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169. 95.1402 ACORN-LEKYTHOS from near Aigion or Patras PLATE XCVIII, 169

Height 0.1585, diameter 0.0595. Back-view, Jacobsthal O. pl. 126, c; front, Jacobsthal Greek Pins fig. 280; the shape, Caskey G. p. 225. Bride dressing. About 410-400 B.C., manner of the Meidias Painter (VA. p. 186; Att. V. p. 461 no. 24; ARV.1 p. 839 no. 64; ARV.2 p. 1326 no. 71).

This, and the squat lekythos Boston 00.353, were found on the north-west coast of Peloponnese, near Aigion or Patras, in the grave of a woman, together with two magnificent gold pins, also in Boston, which have been studied by Jacobsthal.1 He also publishes the squat lekythos2 (mouth and the greater part of the neck modern), which is of the same period as the acorn, but not by the same hand, although it is in the neighbourhood of the Meidian Group: of very similar style the squat lekythos Boston 01.8119.

Acorn-lekythoi belong to the late fifth century and the fourth. The shape is merely a variant of the 'tall squat lekythos', as appears, for example, from pl. 129 in Jacobsthal's Ornamente. See also Langlotz Aphrodite in den Gärten p. 39. A list of acorn-lekythoi follows. Nos. 1-7 are, more or less, in the manner of the Meidias Painter, even no. 7; the rest are later.

  • 1. Brauron, frr., from Brauron. Orlandos To ergon 195 p. 14, 1-2. Adonis?
  • 2. Frankfort, Liebieghaus, 538. ARV.1 p. 839 no. 61; ARV. 2 p. 1317, above, no. 1.
  • 3. Louvre MNB 1320, from Attica. ARV.1 p. 839 no. 62; ARV.2 p. 1326 no. 69.
  • 4. Berlin 2707, from Athens. ARV.1 p. 839 no. 63; ARV.2 p. 1326 no. 70.
  • 5. Boston 95.1402.
  • 6. Berlin 2706, from Athens. By Aristophanes. ARV.1 p. 842 no. 5; ARV.2 p. 1319 no. 5. Phaon.
  • 7. Athens 1284 (CC. 1941), from Piraeus. Jahn Vasen mit Goldschmuck pl. 1, 1-2; Ghali-Kahil Hélène pl. 14. See also Cl. Rev. 63, 42-43.
  • 8. London E 721, from Naucratis. Ernest Gardner Naukratis ii pl. 16, 20; Nicole Meidias pl. 8, 1; part, Rend. Pont. Acc. 27 (1952-4) p. 183; phot. Mansell. Feast of Adonis.
  • 9. Heidelberg Z 5, fr., from Abusir. Watzinger Holzsarkophage p. 10. Nereid on seahorse, and woman.
  • 10. Salonica inv. 8.256 (R. 381), fr., from Olynthos. Robinson Olynthus 5 pl. 138, 381.
  • 11. Salonica inv. 8.257 (R. 382), fr., from Olynthos. Robinson Olynthus 5 pl. 138, 382.
  • 12. Heidelberg, from Athens. Palmettes.
  • 13. Leningrad?, from South Russia. Otchët 1882-1898 fig. 252. Women and Eros.
  • 14. Villa Giulia 50721. Women and Eros.
There are also Italiote:

  • Once Naples, Woodyat. Coll. Woodyat pl. 8, 131. Naked woman washing, and women.
  • Brussels R 234. CV. IVe pl. 1, 5. Campanian.
  • Philadelphia L-64-223. Eros. Apulian of A.P. style.
  • Toronto 959.17.85 (ex Curtius). Phs. R.I. 25.2044-5. Black body. Underneath the foot, black dipinto, ΚΟΙΛΕΙΗ.
In the Boston vase, the acorn-cup is gilt. The foot, with base-fillet, has the same form as in nos. 2-4 and 6-9; as there, the foot-profile is divided by two grooves. The handle is ridged. The topside of the mouth is black.

The bride stands in the middle, with the left leg frontal and bent at the knee. She wears a peplos, with apoptygma, and draws a short cloak (perhaps doubled) over her shoulders with both hands. It seems not yet fastened. This is the costume worn by the Caryatids of the Erechtheion, by the Eirene, and by many other female figures in the late fifth century and the fourth, for example, the Agaue of the Meidias hydria in the British Museum (London E 224).3 A net-band traverses the apoptygma horizontally, about half-way, and a stripe runs down the left leg where the garment is sewn up. The cloak is bordered. The whole figure, flesh and clothing, is white, with brown details: except the hair and the band or sling containing it. The leaves in the hair, the ear-ring, necklace, bracelets, girdle-ends are raised and were gilt. A child Eros, white except for hair and wings, kneels at the bride's feet as if tying her sandals. His head-band is gilt. A woman stands facing the bride, or approaches her, with the right leg frontal and bent; she holds out a large crown, radiate and gilt, in her left hand. She is dressed in a sleeveless chiton, girt, and with a cord passing over the shoulders. Behind the bride, a third woman stands, or moves, with the right leg frontal and bent, looking back towards her, face in three-quarter view; she holds a necklace with both hands. The chiton is the same as before, but the cord is so arranged that the shoulder is covered as if with a short sleeve. Both these attendants have gilt head-leaves, ear-rings, necklaces, bracelets, and girdle-ends. The berries of the leaf-pattern above the picture are also gilt.

The floral design under the handle is without relief-lines. The lower edge of it is 'submerged', thought of as covered by the strip of egg-pattern below. This obscures the nature of the four helices or spirals at the base of the lower palmette. The arrangement of them in Athens (above, no. 8) is similar, but not quite the same.

On the nuptial lebes in Athens from which the Painter of Athens 1454 takes his name the bride sits, and the crown is being placed on her head.4 Mrs. Zancani Montuoro has shown that the bridal crown is represented on a Locrian relief.5 On a white lekythos by the Phiale Painter in Munich, the young woman, as bride of Hades, places the crown on her own head.6 At modern Greek weddings a crown is placed on the head of the bride, and she wears it at the rejoicings after the ceremony.

The style of our vase is near enough to the Meidias Painter to be described as in his manner, although the drawing of the drapery is much simplified.


M.-L. Säflund, 1968, Opuscula 5 (Stockholm Studies in Classical Archaeology), pp. 29-30 (fig. 6), 45 (note 13); Para., p. 478, no. 71; E. R. Knauer, 1973, 125 BWPr, p. 24, note 46; A. Greifenhagen, RA 1982, p. 151; Blech 1982, p. 78, note 27; J. J. Herrmann, Jr., 1984, In The Shadow of the Acropolis, Brockton, Mass., Brockton Art Museum/Fuller Memorial, p. 29, under no. 16; Burn 1987, pp. 82, 114, no. M 111; CVA, Berlin, Antikenmuseum 8, p. 68, under pl. 47 (I. Wehgartner).


1 Greek Pins pp. 65-82 with figs. 274-9.

2 Ibid. fig. 281.

3 FR. pl. 8; CV. pl. 91.

4 AM. 32 pl. 5, 2; A, phot. Alinari 24477, whence Hahland Vasen um Meidias pl. 3: ARV.1 p. 795, below, no. 1; ARV.2 p. 1178, foot, no. 1.

5 Atti Magna Grecia 1954 p. 24; figured in Ausonia 3 p. 199, right.

6 Munich 2797: Buschor Attische Lekythen der Parthenonzeit pl. 1, 2 and pl. 2, whence Beazley A.W.L. pl. 1, 2; Buschor Grab pp. 12-13: ARV.1 p. 658 no. 101; ARV.2 p. 1022 no. 138.

Various crowns are studied in Arnold von Salis Zur griechischen Brautkrone in Rheiniches Museum 73 (1920) pp. 199-215.

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