EXQUISITE HELLENISTIC SILVER CUP
Measurements: 8 cm − height, 16.2 cm − width, 193 g − weight
Description: A beautiful late Hellenistic or early Roman silver skyphos with an ornate pedestal foot, hemispherical bowl with a slight lip, decorated with a band of pellets around the rim, and two ledge handles with penannular ring and projecting arched support beneath. The handles were designed to be held with the thumb, forefinger and middle finger, and were cast in several parts and soldered to the bowls. The horizontal flaring plates, designed as the thumb-rests, have tight curlicues at the rim attachment and raised finials. The pedestal foot was similarly worked separately and soldered on, with the foot marked with lathe-turned, concentric mouldings on the underside.
Skyphoi of this shape had a long life as tableware of the Greek and Roman world from the fifth century BC into the early Imperial period. Originally made in pottery, they were translated into silver as early as the fourth or early third century BC. In the early first century BC, the shape is found in glass and is ubiquitous in ceramic. See Roman silver tableware fresco from Pompeii.
Provenance: Ex European collection; previously in a large American collection formed in Chicago, USA, in 1995; previously in the Mansees collection formed in the 1950s - 1990s.
Reference: True, M. and Hamma, K., eds., 1995, A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, p. 231, nos. G-H.
Period: Late Hellenistic – early Roman period, 2nd - 1st century BC
Condition: Extremely fine, intact, with minor surface scratches over the whole, otherwise unblemished.