Lekane (covered dish)

Italic, Etruscan
Early Hellenistic Period
3rd century B.C.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Relief Ware

Not On View


The Ancient World



(A) Lekane: A frieze representing the battle of the Greeks and the Amazons. There are traces of gilding on the reliefs, and modern green and red.
(B) Cover: Three Silenus heads combined form a boss in the center. Around this are six medallions, decorated alternately with Silenus-masks and heads of Athena.
Label text:
gray painted ceramic originally highlighted with gilding
This kind of gray-washed funerary vase imitates silver vessels. The vase may have been covered with tin to increase the illusion of metalwork. A scientific examination revealed traces of gold, probably used to brighten certain details. The images of Pan (who inspires panic), the Medusa heads below the handles and perhaps also the Amazonomachy were intended to frighten away evil spirits.


By 1889: with Pio Marinangeli, Rome (said to be from Ruvo di Puglie); March 1889: purchased by R. Lanciani from Pio Marinangeli; purchased by MFA from R. Lanciani, 1889

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution