Obverse, the abduction of Antiope by Theseus Reverse, Amazons riding up
In its mythological beginnings, Athens was attacked by the Amazons, warrior women whose homeland lay to the north and east of the Black Sea. The incursion was repulsed, and Theseus, the ruler of Athens, took Antiope, the Amazon queen, as his wife. Of special interest on the obverse is the shield device of a flute-playing crab. The motif plays on the name of a famous flute-player in late-sixth century B.C. Athens, Karkinos, crab. The device occurs again on the reverse of the calyx-krater by Euphronios and Euxitheos (1972.11.10) exhibited in the Greek galleries on the main floor.
Beazley, John D. 1963. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 224, no. 1, Oxford: Clarendon Press.