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Wine Cup with Symposion Scenes
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Attributed to the Euaion Painter
Greek, Athens, about 450 - 440 B.C.
Terracotta, ancient bronze repair
5 3/16 x 15 9/16 x 12 5/8 in.
86.AE.682

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Scenes of reveling men and youths cover this Athenian red-figure kylix or cup. On the interior of the cup, a youth holds out his kylix to be filled by a bearded man holding an oinochoe or pitcher. A volute-krater, the vessel that would have held the mixture of wine and water favored by the Greeks, stands behind the youth, and the front legs of a chair appear behind the man. The party continues on the exterior of the cup. Men and youths converse, play musical instruments, drink, and dance. The revelry depicted on this cup was fitting decoration for a vessel designed to be used at a symposion, or aristocratic drinking party.

The cup was broken and repaired in antiquity. When the stem of the cup snapped, elaborate measures were taken to fix the vessel, attesting to how much the owner valued it. A thin sheet of bronze, only as wide as the interior diameter of the cup stem, was welded onto a bronze disk, which fit snugly into the opening at the base of the stem. When this device was in place, the mender drilled a hole through the stem of the cup and the bronze sheet within, above the line of the break. He then threaded a bronze pin through these holes to anchor the pieces together.