Published: April 10, 2018 By

Catalogue Entry

Photograph of pedestalled skyphos with lid removed and set next to it against a neutral gray background.

This vase is one of a collection of Greek vases held by the CU Art Museum.

Gift to CU Classics Department
Transferred to CU Museum of Natural History
Transferred to CU Art Museum (2006)

Height: 16.8 cm
Diameter (max.): 27.6 cm
Date: c. 750-700 B.C.E.
Origin: Boeotia (central Greece)

Description: Very badly damanged open vessel with lid. Reddish brown slip in concentric circles around lid and relatively tall pedestal. Lowest register on pedestal is relatively short and decorated with parallel vertical lines. Horizontal band below lip and at level of two horizontal handles decorated with parallel vertical zigzag lines. Mouth slightly indented in order to support lid. One register of decoration on lid decorated with separated groups of parallel vertical zigzag lines. Knob handle at top of lid decorated on its top surface with eight-pointed star design. Interior of cup painted in reddish brown slip. Vessel badly damaged. 

Additional photos of this vessel show details of its interior, base, handles, lid, and decoration.


A skyphos is a drinking cup with two handles that are usually located at or near the rim. Unlike a 6th century B.C.E. Corinthian skyphos in the CU Art Museum's collection, this particular cup has a relatively high pedestal and is made from Boeotian clay with a cream-colored slip. A reddish-brown slip was used to decorate the body and lid of the vessel with Geometric-style patterning. The decoration consists of a linear motif, as do most pots from the Late Geometric period of Greek art (1). This motif can be described as horizontal banding and in this example, the bands around the body of the cup are narrower than those around the pedestal or base of the cup. Added to the decoration are vertical lines, which are in horizontal bands around the shoulder and handles of the vessel. The vessel's lid is decorated with concentric circles and vertical zigzag lines; the knob handle at the top of the lid has an eight-pointed star in its center. 

Finding an exact match for this vessel has not been possible. Two pots in J. N. Coldstream's Greek Geometric Pottery: A Survey of Ten Local Styles and Their Chronology, however, lend an approximate date and stylistic match used for classification. Coldstream's plate 48F, for example, is identified as an Achaean pedestalled skyphos and is very similar in size and shape to the vessel in the CU Art Museum's collection. Coldstream's plate 43B, on the other hand, shows a Boeotian flat pyxis of a similar date that has a corresponding lid; the surviving lid with handle resembles the lid in the CU Art Museum's collection in both its size and shape. The identification of this vessel as Boeotian stems from the color of the clay visible in its many cracks. 


  1. J.N Coldstream, Greek Geometric Pottery A Survey of Ten Local Styles and Their Chronology (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1968): 200.


  • Chara Tzavella-Evjen, Greek and Roman Vases and Statuettes from the University of Colorado Collection (Athens: Archaiologikon Deltion, 1973): 192-197.