Finely potted, this rare type of elegant outline is also distinctive for the very glossy black glaze covering virtually the entire surface, including the stem foot which is glazed on the underside, leaving just the slightly concave edge of the foot reserved. The minimalist decoration consists of two red-painted lines encircling the exterior, with three red- painted concentric circles in the tondo.
with Münzen and Medaillen, Basel, circa 1970-1990
German private collection Sotheby's, New York, 11 December 2002, lot 57
American private collection
The shape of this cup corresponds to Hansjörg Bloesch's Wiener Schalen: see H. Bloesch, Formen attischer Schalen von Exekias bis zum Ende des strengen Stils, Bern, 1940. This is a class of cups for which Sir John Beazley later abbreviated to Vi-cup. Cf. B.A. Sparkes and L. Talcott, The Athenian Agora, vol. XII: Black-glazed Pottery, Princeton, 1972, p. 91, pl. 19.
According to Jasper Gaunt, 'characteristic of this Attic cup shape are the straight, inset lip, shallow bowl, two stout handles rising to the rim, the continuous profile from the bowl to the foot, and (generally) the concave edge of the foot'. For further discussion of the type, see: J. Gaunt, 'A Cup in Princeton', Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University, vol. 54, no. 1, 1995, pp. 30-38.