There are lots of different kinds of vases from the classical antiquity depending on domestic function; culinary custom; form and material. One such vessel is called a krater: tall, bell-shaped and made of bronze. This vase has become commonly known as the Medici vase. And this version is not same as its predecessors.
The ‘krater’ was a Greek vessel for watering down wine prior to drinking. It could also be used as a bowl. It featured two small side handles and a wide, flared neck. The crater of a volcano was called a crater because of its bowl shape. There are four main types of kraters: column, volute, calyx and bell-shape (because it resembles an upside down bell).
A monumental bell-shaped krater vase in bronze with a pedestal was found during an inventory at the Villa Medicis in 1598 that is currently exhibited at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Its size (1m 73), beautiful workmanship (looped handles, everted lip and gadrooned base) and mysterious mythological scenes running in bas-relief across its surface caused such a stir and spawned so many imitations that the name ‘Medici Vase’ became the universal name for a flared vase with two handles.
It comes in all sizes and materials, with a broad understanding of form, as long as there is a nod to the features that link it to the family, one way or the other.
But when it comes to waxed Medici vases intended for decoration as well as having a functional use (especially to hold water and flowers), archaeologists of the future will not find themselves in muddy waters but united regarding a vessel in which wine is not diluted with water: we are of course talking about a diptyque vase, dated early XXIst century, probably even 2016 and 2017, some might even date it to the month of September, and very likely stemming from Collection 34.