Mixing bowl (krater) depicting belt wrestling
Late Cypriote Period
about 1350–1250 B.C.
Fairbanks, Vases (MFA), no. 143.
Height: 43.6 cm (17 3/16 in.); diameter: 35.5 cm (14 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Large wine vessel or krater from Cyprus. Red clay, buff slip, brown-black paint. Same scene on both sides of a two-horse chariot driven by two men and before each chariot are two males in a belt-wrestling contest. Under each handle a bird with short neck, curved beak, folded wing, whalelike tail, and semicircles for feet.
“Belt-wrestling is an Oriental sport that one might expect to find sporadically in the Levantine Aegean. The two opponents are strapped together around the middle and try to pull each other off balance. Perhaps the massive angle of the projecting buttocks here is meant to indicate the strain on the hips and legs, but the arm gestures are those of sparring boxers”. E. Vermeule and V. Karageorghis, Mycenaean Pictorial Vase Painting, p.39
By the 1870s: Cesnola Collection in Cyprus; by 1901: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in London: but Ready was 'perfectly certain' it came from Rhodes.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, December 1901
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund