Collection online

siana cup

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Pottery: black-figured kylix in 'Siana' shape. Design on obverse rather worn; purple and white accessories. Underneath the foot is a spike in imitation of metal.
    Interior, in a medallion: A warrior advancing to right, in the act of throwing a spear with the amentum (μεσάγκυλον) looped round his fingers; he is bearded, with long hair, high-crested helmet, short purple chiton with zigzag border, over which is a skin, parameridia, white greaves, and Boeotian shield painted purple inside.
    Exterior: Two friezes, with ivy-wreath above, lotus-buds and dots below:
    (a) Perseus, Hermes, and Athene pursued by Gorgons: On the extreme left is Medusa, with a horse's head to right in place of her own, short purple chiton tied at the waist, with lozenge border, and four wings outspread, the upper pair recurved. Behind her, under the handle, is Chrysaor to right, represented as a nude youth with long hair and fillet. Next on the right are the two other Gorgons (Stheno and Euryale), with faces turned to the front, short purple chitons with zigzag borders, bound at the waist with two serpents which rise on either side of their heads, their tails resting on the ground; wings as Medusa. All three Gorgons are represented in the archaic running attitude to right. Between the two last the figure of Chrysaor is repeated, standing to right, with long hair. On the right are Athene, Hermes and Perseus retreating to right, in the archaic running attitude. Athene has long tresses, fillet, aegis with snakes projecting behind, long purple chiton with zigzag border and diploidion, spear, and shield painted purple inside. Hermes looks back, and is bearded, with hair looped up, short white chiton with chevron border, purple chlamys with zigzag border, caduceus and endromides. Perseus also looks back, and is bearded, with hair looped up, short purple chiton with zigzag border, over which is a skin, the cap of darkness, endromides, and kibisis (sack) and sword slung round him.
    (b) Procession of five warriors to left; each has a high-crested helmet, purple greaves, two spears, and shield, and leads two horses. The first is under the handles; his shield is white, with device of a crescent in purple. The second and fourth have purple shields with Gorgoneion in white, the third and fifth white shields, with a keras and a poplar-leaf? as their respective devices. Of the further horses the first, third and fifth are white; all have plaited tails. In the field behind each warrior (except the one under the handle) is a lotus-bud.


  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 575BC-550BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 13.2 centimetres
    • Width: 25.3 centimetres
    • Depth: 23.2 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    BM Cat. Vases

    J.H.S. v. pl. 43, p. 220 ff.; Studniczka, Beiträge zur Gesch. der Altgr. Tracht, p. 72; Jahrbuch, vii. (1892), p. 32, note 2.
    For the spike on the bottom, and for the purple sheilds, cf. Vase Β379. For poplar leaves, cf. Vase Β156.British Museum 1965,0930.782 may have come from this cup.


  • Bibliography

    • Vase B380 bibliographic details
    • CVA British Museum 2 III H f Pl. 8, 1 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history


    2007, 31 Mar-30 Jun, Gosport, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2007-2008, 3 Nov-24 Feb, Leicester, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2008, 29 Mar-1 Jun, Luton, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2008, 20 Jun-5 Oct, Lincoln, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes

    2008-2009, 25 Oct-24 Jan, South Shields, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2009, 7 Feb-4 May, Glasgow, Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors & Heroes
    2010-2012, 20 Oct-9 Dec, Luton, Wardown Park, Ancient Greeks
    2014-2015, 13 Nov-13 Feb, Paris, Musee du Louvre, Rhodos: a Gate from and to the Eastern Mediterranean

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


Pottery: black-figured Siana cup: Perseus and the Gorgons (back: warriors with horses; inside: warrior).

Detail: Tondo

Pottery: black-figured Siana cup: Perseus and the Gorgons (back: warriors with horses; inside: warrior).

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA9588

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