TITLE: Handle with satyr
PERIOD: 2nd - 3rd Century AD
DIMENSIONS: Height 22.3 cm
PRICE: 4,600 euros
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Paris. Acquired in Bonhams, London, 2005.
CONDITION: Good condition, broken left arm.
Satyrs were male creatures in Greek mythology who accompanied Pan and Dionysus, roaming around the woods and mountains. They are associated with sexual appetite. The painters of ceramic vases often depicted them alongside nymphs and maenads, sometimes with perpetual erections.
An oenochoe is a type of Greek vessel widely used in antiquity. As its name indicates "oinos" (wine) and "choes" (jug), it is a recipient which was used to pour wine. This was taken out of a krater, where it had previously been diluted with water and then served into a kylix, or in Roman times, into cups for its consumption.
The technique of lost wax casting is a sculptural procedure using a mould made from a prototype of the piece to be worked, and this prototype is usually made from beeswax. This is covered with a thick layer of soft material, usually clay, which then solidifies. Once this has hardened it is put in a kiln where the wax inside melts and leaks out from expressly made holes in the clay. In its place molten metal is injected and this takes on the exact form of the mould. To remove the final piece the mould must be removed.