Bucchero ware water jug (hydria)

Etruscan, about 550-500 BC
From Chiusi, Tuscany, Italy

Chunky water-jug

This heavy-looking bucchero ware jug has a moulded foot and overhanging rim with five appliqué women's heads. The broad, flat handle, used for pouring, is ornamented with chevrons, while on the neck there is another female head and two swans. The two horizontal handles, for lifting the jug, imitate rope. On the shoulder there are alternating sphinxes and winged lions, and lower down the vessel is a frieze of men (upper bodies only) and winged horses.

This heavy type of bucchero ware was produced largely at Chiusi and Volterra about 550-500 BC. It was laden with mould-pressed decoration in low relief and was very different from the elegant, thin-walled bucchero with incised, and later roller-stamped, decoration produced in the seventh and earlier sixth centuries BC.

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More information


O. Brendel, Etruscan art, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, 1995)

E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)


Height: 60.500 cm

Museum number

GR 1873.8-20.356 (Vases H 208)


Castellani Collection


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