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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Kotyle (drinking cup)

Kotyle (drinking cup)

600-575 B.C.

The kotyle is a distinctive Corinthian type of deep cup with two horizontal handles that is closely related to the Attic skyphos and its predecessors in Mycenaean times. It is the most common shape for ordinary drinking cups in Corinth and Athens for most of the Classical period. This example, in the characteristically buff-colored Corinthian clay, is especially well-thrown with remarkably thin walls. It is solidly slipped on the interior and decorated on the exterior in the black-figure style with a typically Corinthian animal frieze that includes ducks, and non-native, Orientalizing beasts such as panthers and lions, as well as one siren, a fantastic composite creature with the head of a woman and the body of a bird. In literature, sirens are best known from Homer's "Odyssey," where they inhabit an island to which they lure doomed sailors with their sweet songs.
3 11/16 in. (9.4 cm)
Diam.: 5 3/8 in.
Thomas D. Stimson Memorial Collection
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySalem, Oregon, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Perfumes and Potables: Precious Pieces from the Ancient Mediterranean, August 28, 1999 - October 30, 1999

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