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The Lydian Treasure



Height to top of handle 17.3 cm.
height to top of rim 16.3 cm.
diameter of body 9.5 cm.
diameter of foot 6 cm.
weight 624.1 gr.

Usak Museum

The oinochoe has a trefoil mouth, a cylindrical neck, and an ovoid body narrowing towards a flared foot. Around the rim is a chased kymation. The shoulder is decorated with engraved tongues, a pinprick within the curve of each. Around the foot is a ring of tongues, with a row of beading encircling the edge of the foot and the junction of body and foot. The handle is in the form of a kouros, his naked body inclined backwards, with knees flexed and arms raised. The almond shaped eyes have incised pupils and raised upper and lower lids; the ridges of the evebrows curve down into a large nose above well formed lips and prominent chin; ears are also carefully shaped. His long waving hair hangs into the mouth of the vessel, concealing the join between jug and handle, and two locks hang over his shoulder at each side. The lines of the body are very realistically executed, with attention to pectorals, bottom of rib cage, navel and genitals; fingers and toes are shown individually. His feet rest on a separatelv cast attachment plate at the shoulder of the jug which is in the form of a palmette motif suspended beneath two volutes, and two rams, one on either side of the youth's feet. The rams are seated back to back, heads facing outwards, with hind-legs and one foreleg curled beneath the body, whilst the other foreleg is raised at the knee. Their spiral horns are ridged and fleece is curly. The youth's arms are bent at the elbows and raised, with hands grasping the tails of two lions which lie back to back along the rim of the jug forelegs outstretched, complementing the rams of the lower attachment plate. The wrinkled muzzle, mane, long coat at the sides of the body. and above the tail are carefully detailed, as is the musculature of the limbs and the large paws. The body of the vessel is raised by hammering, the foot, handle and attachments are cast separately and attached by solder.
Handles with the some composition of youth, two lions and two rams are not uncommon in Greek bronze hydriai and oinochoai, but this is the only known example in silver. A bronze oinochoe from Karakum (near Torbali, towards the west end of the Hermos volley), with a chased kymation around the rim, and handle terminating in a sphinx or siren at the top, and sleeping Eros at the bottom, has been doted to the early 5th century (Ephesos Museum 2610).


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
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