Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta kylix: eye-cup (drinking cup)

ca. 540–530 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Terracotta; black-figure
H. 4 15/16 in. (12.6 cm) diameter 11 3/4 in. (29.8 cm) width with handles 14 5/8 in. (37.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1944
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 155
Obverse, between eyes, warrior and woman (Menelaos and Helen?)
Reverse, between eyes, fight
Graffito under the foot: I am Melousa's prize; she won the girl's carding contest

The special interest of this kylix lies in the inscription. It is surprising that a girl who won a carding contest would choose or be given a cup decorated with military scenes. One explanation is that the prize was chosen from the potter's stock. When Menelaos reclaimed his wife, Helen, at Troy, he approached her threateningly but was disarmed by her beauty. If this is the subject of the obverse, the other combats also concern the Trojan War.
Inscription: Graffito under the foot: "I am Melousa's prize; she won the girl's carding contest"
Milne, Marjorie J. 1944. "Melusa's Prize." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 3(4): pp. 110-2.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. United States of America 11. The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2. Attic Black-Figured Kylikes. pls. XXV–XXVI, XL, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 60, 202, pl. 42d, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1988. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 4: Eros-Herakles. Helene, no. 291, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Cook, Brian. 1998[1987]. Greek Inscriptions. p. 57, fig. 54, London: Trustees of the British Museum.

De Min, Maurizia. 1998. "La Collezione 'Ligabue'." Documenti Inediti dell'Italia Antica. pp. 132, 181 n. 138, Treviso: Edizioni Canova.

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