Friday, November 30, 2012

Greek plates at a car boot sale

This morning I went up to the local church carpark for the monthly car boot sale and noticed these two Made in Greek plates. Are they valuable I wondered?  Probably they are made for tourists and are copies of ancient Greek designs. On the back is written Handmade in Greece  N=ov 923. The woman who sold them to me said they came from an estate - the leftovers in a house after a sale.
Later, after a search on google I located a similar plate at the British Museum Shop.  And some details:

Plate in British Museum Shop – price  pounds 199
Handmade and hand-painted ornament that is based on a piece of pottery,Achilles & Penthesilea, held within the British Museum collection. 

The original dates from around 540-530BC, and is attributed to Exekias, an ancient Greek vase- painter and potter. Much of his work included scenes from Greek mythology. He was known for his ability to capture the most critical points of a story and illustrate them into one simple scene. This magnificent design portraying Achilles killing Penthesilea is such an example... 

This plate is made using the same traditional method that Exekias used thousands of years ago. The technique, which is called Six's technique, involves laying figures in white or red on a black surface and incising the details to reveal the black base colour. Exekias was perhaps the finest of all painters to use the black-figure technique. 


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