An Attic red-figure pelike

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Lot 61
An Attic red-figure pelike

Sold for £ 2,805 (US$ 3,518) inc. premium

Antiquities

28 Nov 2019, 10:30 GMT

London, New Bond Street

An Attic red-figure pelike
Attributed to the Trophy Painter, circa 460-450 B.C.
Side A depicting a winged figure, probably Nike, facing right, wearing a long pleated chiton, which she grasps in her right hand, and a fillet in her bound, curly hair, her left arm outstretched; side B with a female figure, wearing a long pleated chiton and a draped himation, standing before a kalathos and holding a skein of wool in her left hand, a fillet in her hair, both scenes framed by a band of dotted ovolo at the neck and groundline, details in added white, 15.9cm high

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private collection, UK, formed during the 1960s.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 13 May 2003, lot 221.
    with Cahn AG, Basel.
    Drs Gerd and Sigrid von der Gönna collection, Germany, acquired from the above 18 October 2008.

    Published:
    E. Simon, 'Iris-Laodike und Helena', in Anodos. Studies of the Ancient World, in honour of Werner Jobst, August 2008, p. 353-356, fig. 1 and 2.

    Based on identifying traces of Iota and Sigma signs on the side with the winged figure (not readily visible), Simon argues that this vase actually depicts a scene from Book 3 of the Iliad (121-140), in which Iris visits Helen, who is working wool, to tell her of Paris and Menelaos' monomachy. In a bid to end the Trojan War and spare lives on both sides, Menelaos and Paris met in one-to-one combat, with Helen being the prize afforded to the winner. Paris is almost bested by Menelaos in the duel, but Aphrodite spirited him away before Menelaos could finish him. Iris was usually sent by Hera, who is on the side of the Greeks and wants the return of Helen to Menelaos. In Homer, Iris is in the guise of Priam's most beautiful daughter Laodike; following Simon, on this vase she retains her divine aspect.
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An Attic red-figure pelike
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