Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Pottery: black-figured kylix. Interior: Gorgoneion, with curls and protruding tongue and tusks.
    Exterior: (a) Merchant-vessel (holkas) sailing to right, rigged with mast and sail; on the prow an eye; at the stern a landing-ladder, and steersman with steering-oars (pedalia); along the sides, lattice-work bulwarks (cataphracti). Sailing towards it is a war-galley with mast and sail, prow in the form of a boar's head, bulwarks as before, high fore-deck, steering-oars and landing-ladder at stern; two banks of rowers, four sailors furling sail, and steersman.
    (b) Similar design; the merchant-vessel has sails furled, no sailors are visible in the galley. Under the handle on the right is another boat to left, with an eye on the prow. The surface of the sea is indicated by a wavy line.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 520BC-500BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 8.89 centimetres
    • Diameter: 20.32 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    BM Cat. Vases

    De Witte, Descr. 193; Micali, Storia, pl. 103, 2; Baumeister, p. 1599; Smith, Dict. Ant.3 vol. ii. pp. 209, 210, 213; J.H.S. vi. p. 29; Jahrbuch, vii. (1892), p. 53.
    For the scene, cf. BM Vases Β679 and Ε2.
    It has been suggested that this scene may represent a pirate attack on the merchant vessels.


  • Bibliography

    • Vase B436 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G69/dc25

  • Exhibition history


    1995, Amsterdam, Allard Pierson Museum, Ancient Seafaring
    2000, Barcelona, Founding of the City

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


Pottery: black-figured kylix (drinking cup) with scenes of a merchant vessel being chased and attacked by pirates.

Pottery: black-figured kylix (drinking cup) with scenes of a merchant vessel being chased and attacked by pirates.

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA4269

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