Apulian Red-Figure Lebes
An ancient Apulian Greek red-figure lidded lebes with high handles, with a nude satyr holding a thyrsos and cane on one side and maenad in a diaphanous chiton holding a thrysos on the other, palmettes in between.
Apulia, Magna Graecia, Southern Italy.
The form of the lebes is distinguished by its high handles. It was typically associated with wedding ceremonies as part of the lebes gamikos, a nuptial vase that was the quintessential ancient Greek wedding gift. This vase, in its most elaborate form, was actually three vases stacked upon one another: a large high handled lebes on the bottom, a shallow lekanis in the middle, and a small alabastron on top.
Cf. British Museum, inv. no. 1957,0212.26, a young satyr holding a thyrsos on one side and standing female figures on the opposite side.
Formerly in the collection of Maria Sessa, inherited from her father Edward Sessa, acquired in the 1970s.