This is a large lidless mug with flaring mouth, decorated with reddish ochre and white slip. The decoration has been attributed by Dr. A.D. Trendall to the White Saccos Painter. Depicted is the head of a so-called Lady of Fashion. Her hair is dressed in a beaded saccos with a radiate stephane. She wears drop pendant earrings. The head is surrounded by floral motifs. The mug has a conjoined strap handle, separating at the rim, under which a large palmette with side scrolls is visible.
The White Saccos Painter was a follower of the most important late Apulian vase painter, the Baltimore Painter. Especially his early works are extremely close to those of the Baltimore Painter. Trendall called him "the immediate successor and true heir of the Baltimore Painter" (see Arthur Dale Trendall, Red Figure Vases of South Italy and Sicily, a Handbook (London, Thames and Hudson, 1989), p. 99. The White Saccos Painter worked mostly on larger pots, but being a prolific artist he decorated many smaller vessels as well. The group to which the Baltimore Painter, the White Saccos Painter, the Stoke-on-Trent Painter, the Arpi Painter, the Kantharos Group and others belonged worked in Canosa or somewhere close by.
For similar heads by the White Saccos Painter see Arthur Dale Trendall - Alexander Cambitoglou, The Red-Figured Vases of Apulia II (Oxford, Clarendon, 1982), pls. 377, 6 and 7.
E.G.D. Robinson, "Workshops of Apulian Red-Figure Outside Taranto", in Jean-Paul Descoeudres (ed.), EUMOUSIA. Ceramic and Iconographic Studies in Honour of Alexander Cambitoglou (Meditarch Supplement, 1) (Sydney, 1990), p. 179-193.
Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Special Issue: Second Supplement to the Red-Figured Vases of Apulia, Part II, Chapter 29: The White Saccos - Kantharos Group. Suppl. I, pp. 181–199 (see also pp. 147–8) (Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, 37) (London, University of London, 1992), p. 345–387.
Circa 320 B.C.
Ex private UK collection, acquired in London from a dealer 1997-2002; ex Bonhams London.
A repair to the rim (ca 3.5 x 1 cm maximum); some minuscule chips, scratches and small spots where the surface was slightly damaged (as visible on the photographs), common with ancient vases; some very minor stress cracks (almost invisible to the naked eye) especially where the handle is attached to the vessel, a phenomenon often observed on ancient vases that does not detract. Overall an excellent vase.