Two-handled vessel (nestoris)

Greek, South Italian
Late Classical Period
about 360–330 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Apulia

Catalogue Raisonné

Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 146.


Height: 15.2 cm (6 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Xenon Ware (Apulian)

Not On View


Europe, The Ancient World



about 360-330 B.C.
The added red decoration is set within panels on either side of the upper body: on one side a swan standing between upright palmettes, on the other, a central palmette flanked by disconnected lotus buds and half-palmettes. There are rays on the outside of the everted rim.
This nestoris is small enough to be called miniature, but many nestorides are even smaller; for example, a pair once in the J. V. Noble collection and now in the Tampa Museum of Art (inv. 86.117-118), each only 5 cm tall (M. E. Mayo, in Mayo, “Magna Graecia,” p. 304, no. 159). Beazley called the shape a “kantharoid” (EVP, pp. 218-219), which it is, but it is clearly also a variant of the Lucanian and Apulian nestoris (e.g., catalogue no. 4), descended from the native trozella. The palmette decoration is somewhat unusual, as is the swan; compare a nestoris in the Japanese market (N. Horiuchi, Catalogue, no. 4 [1990], no. 29).


By date unknown: Horace L. Mayer Collection; November 13, 1958: loaned to MFA by Horace L. Mayer (as 126.58); gift of Horace L. Mayer to MFA, December 11, 1958

Credit Line

Gift of Horace L. Mayer