The kantharos (pl. kantharoi) is a cup used specifically for drinking wine and is commonly depicted on figured vases in Bacchic scenes where the god of wine, often in a state of inebriation, is holding such a cup. The kantharos is characterised by its deep bowl and two vertical handles. One subdivision of the shape which features in this catalogue is the sessile kantharos. The stability of this kantharos variant made it a popular form. The development of these vessels is so limited that it is assumed they all originate from one workshop, near to the Agora in Athens. The term ‘sessile’ applies specifically to kantharoi with their distinctive shape of handle, which can vary in length down the body but never rises above the rim.
ProvenancePrivate collection, Ticino, Switzerland; acquired prior to 1970
LiteratureCompare Brian A. Sparkes and Lucy Talcott, The Athenian Agora, Vol.XII, Black and Plain Pottery (Princeton, 1970), pl.27, no.633.
For a disussion on the development of the kantharos, with particular reference to the sessile form, read E. Mulder, Boeotia, Land of the Kantharos: Explanations for the high number of kantharoi present in the Archaic and Classical period in Boeotia (Leiden, 2012), pp.10-11