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Marble vase with lug handles


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171

Technical analysis: Ultraviolet-induced visible luminescence examination

The vase is largely intact, having suffered relatively minor wear to the top lip, at the outer edges of both lug handles, and around the edge of the base. Root marks are particularly prominent on one side of the vase straddling one of the lug handles.

This tall vessel, traditionally referred to as a "beaker" because of its shape, has an everted rim and slightly convex walls that taper to a base with a slightly convex base. The thickness of the walls at their narrowest point, just below the rim, are only 6.5 millimeters and theareessel is hollowed out to within two centimeters of the base. A pair of vertical ear-like perforated lugs at the midsection of the body were likely used for suspension or to secure a covering. Probably intended to hold liquids, and found almost exclusively in graves, such vessels may have been used for funerary rituals. However, the size of this beaker—one of the largest known examples of the type—would have made it an unlikely drinking vessel. Although rare, such large beakers are not unknown, and examples with a height of at least twenty-five centimeters have been found on Amorgos, Paros, and Naxos.

Alexis Belis and J-F de Lapérouse

Marble vase with lug handles, Marble, Cycladic

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