2 - 2 - 1 Fikellura Pottery

Fikellura is named after the modern name of ancient Kamiros, Rhodes, from where many examples were found. From excavations and analysis of the clay, however, it is almost certain that these vases were made at Miletos[1].

Clay is almost same as that of South Ionian wild goat pottery, which is also attributed to Miletos. They rarely introduced engraved lines, while figures are depicted as silhouette with reserved lines, rather than by outline technique. Added purple is occasionally used only on the earlier examples and the use of added white is limited, such as to eyes and rosette.

They introduced different shapes from the wild goat style, while generally the qualitiy of potting is poor and we can often find warped examples. Most common shape is neck amphora with a broad shoulder and a handle consisting of several clay cords on either side. This shape was rarely found in Ionian wild goat pottery, though Aiolian workshops sometimes produced this shape. Amphoriskos was introduced in the later period and developed from stout to slender body. Other than these shapes, oinochai, cups of Athenian Littlemaster shape and round aryballoi were also made.

Although the composition varies compared with the wild goat style, elements for the decoration are not so many. Other than animal figures which were inherited from the wild goat style, they also introduced human figures. On the neck generally has a cable pattern as on the wild goat pottery, though meander and square pattern was introduced in the later period. Volute, crescend and lotus patterns are often painted on the body. The volute pattern is generally arranged on the upper body and occasionally occupies the main frieze. The crescend pattern is generally painted in the lower frieze and if this pattern is arranged in several friezes, each pattern faces different direction. Lotus bud and flower pattern becomes simpler than that on the wild goat pottery.

Inventor of the Fikellura style is the Altenburg Painter, who was followed by the Group S. While they still retained the wild goat style, the Group R abandoned space fillers and the follower, the Group P sometimes decorated their vases only with palmettes and volutes. The Running Man Painter is named after an amphora in the British Museum [2]. He and the group O often left the lower half of vases undecorated.

Amphoriskoi were introduced in the later period. Although most of them have simple decoration, only the Running Satyrs Painter, who must be influenced from Athenian pottery, has delicate style.

Findplaces of the Fikellura pottery are almost same as those of the wild goat pottery. Except for Aigina, they are rarely found from Greek mainland and Italy, while many examples are found from Naukratis. Late Fikellura pottery rarely reached to further places and this may be because of the rise of Athenian pottery. Although we have less evidence to date the birth and end of this style, it is generally thought that the production started about 560 and ended in 494, when Miletos was completely destroyed by Persians, or earlier.

[1] For the basic study of Fikellura Pottery, see, Cook, R. M., "Fikellura Pottery", BSA 34 (1933/4) pp.1-98, Schaus, G. P., "Two Fikellura Vase Painters" BSA 81 (1986) pp.251-295, Cook, R. M., "The wild goat and Fikellura styles: some speculations", OJA 11, pp.255-266.
[2] London British Museum 1864.10-7.156, from Fikellura, H.34