Greece, Athens (Attic), attributed to the Mikra Karaburun Group, ca. early 5th century BCE. An Attic black-figure krater featuring Dionysian iconography on each side - a procession of drunken merrymaking komasts, including one playing a double flute, behind Dionysos on Side A and a standing Ariadne or maenad between two seated figures, perhaps the bearded Dionysos holding a kantharos vessel with grapevines extending from it and Hermes to the right. A pair of large eyes, one beneath each handle, also adorns the vessel. Such eyes appear on Athenian vases created during the 6th century BCE. Contributing to the beauty of the piece are decorative lozenge motifs adorning the upper rim and handles, dotted bands around the perimeter of the rim, a band of frets above the icongraphy on each side of the vessel, and another band of lozenge motives framed by solid bands below the imagery. Size: 8.875" W handle span x 8.25" H (22.5 cm x 21 cm)
The Greeks mixed their very strong wine with water in kraters like this example - blending the wine before serving. The type of krater that scholars call a column-krater takes its name from the columnar appearance of the handle supports.
For other examples by the Mikra Karaburun Group, see the Beazley Archive, University of Oxford - figures 7287, 8827, 351161, 351163, and 351164.
This piece has been tested using thermoluminescence (TL) analysis and has been found to be ancient and of the period stated. A full report will accompany purchase.
Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA, acquired in December 2010; ex-Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Repaired from multiple pieces with restoration to the break lines and areas of repainting. Chips/loss to the rim, handles, and base. Expected surface wear commensurate with age with nicks, scuffs, and pigment loss as shown. Still, the imagery is legible. TL drill holes on underside and under one handle.