Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2004.15
Title
Skyphos
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
800-750 BCE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Athens (Attica)
Period
Geometric period, Middle
Culture
Greek
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/57789
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Terracotta
Technique
Wheel-made
Dimensions
with handles: 6.8 x Diam. 16 cm (2 11/16 x 6 5/16 in.)
Provenance
Purchased in Christie's London auction of 29 October 2003 by Dr. Jerome Eisenberg of Royal-Athena Galleries in New York. Originally in a private collection in Solothurn, Switzerland. It was for a long time in the stock of the dealer Heidi Vollmueller of Zurich who sold her entire inventory at Christie's South Kensington in November 2003 at which time HUAM purchased this cup.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Purchase through the generosity of Roy W. Lennox and Joan E. Weberman
Accession Year
2004
Object Number
2004.15
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Very low ring base. Squat, echinoid body with shallow lobing along surface. Loop handles set at a slight angle above the horizontal, placed just below join between body and shoulder. Very narrow shoulder curves up to a low, vertical, collar-like rim.

Orange-buff fabric with dark brown slip. Slip flaking on exterior. From a solid ground line that extends up from the base, tongues, outlined in double and filled with a row of chevrons, arise. Just below the shoulder, a dot rosette fills the blank space between each of these tongues. The shoulder and rim contain a row of dots flanked by two solid lines. Hatch marks decorate the handles. The interior of the vessel is completely slipped with a brown slip slightly darker than that found on most of the vessel's exterior. Small patches of irridescence are visible here.

The undulating surface of this vessel and its chevroned-tongue decoration are likely meant to represent the gadrooning (lobing) seen on metal vessels (see Coldstream 1968, 50-51).
Commentary
Re-View Exhibition, Spring 2008, gallery label information:

Skyphos
Greek, Attic, Middle to Late Geometric, c. 750 BCE
Terracotta
Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Purchase through the generosity of Roy W. Lennox and Joan E. Weberman, 2004.15

This skyphos, a cup with horizontal handles, was made in a period when Greek vases bore mostly geometric motifs. The raised and painted tongues imitate the lobes of metal vessels such as the phiale (1979.357) on the right.
Exhibition History

Re-View: S422 Ancient & Byzantine Art & Numismatics, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/12/2008 - 06/18/2011

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu