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Attic black-figure band cup Attributed to the Tleson Painter

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: Greek
: 530 B.C.
: Greek ceramic

Ex-C. Bastis collection, New York, USA

Published in: Antiquities from the Collection of C. G. Bastis, New York, 1987, n. 160.


This cup has been broken and reconstructed: in places, it is restored (the join between the body and the foot is modern). The orange surface of the clay and the black slip, which retains its brilliance, are in an excellent state of preservation. The decoration was executed in black-figure with additional ornament in added purple and white and anatomical details were incised.


Drinking vessels were common shapes in the repertoire of the Attic vase painter of the second half of the 6th century B.C.: this vessels is an example of a “band cup”, so-called because of the thick black line which decorates top of the vase. The body has a continuous profi le, and lacks a lip: its top edge is simply rounded. The two symmetrical handles are attached to the middle of the body, at the height of the animal frieze. The foot, tall and cylindrical, ends in a hollow disk.

The figural decoration is limited to ten miniature animals, painted in the central, reserved band which encircles the cup: on both sides, the scene centers on a single dove, rendered in added white, fl ying to the right; the bird is surrounded a pair of swans, their wings extended, who, in turn, are bordered by a pair of peacefully grazing ibexes . The foot, the bottom and top of the body are painted black, as is the interior of the vessel (with the exception of a reserved band surrounding the central black medallion); reserved lines encircle the edges of the cup.

In the catalog of the collection of C.G. Bastin, D. Von Bothmer compared the style of these fi gures to that of the Tleson painter, one of the most important miniature cup painters of the third quarter of the 6th century B.C. in Attica.


BOARDMAN J., Athenian Black Figure Vases, London, 1991, pp. 58-61, fi g. 109.

VIERNEISEL K. – KAESER B., Kunst des Schale, Kultur des Trinkens, Munich, 1990, pp. 96-107.

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