Ostracon Ancient Art, fine antiquities

Attic Lekythos Crawling Boy, Late Classic, 420-410 BC

Attic Lekythos Crawling Boy, Late Classic, 420-410 BC

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1254746
Ostracon Ancient Art
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Bernhard I. Mller, PhD
Gallery by appointment
Zurich, Switzerland

Guest Book
$ 2800

Attic miniature lekythos decorated in red-figure with the depiction of a child crawling on a blanket to a small altar (?) on the right. The naked child is masterfully rendered with typical podgy features and full hair. He wears a thong with amulets around the chest and over his left shoulder.
Egg pattern below the ground line.
The crawling child motif is usually shown on choes and connected to the Athenian Anestheria, the oldest festival in honor of Dionysos held in early spring.
The celebration was also a rite of passage for the very young. On the second day of the festival, the day of Choes, the new wine was dunk for the first time, and three- or four-year-old children were initiated into the festivities. They wore wreaths on their heads and were given presents, including miniature choes.
These vessels often feature children or babies at various playful pastimes. They represent a rare insight into the daily life and humor of the ancient Athenians.
Children who unfortunately died before their 3rd birthday were often buried with a chous.
For a related example, cf. Beazley Archive no. 9003239 – CVA Pilsen, Museum of Western Bohemia: 8410, 17-18, fig. 02, pl. (155) 3.3-4
Athens, Late Classic, 420-410 BC
H. 7.2 cm (2.8 in)
Fine condition. Funnel mouth repaired from two pieces and reattached. Small chip out of the chest. Otherwise intact.
Private collection of J. R., New York. Acquired from Royal Athena Gallery, New York. Before with Christie’s London, April 1989 sale. (data to the buyer)

The authenticity of the object is unconditionally guaranteed.