AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA
PROPERTY FROM A MANHATTAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA

ATTRIBUTED TO THE TYRRHENIAN GROUP, CIRCA 570-550 B.C.

Details
AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURED HYDRIA
ATTRIBUTED TO THE TYRRHENIAN GROUP, CIRCA 570-550 B.C.
11 ¾ in. (29.9 cm.) high
Provenance
Reverend John Hamilton-Gray (1800-1867) & Elizabeth Caroline Hamilton-Gray (1801-1887), Carntyne, Scotland.
The Collection of Ancient Terra-Cotta Vases from Etruria formed by the late Rev. J. Hamilton-Gray; Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London, 7 June 1888, lot 4.
Lieutenant General Augustus Pitt Rivers (1827-1900), U.K., acquired from the above.
The Pitt Rivers Museum, Dorset.
Stella Lonsdale Pitt Rivers, Dorset.
Mrs. Stella Pitt Rivers; Antiquities, Sotheby's, London, 10 December 1984, lot 290.
with D. Zimmermann, Geneva.
Acquired by the current owner from the above, 1989.
Beazley Archive Database no. 9029861.
Literature
Augustus Pitt Rivers, General Fox-Pitt-Rivers: Catalogues of his Collections, 1884-1891, Vol. 2, p. 400.
Sale room notice
Please note the additional provenance. The following should be placed above the existing lines:
Reverend John Hamilton-Gray (1800-1867) & Elizabeth Caroline Hamilton-Gray (1801-1887), Carntyne, Scotland.
The Collection of Ancient Terra-Cotta Vases from Etruria formed by the late Rev. J. Hamilton-Gray; Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London, 7 June 1888, lot 4.
Lieutenant General Augustus Pitt Rivers (1827-1900), U.K., acquired from the above.

Please note that this lot was included in the below manuscript:
Augustus Pitt-Rivers, General Fox-Pitt-Rivers: Catalogues of his Collections, 1884-1891, vol. 2, p. 400.

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Lot Essay

The closest parallels for the style of the animals and monsters that populate the friezes on this hydria are found on vases of the Tyrrhenian Group, which frequently have such friezes encircling below the mythological scenes on the shoulders of amphorae (see for example the neck-amphora by the Timiades Painter, no. 56 in J. Boardman, Athenian Black Figure Vases). Hydriae of this unusual rounded-bodied form attributed to the Tyrrhenian Group are comparatively rare, and Beazley notes only two examples decorated only with animals and monsters, as here (Attic Black-figure Vase-painters, p. 104, no. 128 and Paralipomena, p. 43, plus a third example listed on the Beazley Archive Database no. 9029880).

This vase boasts a colorful ownership history. The Pitt Rivers Museum was founded in 1884 by Lieutenant General Augustus Pitt Rivers, a leading archaeologist and visionary anthropologist. One of Pitt River's grandsons, George Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers (1890-1966) inherited his grandfather's estate including title to some of the museum's collection. He was a strong supporter of the eugenics movement and a vocal Nazi-sympathizer during the Second World War, which led to his incarceration in the Tower of London from 1940-1942. It was there he met Stella Lonsdale, who was imprisoned on suspicion of being a Nazi spy. She eventually became his third wife and inherited his estate when he passed away in 1966.

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