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Rare Attic Black Glazed Kylix with Lambda Trademark

Rare Attic Black Glazed Kylix with Lambda Trademark


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1170376
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This superb little piece is an Attic stemless kylix ceramic that dates circa 480-470 B.C. This piece is approximately 7.25 inches wide from handle to handle, and is approximately 2.1 inches high. This piece is also intact, is superb to mint quality, and has a multi-colored patina over an even deep black glaze. This multi-colored patina also compares with the finest examples that are normally seen for an Attic black glazed vessel of this type. This nice Greek Attic ceramic also has a nice brilliant deep black glaze on the inside of the bowl. There is an inconspicuous area, centered just below where one of the handles is attached to the main body of the vessel, and this is where an incised double "lambda" Greek letter symbol is seen. The ancient Greek "lambda" letter subsequently developed into letters in other alphabets including the Latin "L". These small letters and/or symbols are approximately .18 and.2 inches high, and may have been added to this piece to denote the owner, and/or perhaps how this piece was used in trade. In addition, these marks could have been used as a price notation and/or as a mark to denote a master vase of a group production. According to John Boardman in "The History of Greek Vases", Thames and Hudson Pub., London 2001, p. 154: "It seems to have been in the potter's yard that marks were made on the pots to identify their eventual carrier." In addition, Boardman states: "Most of these merchant marks are seen on vases of around 570 to 450 B.C., the period of busiest Athenian export..". A.W. Johnson in "Trademarks on Greek Vases", Aris & Philips Ltd., Wiltshire, U.K., 1979, pp. 5-6, states that: "A number of the marks are relatively inconspicuous, including those on the handle and some on the shoulder in the vicinity of the handle.....and there can be little doubt that these are trademarks." Types 2F and 6F, seen in the above reference, is also a close match seen on the vessel offered here. According to Johnson on pp. 4-7, Johnson states that the overall number of incised marks seen on these vessels is paltry, compared to those vessels with marks that are seen under foot. He also adds that these incised marks may also represent "batch" production marks, and that one vessel was marked to indicate the entire group of vessels that were possibly produced for export. It is also interesting to note that one of the "lambda" letters/symbols is slightly smaller than the other letter/symbol, and may represent a tally mark for a "batch" of vessels. This interesting piece also has an offset lip, as seen with the line that runs around the bowl, and is classified as being part of the Attic "Inset Lip Class, circa 480-470 B.C.". For the discussion of the type as a whole see: "The Athenian Agora, Vol. 12", by B. Sparkes and L. Talcott, Princeton University, 1970. This superb to mint piece has some minute white calcite deposits, seen mostly on the bottom of the vessel, and a light red band seen above and below the bottom base ring. This interesting piece is scarce to rare, especially in this intact condition, and is a superb example with rare trade symbols that are not often seen on vessels of this type. Ex: Private Swiss collection. Ex: Fortuna Fine Arts, New York. Ex: Private New York collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: