The earliest type of Athenian black-figure cup, adapted from Corinthian potters. Its lip is narrow and sharply angled from
the body ('offset'). The foot is short-stemmed and flaring. The name derives from its regular decoration with
representations of komasts, who also can be found on earlier Corinthian vessels.
Named after a site on Rhodes where examples were found, Siana cups can be distinguished from Komast cups by their taller feet
and lips. They are decorated on the interior (the tondo), another difference from Komast cups, and there are two schemes for decorating
the exterior. The 'double-decker' type involves two friezes on each side, one on the lip (usually floral), and a figured scene on the
body. The 'overlap' type uses a single frieze on each side to cover the total height of the body and lip. Aspects of the form and
decoration of Siana cups appear to be indebted to East Greek models.
Little Master cup
The term 'Little Master cup' is a translation of the German Kleinmeisterschale, alluding to the small scale of the
decorative elements. It has a high-stemmed foot and an offset concave lip. Examples are divided into two categories; lip-cups and
Although there are differences of shape - the lip is more obviously offset on a lip-cup than on a band-cup - the most obvious
distinction is in the scheme of decoration. Band-cups are painted black save for the handle zone, which contains a decorated frieze,
whereas lip-cups are largely plain save for the line that divides the lip and the body. In the handle-zone there is often an inscription
and occasional decorative elements, while the lip may carry a single figure (often a bust) or a small group.
Type A cup
Developed in the third quarter of the sixth century, Type A cups do not have an offset lip, and their profile runs smoothly from the rim to a fillet at the junction between the bowl and the short flaring
foot. Examples are decorated in both black- and red-figure, and some are 'bilingual', but production ceases by the
early fifth century.
Type B cup
Like those of Type A, Type B cups lack the offset lip, but also the fillet at the top of the stem. The resulting profile is a
Type C cup
Less common than Type B cups, these sometimes have an offset lip. There is a moulding low down on the stem. They are frequently
painted entirely black or decorated only on the interior.
These cups lack a stem, and the foot is connected directly to the bowl. Most examples are painted all over with black-glaze.
Images of cups
- Small proto-Siana cup ht. 6cm
- Siana Cup - Overlap ht. 14cm.
- Siana Cup - Double decker ht. 14.5cm