Collection online

volute krater

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    South Italian red figured pottery volute krater (bowl for mixing wine and water).
    Designs red on black ground, with accessories of white and yellow. On the lip, (a) above, egg-moulding; below, laurel-wreath with a rosette in the middle: (b) above, egg-moulding; below, rosettes. On the neck, (a) above the design, ivy-wreath: (b) palmettes and rosettes. Above each design, tongue- and egg-patterns; below the designs, maeander and crosses; below the handles, palmettes. On the handles in front are ivy-wreaths.
    On the neck, a head of Aura to the front, with curls and stephane ornamented with chevron pattern, resting on the calyx of a flower from which luxuriant tendrils and blossoms branch out on either side; above, it is incised: AVDA, Αύρα.
    (a) Pluto carrying off Persephone: Pluto drives a chariot (turned partly to right) at full speed; he is bearded, with wreath, drapery over left arm, sceptre in left hand, with Ionic cap on which is a white eagle to right with wings spread. He turns to look at Persephone, who is at his right side, holding the frame of the chariot with left hand; her hair is gathered in a knot behind, and she wears a radiated ampyx, earrings, necklace, bracelets, long girt chiton, and embroidered himation drawn over her head as a veil with right hand. The horses have ornamented collars. On the left by the side of Persephone runs Hermes to right on slightly higher ground; he is beardless, with curly hair, petasos, bordered chlamys fastened with a fibula in front, winged endromides laced up in front, caduceus in right hand, left extended. On the right in advance of the chariot is Hecate, looking back and holding out in right hand a torch with four arms at the top, each having a flame; her hair is gathered in a bunch behind, and she wears radiated sphendone ornamented with maeander, necklace, bracelets, short embroidered chiton with girdle and cross-belt on which are white studs; behind her head is a radiated circle, partly restored. Below these figures the ground-lines are indicated by white dots. Below Hecate is a small heroon in antis on two steps, with anthemia on the pediment, in which is visible an archaic statue of a goddess to the front, with polos, painted white. On the left of it is a hind springing to right; also three plants and a shrub; ground-line of white dots. In the field above are two eight-point stars, a rosette, and two phialae (?).
    (b) Centauromachia: On the left is a Lapith fallen back on one knee, looking up to right at a Centaur rearing to left, who holds aloft in both hands a rock which he is about to hurl upon him. The Lapith has curly hair, bordered chlamys, sheath at side, sword drawn in right hand, and in left holds up his shield to protect himself; beneath him is his crested helmet and a spear. The Centaur has a panther's skin floating behind; a broken spear sticks in his left side. In the centre is a Lapith to the front (bordered chlamys fastened with a fibula in front), about to slay with club brandished in right hand a Centaur who has fallen on his hind-legs to right and turns back with arms extended in supplication; he wears a skin tied in front. On the right is a Centaur on a higher level to right, with skin tied in front and floating behind, charging on a Lapith, on whom he is about to hurl part of a tree held in both hands over his head. The Lapith moves to right, looking up to left, with right foot raised on a rock; he has curly hair, a crested helmet, shield, and spear pointed at each end, with which he has pierced the Centaur's right arm; below him is a peaked cap. All the Lapiths are beardless. Ground-lines of white dots, with stones; above, three phialae.


  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 370BC-350BC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 59.69 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    BM Cat. Vases

    Philologus, Suppl.-Bd. iv. (1884), p. 643, No. 2.
    For Aura, see Roscher, sub v., and J.H.S. xiii. p. 131. For Hecate's torch, cf. BM Vases F278 and F332. For the scene on a, cf. Millingen, Anc. Uned. Mon. pl. 16; and Foerster, Raub d. Persephone, p. 233 ff.
    [Handwritten note] This vase fell to pieces during the move in the [First World] War, and was mended in 1919, and again Nov 1920. Neck probably does not belong to body, nor handles. A large piece with fore-quartersof two rear horses (modern painting on ancient fragment) has been omitted.


  • Bibliography

    • RVAp 8/5 bibliographic details
    • Vase F277 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased by Earl Somers (father of Lady Isabella Somerset] at Naples; cf. Philologus Suppl. 4 (1884), 643 no. 2.

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


South Italian red figured pottery volute krater (bowl for mixing wine and water) depicting the head of Aura (inscribed) on the neck. Below, Hades is shown carrying off Persephone in a four-horse chariot, preceded by Hekate and followed by Hermes; above, s

South Italian red figured pottery volute krater (bowl for mixing wine and water) depicting the head of Aura (inscribed) on the neck. Below, Hades is shown carrying off Persephone in a four-horse chariot, preceded by Hekate and followed by Hermes; above, s

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA83375

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