The Hydria is a vase with a long history, used from the 8th century BC. It had three handles; two for holding and one at the back of the neck for pouring. It is most typically associated with storing water but evidence has been found to suggest other liquids / items were stored in the vase type, such as ashes at a cemetery. Such a vase could have been used to pour libations or left as a grave offering to a young woman.
Apulian Red-figure Hydria
A delicate Ancient Greek hydria vase, from the South Italian colonies, painted in the red-figure technique. The vase features a large body which rests on a small foot. Three handles extend from the shoulders and from the cylindrical neck.
Side A features the majority of decoration, with a seated lady of fashion. She holds within her right hand a large casket and in her left hand a large palm frond. She is dressed elegantly, as befits a ‘lady of fashion’. Her hair has been styled in a graceful chignon, covered with a sphendone (a headscarf) and radiate stephane (crown). Jewellery at her neck and wrists have been added in additional white pigment, coloured with a yellow-ochre wash. Floral additions have been added to act as background fillers.
Side B features a large palmette design with swirling floral motifs.
Provenance: Ex private Cambridge collection
Condition: Very fine; some professional repairs