The fragments of Greek painted pottery making up the 115 catalogue entries in this volume come from vases that were once part of Sir William Hamiltons prized second collection. About one third of that collection was lost when the ship transporting it back to England, HMS Colossus, struck a reef and sank off the Isles of Scilly in December 1798. The recovery of what remained of those vases, after almost 200 years on the seabed, took place between 1975 and 1979. The surviving fragments were formally acquired by the British Museum in 1981.
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