Terracotta lekanis (dish) with lid and finial

Period: Hellenistic

Date: 2nd half of 3rd century B.C.

Culture: Greek, Sicilian, Centuripe

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: Overall: 24 1/4 x 24 1/2in. (61.6 x 62.2cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1930

Accession Number: 30.11.4a–c


The elaborate vase belongs to a small class of vessels from Centuripe, a small town in eastern Sicily, where they were apparently made. It shows a characteristic combination of sumptuous and gilded high-relief decoration, imitating fine metalwork, and a scene painted with bright tempera. The front and sides of the lid depict a complex scene with several female figures around an altar. One figure holds a tambourine, an instrument often associated with the worship of Dionysos. In the handle zone, the head of Medusa or Hermes is flanked by Erotes amidst a floral scroll. The finial and base are decorated with shafts of wheat and leaves.