Pelike. Wedding scene

Egnazia-Gruppe (350-300 v. Chr.)


On both sides of the bulbous vessel, which is called a pelike, wedding scenes are depicted. However, no concrete events of the ceremony lasting several days are depicted, but individual images and attributes that refer to the most decisive event in the life of women in antiquity. We see attractive young people, richly adorned and carrying all kinds of accessories of courtship: Mirrors, wreaths, jewellery bands, wands, doves, a strigilis and an iynx. The latter is the small white object in the right hand of the standing woman: a whirring cog that was used in Greek love magic. With sayings like "magic cog, move into my house you the man I love" one conjured the beloved. The winged god of love, Eros, on either side only illustrates once more the all-encompassing theme of love. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say whether the Apulian red-figure vessel was used in a wedding context or whether it was rather made for sepulchral use, perhaps for a woman who died young and did not achieve her most important goal, marriage.

Material & Technique
Fired clay
c. 340/330 B.C.
Inventory number
Dr. 526