Skip to main content

The Bronze Krater said to be from Pieria, Greece

Further brief reports on the return of two antiquities from the Shelby White collection to Greece have appeared today ("US collector to return two ancient artifacts", Kathimerini, July 12, 2008; Julie Bloom, "Collector to Return Antiquities to Greece", New York Times, July 12, 2008; "New York Collector to Return 2 Antiquities to Greece", New York Times, July 12, 2008). One of the NYT pieces notes that the second object
is a bronze calyx krater dating from around 340 B.C. Greek archaeologists believe it was probably found in illegal excavations in a royal tomb near where it originated in Pieria in northern Greece.
Beryl Barr-Sharrar (The Derveni Krater: Masterpiece of Classical Greek Metalwork, ASCSA 2007, p. 98, fig. 89 [Googlebooks] [post]) illustrates a bronze calyx-krater found in 1986 by M. Bessios at Sevaste in Pieria (and now in the Archaeological Museum at Thessaloniki; see also I. Vokotopoulou, "The Kalyx Krater of Sevaste in Pieria", in I. Worthington (ed.), Ventures into Greek History, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994, pp. 189-201 [BMCR]).

A bronze calyx-krater in the Shelby White & Leon Levy collection appeared in a catalogue of Greek bronze vessels from the collection of Shelby White & Leon Levy (2005), no. 9 (for illustration see McLung Museum exhibition, "History contained: ancient Greek bronze and ceramic vessels", September 17, 2005 - January 2, 2006). The entry for the White/Levy calyx-krater states:
The best stylistic parallels for the White/Levy krater may be found in examples associated with the Macedonian court.
Its previous history is unstated; its first mention in a publication comes from 1998.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Codename: Ainsbrook

I have been watching (UK) Channel 4's Time Team this evening. The programme looked at an undisclosed field (under a potato crop) where a Viking burial had been found. The location in Yorkshire was so sensitive that it was given a codename: Ainsbrook. Here is the summary:
In late 2003 two metal detectorists were working in a field in Yorkshire. They found 'treasure' buried just beneath the surface – a collection of Viking material next to a body. Although they had been detecting on the site for a number of years, during which time they had made large numbers of finds, nothing they had uncovered previously compared with this. They decided to share their discovery with archaeologists.The programme explored the tension between metal-detectorists and the English Heritage sponsored archaeologists putting six trenches into the field based on a geo-physical survey. Finds made by the metal-detectorists did not easily map onto the archaeological features.

Part of the programme had an …

The scale of the returns to Italy

I have been busy working on an overview, "Returning Archaeological Objects to Italy". The scale of the returns to Italy from North American collections and galleries is staggering: in excess of 350 objects. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the material that has surfaced on the market without a history that can be traced back to the period before 1970. 

I will provide more information in due course, but the researcher is a reminder that we need to take due diligence seriously when it comes to making acquisitions.

Stele returns to Greece

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture has announced (Saturday 8 September 2018) that a stele that had been due to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London in June 2017 has been returned to Greece (Friday 7 September 2018). The identification had been made by Cambridge-based forensic archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.

It appeared that the stele had been supplied with a falsified history as its presence with Becchina until 1990 contradicted the published sale catalogue entry. It then moved into the hands of George Ortiz.

A year ago it was suggested that Sotheby's should contact the Greek authorities. Those negotiations appear to have concluded successfully.

The 4th century BC stele fragment, with the personal name, Hestiaios, will be displayed in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens. It appears to have come from a cemetery in Attica.