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lip cup

A cup with an offset lip.

Shape: The Lip cup resembles the Gordion cup (see below) in shape, with its straight lip tooled off from the body, but not at an abrupt angle. The high foot of the Lip cup has a broad, flat base plate, not the hollow cone present in the foot-disc and stem of the earlier cups. Often the lip is left undecorated, but sometimes it contains figure decoration, usually 1-3 figures at the center of each side. There is very often an inscription between the palmettes which flank the handles. Inside, there is often a tondo figure flanked by a band of tongues.

History: Little Master Cups include two varieties, the Lip cup and the Band cup. The former appears a little earlier and dies out a bit sooner than the latter. Their general name is taken from the miniaturist style of their decoration.

The Lip cup was fully developed by the Attic painters and descends from the Siana cup, though this new style was introduced indirectly through a cup called the Gordion cup -- a type of cup that was favoured by the artists of the Francois Vase, Ergotimos and Kleitias, and so called from the town Gordion, in Phrygia, where one was found. The Gordion cup dates from 565-540 B.C. and is among the earliest and the smallest of the Little Master cups. It differs from the Lip cup in several respects: the lip is straight and black, and clearly set off from the body; the interior has a tondo scene, like a Siana cup; and it has a lower foot than the Lip cup.

Term: The Lip cup takes its modern name from the offset lip.

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