14.7.17

Skyphos

Pottery of Ancient Greece

Krater Kylix | Oenochoe | Skyphos | Psykter | Kyathos | Rhyton | Kantharos | Ascos

A cup characterized by a deep bowl, two handles projecting horizontally near the rim, and either a flat base or a foot. First recorded in 1855-60, skyphos is from the Greek word skýphos cup. The skyphos was the generic name applied also to a few special shapes now unknown.

A skyphos (Greek: σκύφος; plural skyphoi) is a two-handled deep wine-cup on a low flanged base or none. The handles may be horizontal ear-shaped thumbholds that project from the rim (in both Corinthian and Athenian shapes), or they may be loop handles at the rim or that stand away from the lower part of the body. Skyphoi of the type called glaux (owl) have one horizontal and one vertical thumbhold handle.

Early skyphoi were made during the Geometric period. Corinth set the conventions that Athens followed. Over a long period the shape remained the same while the style of decoration changed.

Skyphoi were also made of precious metals, generally silver and gold leaf, many examples exist. One possible, well-preserved example is the Warren cup, an ovoid scyphus made of silver, as described by John Pollini. A Roman skyphos of cameo glass can be seen at the Getty Museum.

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