Hellenistic Period
160–100 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Asia Minor, Pergamon


Maximum height: 7.2 cm (2 13/16 in.); diameter of rim: 9.6 cm (3 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, relief decoration

Not On View


The Ancient World



The cup is almost cylindrical. On the bottom, are two rings, a broad channel, and two small central rings. The potter must have incised this foot into the lower surface while the vase was still on the wheel. The cup is decorated with an ivy wreath, from whose ends two ribbons flutter. The wreath is made by juxtaposing applied precast elements, each consisting of three ivy leaves and two blossoms tied together by their stems. The wreath is formed of two branches, the left composed of four of the precast units, the right by three units. Each branch ends in a heart-shaped precast unit covered with dots, which is linked to the opposite heart-shaped unit by a short bar. Each ribbon is indicated by incised undulating lines that form two loops. A gouge indicates the surface of the ribbon. An incised line indicates the string ties for the ribbons.
The vertical exterior wall is an irregular black, which is glossy in some and matte or rough in others, and some areas are brown. The bottom and the interior of the cup is brown. The color differences are probably due irregularities of the temperature in the kiln and to firing in a stack, where covered surfaces of foot and interior were not exposed to the reducing atmosphere that darkened the exterior.
The cup is intact and shows a minor repair at the inner rim. Small surface abrasions and losses are visible throughout. A larger loss is present at one area of the inner rim, a smaller one underneath the foot above a hole in the ceramic.


By 1982: Dr. Elie Borowski Collection, Basel (seen by Paul Denis at Borowski's house in Toronto in 1981 or 1982); by date unknown: Japanese private collection; by 2000: with Christie's, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020 (Sale no. 9448, June 12, 2000, lot no. 156); purchased at Christie's sale by Jerome M. Eisenberg, Royal-Athena Galleries, 153 East 57th St., New York, NY 10022; purchased by MFA from Royal-Athena Galleries, March 26, 2003

Credit Line

Benjamin and Lucy Rowland Fund