Ancient Greek Black-Glazed Terracotta Skyphos


An ancient Greek, terracotta skyphos covered in a rich, black glaze. The vessel is comprised of a deep bowl, with two D-shaped handles applied to each side. The bowl sits on a waisted foot with a carinated rim. To the underside, concentric rings in natural terracotta with black and white pigment decorate the base. The inside of the bowl is decorated also, with stylised leaves connected by thin curving lines at its centre.

Date: Circa 5th Century BC
Provenance: From the private collection of David Akehurst, Curator of the British Museum Greek and Roman Department 1948-1982, thence by descent
Condition: Extremely fine condition, signs of restoration

In stock

SKU: AG-15 Category: Tags: , ,

Skyphoi were drinking cups (usually for wine) that took the form of deep bowls with two handles, usually with a low base. They were pioneered in Corinth. The skyphos was a popular shape, designed to fit easily in the drinkers’ hand, which remained in use into the Roman period and was frequently used at banquets and symposia. The men of ancient Athens regularly got together in private homes to exchange ideas, conversing about different topics and socializing over a drink. As the evening progressed, participants engaged in other pleasures, including games, performances, and sex. Wine played a major role in fuelling these evenings, and a myriad of vessels were used for preparing wine while smaller vessels like this one were used to serve and drink it.

To find out more about the different types of Greek vessels please visit our relevant blog post: Types of Ancient Greek Vases.

Weight 485.5 g
Dimensions L 28.5 x W 17.5 x H 9 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For similar item, see The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item number: 41.162.228

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