Ancient Greek Skyphos with Geometric Patterns

£ 675.00

A decorated terracotta, Greek skyphos. The vessel features a large globular bowl slightly tapering in towards the base, which rests on a high concave foot. Two vertical ring handles have been applied to the upper body. The skyphos is adorned with a rich, black glaze covering the interior and exterior.  The rim is decorated with two lines of dots, slowly decreasing in size towards the centre large dot. A line separates the rows, along with a further band of dots along the foot, all painted in a pale orange pigment. Incised vertical lines surround the lower part of the body with traces of white pigment along with a horizontal groove just above. The pattern is shown on both sides.

Date: Circa 4th - 3rd Century BC
Condition: Very fine condition, some of the glaze is now faded from over time. Minor chips to body and base.


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 143.5 g
Dimensions L 13.1 x W 8.6 x H 9.3 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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