Overview: handles right and left

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Summary: Gazelle and swastika patterns in metopes.
Ware: Attic Geometric
Painter: Related to the Hirschfeld Painter
Date: ca. 725 BC

H. 0.09 m.

Shape: Skyphos
Ceramic Phase: Late Geometric Ib
Period: Geometric


Good, slightly chipped on rim.

Decoration Description:

The skyphos is a low bowl with horizontal handles on either side, at the belly. The decoration is divided into three horizontal bands: the rim, the belly, and the lower third of the vase. The clay is a warm buff-brown, and the paint black. At the rim, there are two thin horizontal stripes, under which is a wider band of dotted lozenges, with rows of dots above and below them. Below this is another pair of stripes. In the middle band of decoration, set off by the two stripes above and four stripes below, is a series of vertical bands, encasing the "metope" (one on each side of the vase). The metope is decorated with a gazelle facing right, surrounded by lines of dots as "filler" ornament. Over its back is a swastika. On either side of the metope, moving out toward the handles, are three vertical stripes, a band of chevrons, three more stripes, two rows of dots surmounted by a rosette, and three final stripes. The lowest band of the vase is painted solid black. The handles have a horizontal stripe at their upper and lower edges, and in between a row of rectangles, each separated by two dots.

The vase had originally been dated later, to LG IIb, but the "delicate formalism" of the borders and the metopes place it earlier (von Bothmer, 24). The best parallel for its shape is an Attic LG IIa skyphos Athens, Kerameikos 818.

Material Description:

Warm buff-brown

Collection History:

The Helen and Alice Colburn Fund, 1971.

Sources Used:

C. Vermeule " Masterpieces of Greek Vase Painting " Bulletin. MFA, Boston 78(1980) 24-25

Other Bibliography:

Fogg Art Museum Ancient Art in American Private Collections (Cambridge, Mass., 1957) 33, n. 250A; Coldstream 1968, 73-74, pls. 8f, 12g, 14a