Examination of a lead-glazed pottery drinking cup (skyphos)

Restoration can be highly deceptive. At first sight and even under careful scrutiny, this drinking vessel appears entirely preserved. However, under low magnification using a microscope, brush marks are visible on the handles. Under ultraviolet (UV) light, the two handles fluoresce a bright, light blue, showing that they had been painted, whereas the rest of the vessel was glazed. The paint indicates that the handles had been restored. It is not possible to tell from visual examination whether the handles are completely restored or if they are partly restored with heavy over-painting.

This seems to be an example of intentional faking. However, the appearance of the handles is thought to be representative of how they may have originally looked. Since the restoration was not causing any damage to the pottery it was not removed.

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