An impressively preserved kylix cup also called an eye cup as it presents two pairs of wide-open eyeballs painted in silhouette style with white and black pigment under sinuous fine-line eyebrows on the exterior walls along with figures in chariots occupying the spaces between. A pair of female figures mounts each 2-horsed chariot as a male figure stands amongst the animals. The interior tondo depicts a black-figure male youth, draped in a toga as he holds a scepter and a strigil.
Note the fugitive white pigment denoting the large eyes and the skin of the women in the chariots, as well as the incised details in the bodies of the horses and the robes of the figures. Scholars believe that Greek vase painters placed eyes on cups, because they were apotropaic - having the power to ward off evil. Another theory is that that when held up to drink, the eye cup would transform into a mask with painted eyes, handles that resembled ears, and the foot resembling a mouth.
Size: 6.8" L x 9.5" W x 2.9" H (17.3 cm x 24.1 cm x 7.4 cm); 3.8" H (9.7 cm)
Intact with age related wear and abrasions.
A similar eye-cup can be found in Ferrara, Museo Nazionale di Spina, T457 (Beazley number 306482).
Ex American Collection, Chicago. Comes with custom presentation stand.
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