This exceptionally beautiful red-figure fish plate is of the South Italian type (probably originating from Sicily). The form is typical for such vases: a slightly concave plate with a central depression with a rounded, disc-shaped foot, and a turned down rim with a decorative wave motif around the edge of the plate. The scene is of three Mediterranean fish, two of which swim to the left, with the third swimming to the right. The central depression of this plate is in reserve and a small, wave pattern encircles the center of the plate, echoing the larger wave pattern around the edge of the plate. Separating the rim from the plate is a reserved area with a herring bone motif.
The original use of fish plates is still a matter of debate. Some have argued that the aquatic imagery suggests that these plates originally were intended as a serving platter for fish, its central impression used to hold an accompanying fish sauce or served to catch liquid draining from the fish.
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