The lekanis (pl. lekanides) was a type of container and a widely used household object, acting as a receptacle for food, spices, thread and even toys. The lekanis was part of the repertoire of gifts given to a bride on her wedding night. All of the vases from this group have a flat bowl, a low foot, two horizontal handles and, except for one class of lidless lekanides, a lid with knopped finial. In this catalogue we feature a sub- type of this group, known as a Lykinic lekanis. It is so called because of an example, now lost, that had the name ‘Lykinos’ scratched on the lid. It was made from the middle of the fifth century BC onwards but before the latter part of the century its offset rim disappeared, giving us a date beyond which this example cannot have been made. At this point the foot also began to take on a more elaborate profile.
Sir Charles Alfred William Rycroft (1839–1884), London, UK
Charles Ede Ltd, London, UK; acquired Sotheby’s, June 1977
Private collection, New Jersey, USA; acquired from the above 1979
For the bowl compare Brian A. Sparkes and Lucy Talcott, The Athenian Agora, Vol.XII, Black and Plain Pottery of the 6th, 5th and 4th centuries BC, Part 2 (Princeton, 1970), no.1242 and for the lid see John W. Hayes, Greek and Italian Black-gloss Wares and Related Wares in the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, 1984), p.36, no.58
Also compare Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, Ashmolean 2, pl.LXV, no.13 (1928.34)
PublicationsSotheby's, London, Antiquities, 27th June 1977, lot 199
Charles Ede Ltd, London, Pottery from Athens V , 1979, no.10