Greece, Classical period, ca. mid 5th century BCE. An elegant, large, hammered bronze hydria, with cast handles, rim, and foot. The handles are smooth, rather than fluted as many examples are, and give the piece a flowing appearance. The rim flares outward, its edge rolled down and textured with bordered ovoids. The patina has beautiful blue, turquoise, and teal hues. Hydria frequently appear in scenes of women carrying water from fountains, which was one of the duties of women during this time period. The two handles at the sides were used for lifting, while the handle at the back was used to dip and pour. However, bronze examples seem not to have been practical, but rather to have been used solely in a funerary setting. Size: 14" W x 13.5" H (35.6 cm x 34.3 cm)
A bronze hydria of similar squat shape (but with a more elaborate handle) sold at Christie's Hong Kong on December 9, 2008 (Lot 95) for USD $50000.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-private Texas, USA collection, 1980s; ex-Frances Artuner collection, Belgium, collected in the 1960s
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Repaired from three or four pieces. On one side, there is a small area of fill. On the third handle side, there is a section of fill below the handle that is approximately 1/3 of the side. X-rays reveal that the piece has around 20% new material. Beautiful mottled green and blue patina. Handles have been reattached.