Lot 9
  • 9

AN ATTIC BLACK-FIGURE CUP, ATTRIBUTED TO THE GROUP OF COURTING CUPS, FP CLASS, CIRCA 530-520 B.C. | An Attic Black-figure Cup, attributed to the Group of Courting Cups, FP Class

12,000 - 18,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • terracotta
  • Diameter at rim 8  7/8  inches
with broad stemmed foot, each side painted with a youth on horseback and flanked by nude companions, a sash in the field of each scene, palmettes flanking the handles, the reserved tondo centering a black-edged hole pierced through to the foot of the cup, two smaller holes drilled through the stem, the details in added red and white.


Elie Borowski, Basel, prior to 1975
The Merrin Gallery, New York
Christos G. Bastis Collection, New York, acquired from the above in 1985 (Sotheby's, New York, Antiquities from the Collection of the late Christos G. Bastis Collection, December 9th, 1999, no. 87, illus.)


Michael Vickers, "A Dirty Trick Vase," American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 79, 1975, p. 282, pl. 50
Michael Vickers, "Another Dirty Trick Vase," American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 84, 1980, p. 183
Antiquities from the Collection of Christos G. Bastis (exhibition catalogue), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1987, no. 158, illus.

Catalogue Note

Michael Vickers (op. cit., 1975) observes of the deliberate holes drilled in antiquity through the tondo and stem of this vase that "the larger one must have held a stopper, kept in position by means of a pin which passed through the smaller holes below. Imagine then a string attached to the pin, and a practical joker at the other end...".