Sicily, Centuripe, ca. 275-225 BC
A Western Greek impressive and sizeable polychrome and partly gilded Lebes Gamikos vase consisting of three sections, the foot basis, the body and the lid. Lebes Gamikos were usually decorated with painted figures and mythological subjects. On our example one can still see the faded phantom figure of a standing female.
Cf. G. Pugliese Carratelli, The Western Greeks (London 1996) p. 751 nr. 388.
Condition: Professionally put together from fragments and entirely complete. TL tested by CIRAM laboratories.
Provenance: The fragments formerly, in the 1970’s, in possession of Dr. Elie Borowski, Basel. Another part of Borowski’s Centuripe vases was auctioned by Christie’s, New York, in June 2000.
A lebes gamikos is a specific type of Greek pottery vessel that was used in wedding ceremonies to hold water for the bride’s pre-wedding bath. The vessel was often decorated with intricate designs, including scenes from Greek mythology or everyday life, and was typically made of terracotta.The lebes gamikos has a distinctive shape, with a wide body and a tall, flaring neck. It often has a pair of handles on either side, as well as a lid to keep the water warm. After the bath, the water in the lebes gamikos was poured out as a libation to the gods.
Centuripe pottery, is a type of ancient Greek/Sicilian pottery from the town of Centuripe, located in the interior of the island. Centuripe pottery was produced from the 6th to the 3rd century BCE and is known for its distinctive red and black colors, as well as its intricate relief decorations. These decorations often depicted mythological scenes or religious figures and were modelled or applied on the surface of the pottery. They are considered important artifacts of ancient Greek and Sicilian culture. They offer a window into the art, technology, and daily life of these ancient civilizations, and their beauty continue to be appreciated by people around the world.
Item reference: CL1363