Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Pottery: red-figured hydria (water-jar).
    Woman reading, and three attendants. The reader, seated in a chair to right, bends forward over a scroll, of which a portion unrolled shows dots representing sixteen lines of writing arranged στοιχηδόν (stoichedon – arranged vertically as well as horizontally, in a grid-like fasion). The women on either side of her stand to front looking inwards, and wear Doric chiton with apoptygma, tied; the one on left has left resting on hip, and holds up in right an object like a large plectrum or purse (?): she has a purple fillet wound thrice round her looped-up hair. The other holds up on her right a square box of wicker. The seated figure and the one on the extreme right wear sleeved chitoi and himation. The one on extreme right wears a radiate dotted sphendone, and hold up in right a flower: all the three on right wear a dotted fillet with rays, wound twice around the hair. Over the seated figure hangs an embroidered cap with strings
    Good period, but drawing a little careless. Purple rays, fillet and strings of cap. Eye in developed profile.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 450BC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 33.02 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    BM Cat. Vases

    This subject closely resembles one on a hydria at Athens (Inv. no. 1260, Museo Ital, ii pl. 6), where the seated figure is inscribed with the name of Sappho.

  • Bibliography

    • Vase E190 bibliographic details
    • CVA British Museum 6 III Ic Pl. 86, 3 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G69/dc6

  • Condition

    Cracked, but otherwise intact.

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


Pottery: red-figured hydria (water-jar) showing a seated woman and three companions. The seated woman is reading from a book-scroll.

Pottery: red-figured hydria (water-jar) showing a seated woman and three companions. The seated woman is reading from a book-scroll.

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA3788

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