A Greek Pagenstecher lekythos of typical form. The black-figure decoration showing a seated female, presumably Aphrodite, her lower body draped and holding a cista in her left hand. Eros stands before her, proffering a phiale. A palmette beneath the handle with leafy tendrils at either side.
Austrian family collection formed in the 19th century. By descent to the research chemist, Dr Erwin Hoess (1909-1985) and thence his son Professor Hoess, Germany. With Charles Ede Limited, London, 2008 UK private collection, acquired in 2011 from the above
This vessel belongs to a group of 4th century BC vases (mostly lekythoi), collected by R. Pagenstecher early in the twentieth century and called by his name. These vases are unexpectedly decorated with the black-figure technique at a time when red-figure was the dominant technique in South Italy. The black-figure renaissance apparently took place in a number of centres, as most of the lekythoi were found in Campania and Sicily, while a few were also found in Paestum and Apulia. Sophisticated in style and relatively small in scale, most were decorated with only single figures, or a head or a bird. This is a large and fine example of the type.
Cf. R. Hurschmann, Die Pagenstecher-Lekythoi, Berlin, 1997; R.M. Cook, Greek Painted Pottery, London & New York, 1997, 152-153; M.E. Mayo, The Art of Southern Italy: Vases from Magna Graecia, Richmond, Virginia, 1982, 218-220; Trendall, RVP, 1987, pp. 386-387.