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Rare Hellenistic Greek Silver Kantharos with 
Flat Handles

Rare Hellenistic Greek Silver Kantharos with Flat Handles

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1326070
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This nice Greek vessel is a silver kantharos that dates to the Hellenistic Period, circa 2nd-1st century B.C. This piece is approximately 3.5 inches high, by 5.4 inches wide from handle to handle. This rare piece has a dark gray patina with dark brown highlights, has not been over cleaned, and has natural surfaces. This piece was made from five separate parts: the main hand beaten body of the piece, two cast handles, a ring base, and a round base tubular extension. The main body of the piece also has an attractive volute pattern that runs around the main body of the vessel, and several hand punched dots that are seen running around the base of the rim. This piece is intact, and has some limited repair, with only the secure reattachment of the handles and footed base which appears to have been done some time ago. There are three short and visual stress cracks that are seen running down from the upper rim into the main body of the piece that are about .3 inches, but other than that, this piece is a superb example that is intact, and is a solid example. These cracks were likely the result of ground pressure, and also point to the authenticity of the vessel. The overall design of this esoteric Greek vessel is rare, especially with the volute pattern and the "flat handles" that are normally seen on subsequent Roman period vessels. A silver vessel kantharos cup seen in "Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate", by D.E. Strong, London, 1966, p. 114, dating from the second century B.C., has analogous "flat handles" as the vessel offered here, and is described as having two "long horizontal thumb grips". This piece featured by D.E. Strong is now seen in the National Hermitage Museum, Leningrad, and is also described as being a "Greek vessel with elaborate ornament". The Greek vessel offered here may also be among the first vessels of this type with a "flat handle" design, and was the Greek prototype for the subsequent Roman period silver kantharos type cups that had this analogous "flat handle" design. The piece offered here not only is a rare example that has an esoteric design, but it also has superb eye appeal and is one of the best recorded examples. Ex: Private Austrian collection circa 1990's. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: