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Marble vase with lug handles


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 151

Technical Analysis: Ultraviolet-induced visible luminescence examination, optical microscopy

This deep, truncated, conical beaker was carved from a block of greyish marble with bluish striations. Its thin walls subtly taper upward from a flat base with everted edges toward a vertical flat rim with some losses. Long, thin, fin-shaped lug handles diametrically protrude on either side, but are perforated at slightly different heights. The mouth is wide and there are no noticeable decorations on its walls.

Its rather large size fits well within the range of this type of vessel.(1) L.2022.38.25 seems to be of similar marble and execution.

A few traces of a pick are visible at the base. Fine carvings and parallel, rectilinear tool marks in the interior indicate that the vessel was finished with fine tools both inside and out. The exterior surface is nearly polished. This treatment, as well as the unusually thin walls for the size of this vessel and the thin, long, fin-shaped lugs are unique for the period in which it should belong.

The surface is weathered and shallow losses on the rim have been filled and inpainted to match the original surface. These fills are visible in ultraviolet light. Burial accretions are unevenly dispersed on the exterior but are more prevalent around the lug handles and on the bottom of vessel. The mostly vertical scratches between the lug handles suggest that these areas were cleaned mechanically. The interior appears to have been left relatively undisturbed.

Georgios Gavalas , Federico Caro, and J-F de Lapérouse

(1) See Getz-Gentle, Pat. 1996. The Stone Vessels of the Cyclades in the Early Bronze Age. pp. 41-63, University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press. Its closest parallel in size is C22 (Private Collection in US said to be from Naxos, p. 254, pl. 27f, figs.19b and 21f. See also Getz-Preziosi, Pat. 1987. Early Cycladic Art in North American Collections (Exhibition catalogue, Virginia Museum of Fine Art), no. 108, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press. The lugs are also long and the walls are thin.

Marble vase with lug handles, Marble, Cycladic

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