Greek South Italian Gnathian Skyphos

GBP 700.00

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Object Description

A fine Greek southern Italian skyphos from the region of Apulia, displaying typical features of Gnathian style. The vessel is decorated with the colours red, white and yellow over the top of a glossy, black background. The obverse side features a stylised vine pattern consisting of grapes, leaves and tendrils, with multiple bands of geometric and floral motifs above. The reverse displays a simple frame of two bands with circular motifs either side completing the design.

The Gnathian style originated from Apulia, a region of Italy located along the southern coast. It consisted of a polychromic design applied onto a dark, varnished background. The primary colours used were red, white and yellow although white soon became the dominant colour. The skyphos, a typical drinking cup in southern Italy, were used during drinking parties because of its practical shape. According to Plato, drinking parties were a common event which allowed guests to have discussions or articulate riddles. Along with listening to music and feasting, they would later sing many songs of skolia, several consisting of the pleasures of wine. The wine produced was aged in leather and clay containers, the alcohol content would be very high and therefore mixed with water to dilute the substance allowing for a better taste.

Circa 4th century BC

Object History

Ex Parthenon Gallery, WC1, 1998. Private collection belonging to a gentleman, The J.L Collection.

Object Condition

Good condition. Some surface wear to the gloss and a few light scratches.

Object Details

  • material
  • dimensions
    H:9.4 centimeters

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)208 364 4565
+44 (0)7833231322

Dealer Location

The Gallery
Trent Park Equestrian Centre
Eastpole Farm House, Bramley Road
Oakwood, N14 4UW, United Kingdom

St James's Ancient Art
10 Charles II Street, Ground Floor
St James