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Apulian Pottery red-figure lekanis lid, Circa 400 BC

Conservation:  Restored
Material:  Terracotta
Dimensions:  23 cm diameter
Provenance:  K. J. Hewett, Kent 1975; Michael Shaw acquired in London 1991; acquired by Mr. Emiel Kusters from the above in 2006, Amsterdam


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On one side of the lid we see a depiction of a seated young man holding in his left hand a cista, originally a basket for storing fruit and vegetables, but later also other things, including cult objects. With the other hand he holds a plate or, more probably, a shallow bowl, called a patera, used for libations.

The other side depicts a young woman seated, facing left, surrounded by various domestic objects, holding a box on one side and a situla. The two scenes are separated by a foliate motif above each handle.

A lekanis is a Greek ceramic typology consisting of a low cup with two side handles facing each other and a reverse lid, with a flat-based foot. These vessels were used as jewellery boxes or toiletry vessels for ointments, usually as part of a wedding trousseau.

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