was shown as a vessel used at symposia.

To discover more on ancient Greek vase shapes, please see our blog post: Collecting Guide: Types of Ancient Greek Vase

Weight 843.5 g
Dimensions W 13.8 x H 24.8 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, London, item no. 1856,1226.168

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