An elegant black glazed terracotta skyphos from Gnathia, a Greek colony of South Italy. The vessel is fairly typical in its form, featuring two applied handles. The entire exterior and interior appear to have been glazed in a layer of glossy black pigment, indicating high quality workmanship. The underside of the base of the skyphos has been left with the red clay exposed.
Although the skyphos is a Greek form of pottery, this cup is not Greek in its origin, but is from Gnathia, a region of southern Italy. Southern Italy was populated by a vast number of Greek colonies from the 8th Century BC onwards – so much so that to the Romans the area was known as Magna Graecia – ‘Great Greece’. These Greek colonies were instrumental in the bringing of Greek culture and thought to Italy, and so greatly influenced Roman literature, philosophy and material culture. Gnathia pottery is usually characterised a glossy black glaze.
Date: Circa 4th – 3rd Century BC