Greek, South Italian
Late Classical to Early Hellenistic Period
End of 4th century B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 126.


19.2 cm (7 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Gnathian Ware

Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



Not in Gnathian style. Body is natural red clay decorated with lattice work in black glaze; and with white dots; wve patterns above and below.

End of 4th century B.C.
The body is decorated with a net-pattern of black crosshatching on a reserved ground. There are white dots at the intersections of the lines and at the core of each wave in the band of wave-pattern around the shoulder; a second band of wave-pattern, without dots, circles the lower body. There are rays on the upper neck.
Lekythoi of this bype are relatively common; see, for example, Lecce 892 (CVA Lecce 2, pl. 50, 18). They are not properly calssified as Gnathian at all, for there is no use of superimposed colors.Nonetheless, they so much resemble Gnathian bottles and lekythoi with net-patterns in added white, like cat. nos. 123 and 124, that it seems permissible to include this example here, especially as no other category claims priority.
The decoration is clearly inspired by vases of the Attic Bulas group of the end of the fifth and the first half of the fourth centuries. Bodies decorated with black net-patterns highlighted with white dots are extremely common, and even an occasional wave-pattern turns up. The tall, ovoid body and pedestaled foot of the Boston lekythos, however, are unknown in Greek fabrics and identify it firmly as Italiote; compare J.D. Beazley, BSA 41 (1941-1945),pp. 10-21, pls. 3-4; see also R. Hirschmann, “Jahrbuch des Museums für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg” 9/10 (1990-1991), pp. 39-42


By date unknown: William Sturgis Bigelow Collection; gift of William Sturgis Bigelow to MFA, June 7, 1898

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection