Greek Terracotta Openwork Vase Stand

Greek · ca. 8th Century B.C.




H: 23.3 cm (9.1 in)





Download PDF


  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Beside several common shapes of vessels designed for eating, drinking, or storage of solids and liquids (bowl, cups, jars, amphorae, etc.), very early in the history, the Greek potters invented a few specific pottery shapes of different purposes, among them a stand to hold a vessel, which, otherwise, could not stand or would be unstable on its own. Before the firing in the kiln, this present stand was assembled from the parts made on the potter’s wheel and cut to create the feet and the apertures in the second tier.

The entire surface was decorated with painted ornaments and figurative representations. The broad upper register received the key ornament, with the diagonal crossing inside the elements; a band below consists of checked rhomboids. A thinner band with similar but smaller rhomboids encircles the window apertures, which are all delineated. The wall between the apertures has three rhomboids placed vertically, while each partition above the four feet has the depiction of a stag and a fish between its legs. The feet themselves have the images of two confronting birds and the stars above and beneath them. The individual painter’s manner is marked by the drawing of very long and thin legs of the animals and birds. Because of the uneven firing in a crowded kiln, one side of the stand’s decoration got almost black, while the paint on the other side turned red.


Reassembled; surface weathered, some encrustation; a few chips; root marks.


Ex- Pierre & Claude Vérité private collection, Paris, France, acquired between 1930 and 1960.


La Méditerranée, Berceau de l’Europe, Maison des Arts et Loisirs de Montbéliard, Atelier des Halles, November 6 to December 15, 1971, no. 55.



BOARDMAN J., Early Greek Vase Painting, 11th-6th Centuries BC, London, 1998, pp. 47, 59, fig. 87. COLDSTREAM J. N., Geometric Greece, London, 1977, p. 208, fig. 67b. POTTIER E., Vases Antiques du Louvre, Paris, 1897, pl. 19. SHOE L. T., A Box of Antiquities From Corinth, in Hesperia 1, 1932, p. 63, fig. 9.