RISD 34.858BLACK-FIGURE LIP CUP
Lent by the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design; gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth (1934.858)
Height: 3 3/16 in. (8.1 cm.); diameter of lip: 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm.)
One handle broken and repaired; glaze flaking in places.
Interior: small reserved disk with a black dot and circle. Exterior, on the lip, side A: winged lion between two men. One man is hard to make out as the glaze has worn off. The other, with chlamys over one shoulder, attacks a winged lion with stones. The lion, which has a partially obliterated head, turns backwards toward the man attacking from its rear. On the lip, side B: man between dog and sphinx. A man, nude except for a chlamys draped over one shoulder, defends himself against a sphinx at whom he seems to throw a rock. Behind him is a dog who is either helping or attacking the man. Handle zone, on both sides: an inscription, χαιρε και πι᾽ τηνδε (welcome and drink this); beside the handles, small upright palmettes supported by volute tendrils which develop from the base of the handles. Red: details of wings, breasts, hair, and tail of the sphinxes; ruff and anatomical articulation of the dog; chlamys and hair of the men; details of the palmettes. White: breasts and faces of the sphinxes, details of their wings; traces of white on the chlamides of the men; details of the palmettes.
Unattributed ca. 540 - 530 B. C. The decoration corresponds to one of the usual formulas for lip cups (see Beazley, JHS 52  167 ff). The inscription in the handle zone is often a welcoming toast as here; it may also tell us who the potter or painter was. Little Master cups, so called because of their miniature style of drawing, were the dominant cup form in the middle through the third quarter of the sixth century. The Attic Siana cup is their forerunner (see No. 4), and their descendants are the great red-figure cups of the fifth century.