The shape of this vase, with its elongated body and a single loop handle attached to its neck, is based on a
scale drawing of an ancient Greek lekythos, illustrated in volume 3, plates 80 and 81, of Pierre
d’Hancarville’s catalogue of Sir William Hamilton’s collection. The lekythos was a vessel used to hold oil
or perfume, particularly in religious ceremonies.
The vase is hand-painted with matte enamel colors in imitation of the red-figure style of Greek vases.
Wedgwood called this process “encaustic painting,” which he patented in 1769. The central scene depicts
the figures of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, and a maenad, one of his female followers. They are
taken from volume 3, plate 82, of the Hamilton catalogue.
Place object was created: Etruria, Staffordshire, England
black basalt, stoneware
Measurements: height: 20.25 inchesGift of M. Mellanay Delhom 1976.DG.16
Currently on view at Mint Museum RANDOLPH