Ancient Greek Terracotta Kylix


A stemless terracotta Greek kylix (drinking cup), enriched with a black glaze. The large, shallow body sits upon a flaring concave foot. Two D-shaped protruding handles have been attached on either side of the upper body. The foot featured a thick band painted in red pigment along with three concentric circles alternating between the black glaze and red pigment under the foot.

Date: Circa 4th-3rd Century BC
Provenance: Ex K. Furness collection, acquired by descent from her mother. Circa 1950s onwards.
Condition: Very fine condition, some wear to the glaze.


SKU: HY-33 Category: Tags: ,

Stemless kylix cups were used for an ancient Greek event known as a symposium. It was an exclusively male party held at a private residence, with the only women allowed being high class prostitutes known as ‘herairai’. These events would be opportunities for typically higher-class men to drink and discuss philosophy, politics, poetry and contemporary topical issues. It was thought that the kylix cup would have been shared around the party and be a communal drinking vessel. Cups could be plain or highly decorated, depicting scenes from both everyday life and mythological references.

For more information on the Greek symposium tradition, please see our blog post: The Symposium in Classical Cultures

Weight 104.4 g
Dimensions L 15.5 x W 9.4 x H 4.5 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1864,1007.1548

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