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head cup

A cup consisting of a wheel-made lip attached to a mold-formed lower portion,which usually takes the shape of a woman's or negro's head.

Shape: This shape is not only confined to human representations; there is one cup where the lower portion takes the shape of a donkey's head. These cups commonly show a single face; double (janiform) heads are rarer. The single, or paired, looped vertical handle springs from the lower portion of the cup and reaches to just below the lip.

History: Attic plastic head cups of the sixth and fifth centuries have been classified on the basis of their molded portions. There are relatively few of these types of vessels, which may suggest that they were novelty and luxury items.

Term: The lower portion of the cup usually takes the shape of a human head, hence its modern name.

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