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Ca. 350 BC

A Greek black-glazed pottery hydria with a characteristic bulbous body, a short, splayed foot and three handles. The funnel-shaped neck is decorated with a band of laurel, and there is a dotted ovolo pattern on the rim. Of the handles, the two horizontal ones were used to lift a vessel filled with water, while the vertical one, located at the back was useful when pouring and holding a vase.


This type of vessel was popular during the Classical Period of Greece, from around 500 BC to 323 BC. It was mostly used for storing and carrying water and was typically made from clay and glazed with black paint. It is also noteworthy for its distinctive ribbed design, which was created by pressing the edges of the clay vessel against a ribbed mold before it was fired in a kiln. The ribbed design of the hydria was not just for aesthetic purposes but also had a practical function. The ridges served to strengthen the walls of the vessel, and also made it easier to hold, as the handle was fixed to the top ridge. For a similar example, see The National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Inventory Number: 2336.


Provenance: From a private collection, Sussex, UK, acquired prior to 1956.


  • Dimensions

    L: 375mm / W: 275mm ; 2.86kg

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