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“Then Bacchus … reaped the newgrown grapes. A band of Satyrs was with him: one stooped to gather the clusters, one received them into an empty vessel as they were cut, one pulled off the masses of green leaves from the bilbulous fruit…”

Nonnus (5th century AD), Dionysiaca XII.330-337
Roman pottery Campana relief
£5,900
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“Then Bacchus … reaped the newgrown grapes. A band of Satyrs was with him: one stooped to gather the clusters, one received them into an empty vessel as they were cut, one pulled off the masses of green leaves from the bilbulous fruit…”

Nonnus (5th century AD), Dionysiaca XII.330-337
Roman pottery Campana relief
£5,900
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Roman pottery Campana relief

Circa 1st century BC-1st century AD

This terracotta relief depicts a kneeling satyr picking bunches of grapes and adding them to his overflowing basket. It originally must have belonged to a larger scene showing the drunken revelries of the wine-making satyrs, the attendants of the god Dionysos.

In Roman times, such images formed part of decorative friezes found in wealthy villas, along with other depictions of mythological creatures or scenes from daily life. They are known today as Campana reliefs or tiles, after the first man to have collected and catalogued them, the Italian art collector Giampietro Campana (1808-1980).

Height: 7 3/4 inches (19.7 cm) or 9 inches (22.9 cm) including base

Width: 9 inches (22.9 cm)

Provenance:

From the collection of Sir Daniel Donohue (1919-2014), acquired 1950s-1960s

Bonhams, "Antiquities including Property from the Collection of Sir Daniel Donohue", 13 April 2011, lot 292.

£5,900

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