In ancient Greece the stemmed cup was known as a kylix (pl. kylikes), a term that is still used today. It has a wide, shallow bowl, horizontal or near-horizontal handles and a tall stem on a spreading foot. The form was used for black-figure, red-figure and black glaze alike and was one of the most popular drinking vessels in antiquity; representations of this shape can often be found in scenes of symposia on figured vases. It is a shape known for its elegance and is associated with the drinking of wine in particular. The fashion for such vessels dropped off quickly from around 480BC onwards, being replaced by stemless equivalents.
There are two subdivisions of the stemmed kylix in this publication. The first is known as a Vicup, which, along with the Acrocups, are the only types to have been found in any meaningful number after 480BC. There is little variation in this type, indicating its production was short-lived, the majority of examples dating to the second quarter of the fifth century BC. Indeed, the variation is so limited that it is believed this form was produced by only one workshop and that the variations show the individuality of the potters within it. The main characteristics of cups from this class are their straight inset lip, shallow bowl, upward-tilting handles, short stem on a continuous line with the bowl and foot, and moulded outer face on the foot.
The second subdivision, known as Type C, is further divided into two groups; those with a concave lip and those with a plain one. Ours is part of the former classification: the heavy torus foot emphasising the stability of the shape and its utilitarian nature.