This is a particularly refined example of the type.
The Pheidias shape is the most common form of black glaze mug and was hugely popular in Athens during the second half of the fifth century BC. It is so called because an example was discovered at Olympia with the name ‘Pheidias’ inscribed on the base. They have characteristically rounded bodies, a concave neck, low double-reeded handle bifurcating at the rim, and a thin line of notching or ‘beadwork’ at the junction of the neck and body that is absent in earlier examples. The stamped decoration beneath the handle only lasted for the third quarter of the fifth century, after which the plain ribbing became the norm once again. Though the Pheidias form is prevalent in metal, no such examples pre-date those in pottery, indicating that this is one of the rare cases where the metal form copied that of the pottery.
ProvenancePrivate collection, Cologne, Germany; acquired late 20th Century
Compare John W. Hayes, Greek and Italian Black-gloss Wares and Related Wares in the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, 1984), pp.32-33, no.51
Also see Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, University College Dublin and University College Cork 1, pl.59, no.6