2 - 2 - 3 Samian (?) Cups

@East Greek workshops produced many cups similar to Athenian little master cups in the mid sixth century. Although generally the clay is brownish and glaze is less gross, some fine cups have almost same colour as Athenian cups and can hardly be identefied [1].

Most cups have simple decoration, such as concentric circles on the interior and figures are depicted on small numbers of cups. This makes some scholar believe there was no workshop specialized in figured cups. Fikellura style can be found in the animal figures, especially on earlier examples on which the details of figures are represented not by engraved lines but reserved lines. Patterns on the cups are, however, taken from Athenian vessels.

The earliest examples recall the Altenburg Painter of Fikellura pottery and some scholars even attribute these cups to him. On a cup in Paris, a man between two trees is represented with silhouette and reserved lines [2]. This is a rare example on which landscape is depicted.

Elements of Fikellura pottery gradually disappeared, while engraved lines were introduced. This new black figure style is similar to that of Athenai, though this East Greek black figure has more detailed and delicate lines [3]. The basic decorative scheme is almost same as Athenian little master cups, especially as lip cups.

These painted cups are found from various sites, such as Samos, Naukratis, Etruria, Aigina and the Black Sea regions. Since many numbers of cups are found from Samos, it is generally thought that these cups were made by Samian workshops. From the similarities with Fikellura, on the other hand, others believe these were made at Miletos. It is even possible these were produced at several regions. The production started around 560 and lasted until the third quarter of the century.

[1] For East Greek little master cups, see, Walter-Karydi, E., Samos 6.1, (1973) Kunze, E., "Ionische Kleinmeister", AM 59, (1934) pp.81-122.
[2] Paris, Louvre F68, Diam.23cm
[3] For relationship between East Greek and Athenian pottery, see, Shefton, B. B., "East Greek influences in sixth-century Attic vase-painting and some Laconian trails", in: Greek vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum. vol.4, J. Paul Getty Museum Occasional Papers on Antiquities 5, pp.41-72, (1989).