Komast cup

Drawing of komast cupThe 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.

Siana cup

Drawing of Siana cupNamed 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 band-cups.

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

Drawing of type A cupDeveloped 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

Drawing of type B cupLike 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 flowing curve.

Type C cup

Drawing of type C cupLess 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.

Stemless cup

Stemless cup 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

Komast Cup ht. 11 cm
  • Komast Cup ht. 11 cm.
Small proto-Siana cup ht. 6cm
  • Small proto-Siana cup ht. 6cm
Siana Cup - Overlap ht. 14cm
  • Siana Cup - Overlap ht. 14cm.
Siana Cup - Double decker ht. 14.5cm
  • Siana Cup - Double decker ht. 14.5cm
Lip Cup ht. 10cm
  • Lip Cup ht. 10cm.
Band Cup ht. 11.5cm
  • Band Cup ht. 11.5cm.
'Droop' Cup ht. 12cm
  • 'Droop' Cup ht. 12cm.
Cup of Type A ht. 12cm
  • Cup of Type A ht. 12cm.
Cup of Type B ht. 8cm
  • Cup of Type B ht. 8cm
Cup of Type C ht. 9.5cm
  • Cup of Type C ht. 9.5cm.
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