- Museum number
Pottery: red-figured hydria showing a music lesson.
Band on shoulder: Music lessons. In centre a bearded, wreathed man (the instructor) is seated in a chair to right playing on a chelys (or barbitos?), and singing with head thrown back; from his mouth issue in an oblique line a pattern like four rising notes. He wears a mantle around waist, and his staff rests against the back of his chair. Confronting him, seated on a diphros, is an ephebos playing on flutes: he wears a bordered mantle, from which his hands only issue, and a fillet. Over him, ΚΑΛΟΣ, καλός. Beside the diphros is a nude boy (or monkey?) squatting: he leans on left arm, with head bent over to right; he wears a fillet, bracelets, and bangles around his ankles. Behind him, an ephebos, closely draped, waiting his turn, flutes in left hand; and on the extreme right beside a chair a similar figure leaning on staff and listening. Behind the instructor is a diphros on which a young panther or a cat (?) stands, looking round at an object like a plectrum held out towards it by a draped ephebos, who also holds a chelys, and bends over it. Next is an ephebos holding up a pair of flutes in his right; in front of him is καλός, written vertically. Then an ephebos seated in a chair playing on flutes. From the back of the chair hang a spotted sybene and glottocomeion. Between the two last figures is seated a dog with nose in air: above him hangs a purse (?) ornamented with a rosette. The two figures on the left, and the right hand figure, wear wreaths; the remainder wear fillets.
Drawing refined and composition graceful. Purple wreaths, fillets, and inscriptions; brown for hair of the ephebos with cat, and of squatting boy; also for the dots at the edge of hair and pupils of eyes throughout. Eye in transition type, disc against open angle. Below, a thin red strip; above, a strip of palmettes; on each side, of net pattern, these borders forming panel. Below the design, a broader band of palmettes joining the side handles.
- Production date
Height: 29.50 centimetres
Width: 30 centimetres
Depth: 24.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
BM Cat. Vases
Ann. dell’ Inst. 1878, pl. P, p. 286; Daremberg and Saglio, ii, part 1, p. 470, fig. 2602; Girard, L'Education Athenienne, p. 111, fig. 8; Keller, Thiere des cl. Alt. p. 146; Hartwig, Meistersch. p. 443, note 1, refers this and the following to the ‘artist of the bald head’.
Keller, loc. cit., considers the small squatting figure an ape.
Attributed to Fikellura grave 236, based on evidence from Biliotti's Kamiros diary, Kamiros tomb list, British Museum register, departmental Kamiros index card. Description in Biliotti's Kamiros diary: Calpis on the neck several human figures – red 3 seated musicians and four upright. Three opposite the mouth of the figure in the centre which represents an elderly man and the word KALOS written over the head of the youth seated opposite him – seated ape and dog, cat on a chair. No marking of grave number visible on the object itself.
Attributions to find-spots are based on (1) Alfred Biliotti’s diary kept during excavations at Kamiros between November 1863 and June 1864, which records the contents of two votive deposits and over 300 graves; (2) entries in the Museum Register, often stipulating the find-spots of individual objects excavated by Biliotti; (3) the Kamiros tomb list, produced around the same time as his entries in the Museum Register. It lists the contents of each grave and votive deposit, along with their corresponding registration numbers; (4) the Kamiros index cards, written by Donald Bailey in the 1960’s. These mainly record the contents of graves from the Fikellura cemetery and are organised according to tomb group. All archives are kept in the Department of Greece and Rome. In addition, Reynold Higgins’ Catalogue of the Terracottas in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1954) has been checked for attributions to the Fikellura cemetery.
- On display (G69/dc8)
- Exhibition history
2017-2018, 13 Sep-15 Jan, Lens, Musee de Louvre, Musiques et sons antiques de la Mediterranee a l'Orient
- Missing part of lip and of one handle.
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number