A bowl, with handles and lid, attached to a stand and used to carry the bridal bath. Shape: It has the shape of a small lebes, on a stand. The bowl is small and deep, curving in sharply at the shoulder, and has a distinct neck with an overhanging lip. It is joined (forming one piece) to a tall flaring stand. There are a pair of high, upright handles on the shoulder, and the bowl usually has a domed cover topped by a tall stemmed handle. The canonical lebes gamikos described above is characterized by Beazley as Type 1. A variant of this vase, the Type 2 lebes gamikos, has a low foot instead of a stand and no neck. History: Sometimes called the nuptial lebes, it served the same purpose as the loutrophoros in wedding rituals, to bring the bridal bath. It appears in the first quarter of the sixth century and in Attic red-figure it continues down to the middle of the fourth century B.C. It appears in South-Italian wares until the end of the fourth century B.C. Beazley believed that the artist Sophilos (580-570 B.C.) decorated the first lebes gamikos, bearing the wedding procession of Helen and Menelaos. It has been suggested that the kotyle krater, also a lidded vessel on an attached stand, is this vessel's predecessor. Term: Also known as a nuptial lebes, the Greek name means "marriage bowl." Literary evidence justifies correctly calling a vessel with this shape lebes gamikos.
- Inscriptiones Graecae II-III, 1544, 63, Berlin, 1929 (2nd ed.): A temple inventory at Eleusis records the lebes gamikoi
- For a depiction of lebes gamikoi on a pyxis see: British Museum no. E 774.