- Museum number
Black-figure painted pottery situla. Designs in black on buff panels on the neck, with incised lines and accessories of purple.
(a) In the centre, a winged male figure (Typhon) ending in a serpent, bearded, with short purple chiton, the head turned to right, holding a serpent in either hand; the wings start from his breast. At his right side is a plant with stiff leaves, and in the field crosses and dots. On either side is a square with borders of rosettes formed of discs surrounded by dots; in each square is a diamond filled in with a diaper-pattern.
(b) In the centre, an erect male figure (probably Apollo) to right with wings starting from his breast, and short purple chiton , apparently letting loose two birds of prey upon a hare which stands on its hind-legs to right in front of him. Behind the hare stands a larger bird to right, and in the field above is a grasshopper, also crosses and dots, as in (a).
On either side is a square, as on (a). The one on the left has a border of rosettes, as before; in it is a star of four points, shaded, with segments of circles and rows of dots filling up the angles; in the field, crosses and dots. The square on the right has borders of rosettes above and below, and down each side a chevron-pattern interspersed with dots; in it is a diamond filled in with diaper-pattern; in the field, patterns of crosses and dots, and in the angles of the square, segments of circles and rows of dots.
- Production date
Diameter: 26.70 centimetres
Height: 53.60 centimetres
Weight: 4.25 kilograms
- Curator's comments
Findspot stated by Petrie 1888, 56, pl. xxv.
Cook in CVA British Museum 8:
"The side panels give this situla a deceptively old-fashioned look. Lozenges are important ornaments in Geometric and the Subgeometric East Greek Bird bowls, and their prominence so late is unusual; but much of their detail too is unusual. The fondness for dots in the filling ornament seems to be a characteristic of the painter. For the 'Typhon' grasping snakes compare an Attic black figure krater by Sophilos, which is I think a little earlier (Athens N.M. 12587: AM lxii, pls. 50. 2 and 55): here too the hair is dressed in layers, a style uncommon in vase-painting of the sixth century. The 'Boread' is not far distant from the Fikellura 'Boread' of a sherd in University College, London (BSA xxxiv, pl. 10c). The position of the wings is awkward, but about the middle of the sixth century this anatomical problem still troubled Fikellura painters (on the sherd just mentioned and on a cup in Samos, AM lix, Beilage 11) and it recurs on a later situla (Pl. 601, 5) - the painters were presumably brought up on sphinxes, whose wings sprout in front of the forelegs. The small fauna of the 'Boread' panel recalls Corinthian, Attic, and Laconian details of the second quarter of the sixth century."
Published in: Tanis ii, pl. 25. 3-4 (inadequate sketches, reproduced in the subsequent illustrations). H. B. Walters, History of Ancient Pottery i, fig. 95 (of A). G. Perrot and C. Chipiez, Histoire de l’Art ix, figs. 187-8. P. Ducati, Storia della Ceramica Greca i, figs. 139-40. BMC B.104.
Previous scholarship has often identified the winged figure as a Boread, but the association with Typhon on the other side of the vessels suggests Apollo, or (less likely) a youthful Zeus.
- Bibliographic references
Vase / Catalogue of Vases in the British Museum (B104)
CVA British Museum 8 / Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum: Great Britain 13, British Museum 8 (Pl. GB 596)
Petrie 1888 / Tanis. Part II. Nebesheh (Am) and Defenneh (Tahpanhes) (p. 56 § 55, p. 62 § 59, pl. xxv, 3)
Weber 2012 / Untersuchungen zur archaischen griechischen Keramik aus anderen ägyptischen Fundorten (TD 238)
Attula 2006 / Archaic Greek Plates from the Apollo Sanctuary at Emecik, Knidia (No.14)
Leclère and Spencer 2014 / Tell Dafana Reconsidered: The Archaeology of an Egyptian Frontier Town (p.97, p.121, p.122, fig.12a-b, p.123, p.207)
- On display (G13/dc7)
- Exhibition history
2014-2015, 13 Nov-13 Feb, Paris, Musee du Louvre, Rhodos: a Gate from and to the Eastern Mediterranean
2016, 19 May-27 Nov, BM exhibition Sunken Treasures
- A few fragments missing.
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number