• latw-105-1
    Kantharos, marbled with confronted deer and tree. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Kantharos, marbled with confronted deer and tree

First half of 6th c BC, Lydian
Istanbul, Sadberk Hanım Museum, 6228-HK 1699
Museum Inventory No.
6228-HK 1699
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Sadberk Hanım 6228-HK 1699
Object Type
Pottery Shape
Pottery Ware
Lydian Painted - Orientalizing
Pottery Attribution
Pottery kantharos with double-roll handles. Body decorated in brown slip with curled marbling in seven overlapping rows. Neck decorated with images in slips of three colors, very dark brown, orange brown, and light yellow-brown, over a cream-slipped ground; on either side, a pair of confronted recumbent deer with spotted bodies, flanking a central tree with almond shaped leaves. Height 0.235 m, diameter of mouth 0.14 m.
Formerly Hüseyin Kocabaş Collection, no. 2372, Istanbul. The kantharos allegedly was recovered from Düver, in the region of modern Burdur, in a grave that also contained fragments of a skyphos with exterior curled-marbling decoration, a Lakonian II skyphos, a small flask (lekythos-aryballos), and three lydia, (Greenewalt 1968, 139-150).

Thin walls and careful, assured painting make the cup exquisite. The motif of paired figures flanking a central plant or floral form has a long tradition in art of the Near East and Greece before the sixth century BC, when this piece was made (see Amandry 1965); but several iconographic aspects of this example are unusual: the drawing style, notably with respect to the broad outlines and yellow and orange body colors; the naturalism of the plant, and its bower-like covering of the animal bodies; the ambiguous meaning of the curved dark-white-dark line between body and haunch – haunch contour or narrow tail (as the hooked end suggests; despite the existence of plausible deer tails behind the animals’ rumps).

See Also
Greenewalt, “Lydian Pottery”.
Türkteki and Hürmüzlü 2007, no. 31; Greenewalt 1968, 139-150.