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Apulian Barrel amphora known as the 'Englefield Vase'

Late 4th century BC
Apulian Rich Style

A Greek provincial vase made in a Greek colony in southern Italy.

Black and white decoration on red

Height: 35cm, maximum

Museum number: L74

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 537help-vermeule-catalogue-number

On display: Library-Dining Room
All spaces are in No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields unless identified as in No. 12, Soane's first house. For tours https://www.soane.org/your-visit

Curatorial note

Side A
Woman in long chiton with overfold, a himation about her legs, seated left on an altar(?) or bench in an ornamental Ionic distyle aedicula. She holds a fan in her extended right hand and looks back right towards a mirror protruding from the right.

Side B
Nude Eros, fillet in right hand, himation over right forearm, jug in left, running to the left.

The decoration from top to bottom comprises: dentil and wave patterns on the lip, diamond pattern (A) and palmette (B) on the upper neck, bead and reel (A) on collar, ovolo, thin dentil on lower neck, female head left in flower scroll (A) and palmette (B) on shoulder, fret (A) and laurel (B) at body, large palmettes beneath handles, and a fret between thin fillet groundline border below. Ornamental thin volute handles. Rimmed foot; unperforated.

An elaborate Apulian amphora painted by an artist contemporary with the Darius painter.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Formerly in the collection of Sir Henry Englefield (1752-1822); purchased by John Soane at the Englefield sale, Christie's 6 March 1823, Lot 53: Vase of rare form [cylindrical] with tall neck & handles one of them repaired … 19 ½" high in morocco case £24.13.6 . The sale catalogue entry describes the designs: 'on one side is a portal or sepulchral monument, within which is a female sitting with a fan: on the reverse a naked winged Genius, with a proefericulum & a chaplet, is running to release him (?her)'.


John Soane, Description, 1835, p.5; pl.1
Adolf Michaelis, Ancient Marbles in Great Britain, trans. C.A.M. Fennell, Cambridge, 1882, Introduction, pp. 163-164, note 443.
Description of Sir John Soane's Museum, 1930, p.29
Konrad Schauenburg, Gruppe Polychromer Apulischer Vasen in Kiel, Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts, 100, 1985, pp. 399-443, esp. p. 409, fig. 19.
Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts, Band 100, 1985. Konrad Schauenburg, Zu Einer Gruppe Polychromer Apulischer Vasen in Kiel [cites the Englefield Vase]

Associated items

O1985, provenance link
O2584, related material

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