• Antiquities  auction at Christies

    Sale 2232

    Antiquities

    11 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 123

    A GREEK BANDED ALABASTER HYDRIA

    PTOLEMAIC PERIOD, CIRCA 3RD CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    A GREEK BANDED ALABASTER HYDRIA
    PTOLEMAIC PERIOD, CIRCA 3RD CENTURY B.C.
    Sculpted to exploit the natural veining in the stone, the thin-walled vessel of tall, elegant proportions, with a continuous curving profile from the foot to the rim, in two parts, with a join on the lower body, the rim off set, two small horizontal loop handles at the shoulders and a single vertical handle arching from the shoulders to below the rim, on a stepped foot
    22¼ in. high


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    The hydria is a distinctively Greek vessel type, and is well represented in Egypt by the many pottery examples found in Alexandria, the so-called Hadra hydriae. The pottery versions, probably made near Knossos on Crete, were mainly used as cinerary urns during the 3rd century B.C. The profile of this alabaster hydria recalls the more common pottery type. Alabaster hydriae are comparatively rare, and must have been commissioned by wealthy Greeks who preferred the more exotic, native Egyptian material. For other examples see pp. 2-3, fig. 5 in Pagenstecher, Die griechisch-ägyptische Samlung E. Von Sieglin, vol. III: Die Gefässe in Stein und Ton, Knochenschnitzereien, and p. 23, pl. XVI in Breccia, Le Musée Gréco-Romain d'Alexandrié, 1925-1931.

    Provenance

    German Private Collection.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 5-6 December 2001, lot 272.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN COLLECTOR