Bucchero ware drinking cup

Etruscan, 600-575 BC
Probably made in Tarquinia (ancient Etruria), Lazio, Italy

Decorated with animals and mythical creatures

This elegant drinking-cup was made during the Etruscan Archaic period when bucchero ware was extremely popular. Bucchero went out of fashion in the fifth century BC, when it was widely replaced by painted pottery. The main centres of bucchero production at this time were Tarquinia and Chiusi, and it was widely exported around the Mediterranean.

Many of the bucchero shapes had continued from the previous century, the so-called Orientalising period. But in the sixth century BC a new form of decorating was introduced: the roller stamp was used to impress repeating patterns into the clay while it was still wet. The patterns included mythical creatures, rows of animals and events from daily life. The design on this cup includes a winged figure, a duck, panther, goat and sphinx. Later in the century bucchero became much heavier, with mould-pressed decoration in low relief.

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More information


O. Brendel, Etruscan art, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, 1995)

E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)


Height: 14.000 cm
Diameter: 16.500 cm

Museum number

GR 1867.5-8.846 (Vases H 186)



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