This finely executed relief is rich in iconography and associations. The relief is architectural in shape, representing a naiskos or small temple. The pitched roof has a pedimental form and two flat square columns – antae – that support it, and therefore a temple ‘in antis’, a type favoured for small structures or shrines. This configuration frames the figures and activity depicted.
The rider wears a tunic with a cloak – himation – draped over one shoulder. The horse and rider move towards an altar scene where a woman pours a libation. She has a long chiton with a cloak, a veil covers her head and she wears a necklace of beads. In her right hand she holds a phiale mesomphalos, a flat saucer-shaped offering bowl with a rounded central projection, which she uses to pour a libation over a square altar. A small female bust, perhaps a servant, appears above the altar. She carries a platter of offerings on her head; behind her is a leafy tree, home to a snake that eats the contents of the tray.
A Greek inscrption reading, '...KI....HEROS'
American Private Collection, acquired in the 1980s.
Published: Christie's London, 29 April 2010, lot 66