Drinking cup (kylix)

Archaic Period
about 550–540 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens


Diameter: 29.2 cm. (11 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Black Figure

Not On View


The Ancient World



Droop cup.

Side A: Seven youths, some nude, some in cloaks (himatia), flanking a seated man.
Side B: Seated man flanked by 5 youths and Hermes (or herald), and there are sphinxes by the handles.

A Droop cup is a type of kylix with a distinctive profile and with figure decoration confined to the handle zone. The subject of this cup is not clear, but the presence of Hermes, Messenger of the Gods, places the scene in the epic past. The seated man may well be a king, such as Agamemnon, who quarreled with Achilles (the nude youth?) at the siege of Troy.


By 1979: with Christie's (International) S.A., 8 Place de la Taconnerie, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland (auction, Hotel Beau-Rivage, Geneva, May 5, 1979, lot 50); by 1986: with Sotheby's, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1, England (Sotheby's auction, July 14, 1986, lot 388); purchased by MFA from Sotheby's, Sept. 17, 1986

Credit Line

John Michael Rodocanachi Fund