Bæger på fod med dyrefrise. Etruskisk

Chalice with animal frieze.
Etruscan, c. 600 BC

Fired clay. 10 cm
Inventory number: H692

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This chalice is encircled by a decorative band in low relief. The decoration consists of groups of animal figures, including lions and deer. The central motif is two sphinxes turning towards each other, each on its own side of a tree. Sphinxes were legendary creatures with a lion’s body, a man’s head, and wings. This motif was inspired by the world of motifs of the Near East. The style was widespread in Etruria in the seventh century, which is therefore known as the Orientalizing period. This type of decoration was made by means of a cylindrical seal that was carefully pressed on the damp clay before the chalice was fired. This chalice probably derives from a burial site near the Etruscan city of Tarquinia, which is the source of most chalices of this type.