William Hamilton's Greek Vases

Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803) was ambassador of Great Britain to the Kingdom of Naples, just when the city of Naples experienced its "Golden Age". Hamilton was a highly educated gentleman and fascinated with the excavations in Pompei and Herculaneum and other places in the South of Italy, a heavily Greek-influenced region. Hamilton became an avid collector of Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities. His main interest was on antique vases. His first collection he sold (and partially donated) to the British Museum in London. After that he started collecting again and published, in four volumes,  engravings of his new collection. The title was "Collection of Engravings from ancient vases mostly of pure Greek Workmanship discovered in sepulchers in the Kingdom of the Two SiciliesÉ"

The engravings were executed by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbei (1751-1829), who also signed as publisher of the impressive work. The publishing happened in Naples between 1791 to 1795.

Most of our engravings from this collection are hand-colored in typical terra-cotta and black. A former owner has added decorative bordures in classical style. The bordures were mounted along the plate marks of the engravings, thus giving them  an additional decorative impression. Some engravings are on the full folio page. Others were trimmed to a more practical size for framing.

Some of our engravings are uncolored. They show the original line engraving style as they were originally published.

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No title. Hercules in combat with centaur.

Hand-colored copper etching by Johann Eilhelm Tischbein (1751-1829) surrounded with an added Greek bordure.

From the William Hamilton's " Collection of engravings from ancient vases mostly of Greek workmanship, discovered in sepulchers in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies"

Published in four volumes in Naples, 1791-1795.

Left side margin widened. Lower margin has crease outside image.

Measurement including bordure: 26,3 x 35 cm (ca. 10.4 x 13.8")

Order Nr. HAMILTON248695 SOLD

Priestess with one wing with a hugging child on her lap. She is flanked by two menades holding sacrificial offerings

Very fine hand coloring. A typical Greek meander-bordure, surrounding the engraving, has been added to the very finely hand-colored copper etching

25 x 33 cm (ca. 9.8 x 13")

Order Nr. HAMILTON242327 SOLD


Hamilton text reads: "The ancients had two sorts of wrestling, in one, the wrestlers throwing themselves on the ground by agreement, attacked only the extremities, that is by endeavoring to hurt the fingers of each other as much as they could. The other sort of wrestling was called Orthia Pale, straight wrestling: It is the latter which is represented in this plate.

Black and white copper etching on the full sheet. Vol I, Plate 55

19 x 30 cm (ca. 7.5 x 11.8")

Sheez size: 50 x 37 cm (ca. 19.7 x 14.5")

Order Nr. HAMILTON248326 SOLD

A naked warrior (Herakles?) with an unsheathed sword flanked by two amazons with fierce facial expressions and with snakes attacking.

Black and white copper etching

Image: 22 x 31 cm (ca. 8.7 x 12.2")

On a half sheet.

$ 360.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON248323

Three female figures.

Black and white copper etching

Image: 24 x 32,2 cm (ca. 9.4 x 12.7")

Sheet size: 50 x 37 cm (ca. 19.7 x 14.5")

$ 360.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON248320

The page has a slight more age toning than shown on this scan.

Sacrificial ceremony??? Two female figures kneeling next to s sacrificial bowl?

18,3 x 29 cm (ca. 7.2 x 11.4")

On a half sheet.

$ 250.00


Man on a horse meeting a woman giving water to the horse.

22,5 x 25 cm (ca. 8.9 x 9.8")

On a half sheet

$ 240.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON248322

Ornamented Greek vase

Diameter: 24,5 cm (ca. 9.6")

There is a crease left lower side running through plate mark, bur far way from image

Order Nr. HAMILTON24825 SOLD

Vol I, Plate 17 -

Hamilton text reads: "The Heraclides after having vainly attempted several times to reestablish themselves inPeloponesus, succeeded at length under the command of Oxylus. Having divided the Peninsula into three portions which were, Argos, Lacedomon, and Messene, they resolved to draw lots for each of their shares. They raised three monuments to the God from whom they drew their origin. They made sacrifices there, and having taken a vase full of water, Timenes, and the son of Aristodemus threw in two light stones, Cresfontes, wanting to possess Lacedemon, which was to be the last lot, threw into the vase a piece of earth, which was immediately dissolved, by which he obtained his wish and the two other Sharers had Argos, and Messine. See Apollodorus"

Some smal tears and browning along margin edges.

17 x 27,3 cm (ca. 6.7 x 10.7")

Sheet size 50 x 37 cm (ca. 19,7 x 14.5")

$ 280.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON248321

Image: 12.5 x 19 cm ( 4.9 x 7.4 ")

$ 280.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON248946

Accompanying text in book for Vol. I, plate 36 reads: "ÉA Priest, preceded by a faun, pours out the wine gently, which he has received form the Priestess, who follows him"

A typical Greek meander-bordure, surrounding the engraving, has been added to the very finely hand-colored copper etching.

28,5 x 40 cm (ca. 11.2 x 15.7") Measurement includes bordure

Order Nr. HAMILTON248319SOLD

Image with border: 23.5 x 32 cm ( 9.2 x 12.5 ")


Image with border: 29.5 x 41 cm ( 11.6 x 16.1")


Image with border: 26.5 x 34.5 cm ( 10.4 x 13.5 ")
Left margin is narrow.


Image with border: 28.2 x 28.2 cm ( 11.1 x 11.1 ")

$ 580.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4080

Image with border: 26.2 x 35 cm ( 10.3 x 13.7 ")
Left margin has been reinforced.

$ 620.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4077

Image size: 22.5 x 31.2 cm ( 8.8 x 12.2 ")

$ 680.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON238790

22.5 x 29 cm ( 8.8 x 11.4 ")

$ 580.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4066

Image size with border: 36 x 36 cm ( 14.1 x 14.1 ")

Signs of age and use in margins.

$ 720.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON238791

No title. Bacchantal entourage with Dionysos holding a torch riding through the night on his donkey followed by a grown and a juvenile Satyrs and servants carrying wine jugs and a torch.

Hand-colored, terra cotta and black, copper etching.

Published i: "Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities From the Cabinet of the Honourable William Hamilton" (1730-1803)

Author: Francois Hugues d'Hancarville (1719-1805)

Printer: Francois Morel. Napoli, Naples, Neapel 1766/67

A stunning collection!!!

Print has added margins upon which is mounted the surrounding Greek meander bordure.

36,5 x 58,8 cm (ca. 14.4 x 23.1")

$ 1800.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON4090

Image with border: 32.5 x 56.5 cm ( 12.7 x 22.2 ")


Image with border: 33 x 44 cm (12.9 x 17.3 "
Upper and right margins are narrow, uneven and with a few spots.

$ 820.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON239000 SOLD

Image with border: 29 x 36.5 cm ( 11.4 x 14.3 ")

Side margins are narrow.


Order Nr. HAMILTON 4093

Image with border:30.5 x 27 cm ( 12 x 10.6 )


Order Nr. HAMILTON 4079

Image with border: 31 x 43 cm ( 12.2 x 16.9 ")
Side margins are narrow..


Order Nr. HAMILTON 4079

Image with border: 26.5 x 42.5 cm ( 10.4 x 16.7 ")

$ 750.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4081

Image with border: 25.2 x 32 cm ( 9.9 x 12.5 ")

$ 580.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4082


15.4 x 23.8 cm ( 6.1 x 9.4")

$ 450.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4016

These two figures, well composed and full of spririt, represent a faun and a Bacchante dancing. It is to be remarked that although many of the subjects on these vases are evidently historical, most of them have at the same time some remblem, or depiction, relating to Bacchus.


18.5 x 26.7 cm (7.3 x 10.5")

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4054 SOLD

This plate represents two young men contending at the discus, one has already thrown his discus, and is going to scrape himself with a strigille. His opponent is about to throw his discus. The person crowned is one of those judges or moderators who made sure the games were according to the rules and that the winners received prizes according to their merits. Their mark of distinction was a tree branch like the one seen on this plate.

Image with border: 27.3 x 43.7 cm ( 10.7 x 17.2 ")


Image with border: 24 x 32 cm ( 9.4 x 12.5 ")


13.2 x 19.4 cm ( 5.3 x 7.6 ")

$ 550.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4047

A woman dressing to go to the theater or to assist at some religious festival. It is known that crowns were worn on both those occasions. It is not related where this vase was found.

22.5 x 23 cm ( 8.8 x 9 ")


Order Nr. HAMILTON4074

20.2 x 29.2 cm ( 7.9 x 11.4 ")


14.2 x 20.7 cm ( 5.6 x 8.1 ")

$ 420.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4073

12.4 x 16.8 cm ( 4.8 x 6.6 ")


17.8 x 17.6 cm ( 7 x 6.9 ")

$ 520.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4070

21.5 x 23.2 cm ( 8 x 9.1 ")

$ 750.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4064

Image with border: 20.5 x 41 cm ( 8 x 16.1")
White backing margins are somewhat narrow on the sides.

$ 520.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4085

Large image: 23.2 x 22.2 cm ( 9.1 x 8.7 ")

$ 680.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4062

17 x 32.8 cm ( 6.6 x 12.9 ")

$ 750.00

Order Nr.HAMILTON4061

15 x 30.5 cm ( 5.9 x 12 ")

$ 720.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4069

Image with border: 25.2 x 25.2 cm ( 9.9 x 9.9 ")


No title. On the right Olympic winner, garlanded with a crown of olive twigs and holding a branch of an olive tree, while he listens to a Satyr playing the flute and a servant lights the nightly classical scene with a torch.

Handcolored terra cotta and black copper etching. Classical bordure mounted.

Published i: "Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities From the Cabinet of the Honourable William Hamilton" (1730-1803)

Author: Francois Hugues d'Hancarville (1719-1805)

Printer: Francois Morel. Napoli, Naples, Neapel 1766/67

Very good condition.Left margin has been widened

Image: 27 x 33 cm (ca. 10.6 x 13")


7.5 x 21 cm ( 3 x 8.3 ")

$ 400.00

Order Nr.HAMILTON4010

22.8 x 23.6 cm ( 9 x 9.25 ")

$ 750.00

Order Nr. HAMILTON 4060

This plate represents the Pyrrick dance which was danced by young men in armour. Some historians think that Pyrrick was the son of Achilles and inventor of this dance. In this drawing the dance is combined with acrobatics and particularly of the sort that Homer describes in the Iliad and Odyssee. It was possibly performed as a prelude to a play although the column in the background could indicate a theatrial representation. The woman acrobat holds a simpulum (small dish used for sacrifice) with the toes of her right foot and is trying to take some wine out of the large vase and pour it into the smaller one which she holds with her left foot. The woman in the upper left is coaching her. In the lower part is a Pyrrick dance.

The margins of this page are spotty and dirty.


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